What's an NDA?

What's an NDA?

An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement. Sometimes, they also are referred to as confidentiality agreements.

When working with a company whether you are participating in market research, product testing, or some other activity, it is possible the company may require that you sign a non-disclosure agreement or NDA in order for you to participate. NDAs are commonplace business documents companies use to protect any valuable or sensitive information they may provide from becoming public or shared with their competitors.

Non-disclosure agreements are legal documents. They are written contracts that are intended to be enforceable by law, so they should be taken seriously. If you are asked to sign an NDA by a company, you should read the document carefully and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities described in the agreement. If there is something you do not understand or want more information about, you should seek clarification or ask questions before signing the NDA.

Non-disclosure agreements can take a variety of forms, contain various elements, and have different levels of complexity. However, all non-disclosure agreements have several elements in common. NDAs should:

  • include the names of the parties who are involved in providing and receiving the confidential information.
  • clearly identify the information that you must keep confidential
  • specify when the agreement ends
  • describe the consequences if you do not keep the information confidential


The bottom line...

Make sure you understand any document you are asked to sign before signing it. If you sign an NDA, do not share the confidential information you receive from the company with others for as long as the non-disclosure agreement is in effect.