Also called non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, Confidentiality Agreements do not need to be complicated, but can provide a business with a number of benefits.  You may generally feel the need to protect your customer list, supplier list, intellectual property or other commercial information.  Or you may find yourself in a situation, where, although not immediately obvious, your business information may be at risk.

Although you may routinely consider protecting your business information, before providing it to another company, there are some situations where this may not be your first thought.  For instance, if you enter into negotiations for supplying goods incorporating your business secrets or intellectual property to another company, you may not enter into a Confidentiality Agreement before the negotiations begin.  But what if the other company is taken over by one of your competitors after negotiations have begun?  Or what if your business secrets or intellectual property are leaked to one of your competitors by the other company?

Conversely, if you are sent a Confidentiality Agreement to sign before entering into negotiations with another company, you must be careful to avoid signing up to onerous restrictions.  In this situation, always ask for the advice of a solicitor to ensure that the restrictions do not prevent you from conducting business in the usual way.

I think you will agree that in all of the above situations, the financial effects for your business could be far-reaching and considerable.  It would be far better to avoid these situations arising by taking the appropriate advice.

If you would like advice about Confidentiality Agreements or NDAs, please contact our Corporate and Commercial team on 0121 698 2200.

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