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What is a confidentiality agreement?

Confidentiality can be an important part of protecting a business's trade secrets and other proprietary information. When an employee may have contact with such sensitive information, their employer may ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement. Also known as nondisclosure agreements, Florida entities often use these contracts to keep their secrets in-house and out of the hands of their competitors.

Nondisclosure agreements must meet certain criteria in order to be valid. For example, a nondisclosure agreement cannot be overly broad. Generally, these agreements must provide clarity regarding the information they seek to protect and what is included as protected information.

Also, nondisclosure agreements can be invalidated if the holder of the protected information (generally the employer) allows the secret information to be made public. An employee may not be required to keep a trade secret if their employer is the cause of the secret's publication.

Other criteria apply to nondisclosure agreements and Florida businesses that wish to implement them should discuss their needs with business law attorneys. Like more general contracts, nondisclosure agreements must name the parties that will be bound by the contracts' terms, the amount of time that the agreements with be enforceable and the particular information that is intended to be protected by the contracts' executions.

Discovering that a nondisclosure agreement has been violated can be detrimental to the business interests of a Florida company. In the wake of such a discovery, it can be a good step for a business to take to discuss its possible losses with a contracts and business law attorney. Lawyers in these fields can offer their clients guidance on the possible claims they may pursue to enforce their nondisclosure agreements and safeguard their businesses' interests.

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