Building a business comes with many layers. One of the most critical pieces of your company is the information that makes your products or services different.
While your employees may not intend to disclose your trade secrets to your competitors, asking them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) can remind them that some company information is confidential.
This is what you should know about using NDAs to protect your business’s trade secrets.
Know who needs to sign
While you could have everyone on your staff sign an NDA, this can weaken your NDA if they do not have access to confidential information. When staff members who do not have access to trade secrets sign an NDA, it suggests that you do not have a clear line regarding what information should be kept secret.
Instead, before implementing non-disclosure agreements, you should look at the information you want to protect and who has access to the confidential information. Once you establish what the NDA covers, have only the staff who have access sign an NDA.
Include regular training
Rather than handing your employees an NDA to sign, talk to them about the information it covers and the consequences of violating the NDA. Your staff should know what is considered a trade secret and what falls into “general knowledge.”
You may need more protection
As you are looking at the information you need to include in an NDA for your employees, you should also look at the type of information. While areas such as customer lists will fall under trade secrets, your processes and products may need different intellectual property protection.
To ensure your company has the right amount of protection, you should talk to a skilled professional about your goals for protecting your business’s intellectual property.