If you want to protect confidential information for your business, you’re far from alone. Effective companies don’t keep secrets within their walls, and secrecy isn’t 100% based on trust. A legal framework for confidentiality can help you remain secure and protected.

Here, we will talk about non-disclosure agreement documents, their role in business, and what they can do as you expand globally. Read on to make your transition into the global workforce seamless.

The Basics of Non-Disclosure Agreement Documents

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legally-binding document. Its purpose is to protect confidential information.

When you hire employees, they’ll be privy to new business ideas, innovations, and new products that you want to keep under wraps. If information were to come out, your profitable idea might amount to nothing.

When you allow new people to gain access to this information, you’ll have them sign an NDA. These confidentiality agreements legally bind those who sign them not to speak of confidential information.

Those who may sign them include employees, advisors, VIP clients, suppliers, and investors. They’re not one-size-fits-all. If they break the NDA and talk about sensitive information, you can hold them legally accountable. This gives you a layer of protection in case loose lips impact your bottom line.

Types of NDAs

Some NDAs will be finite. The start and end date will be listed on the document itself. Usually, the NDA will only end when the information is revealed to the public.

This might take the form of a new product launch, an announcement regarding the innovation, or a social media post that reveals the previously-sensitive data. Sometimes it may list specific dates during which the NDA is in effect.

Many NDAs will be indefinite. This, too, will be spelled out in the fine print of the legal document. Most of these NDAs will continue to be in effect even if the signer cuts ties with the company, so they will not be able to disclose information to new employers or vendors without legal action.

Regardless of your NDA’s duration, different NDAs will outline different legal actions in the event that they are broken. Breaking most NDAs will result in a lawsuit that forces the signer to pay damages for lost business opportunities and profits. However, other more serious offenses might carry criminal charges, especially if you’re working with government information.

NDAs aren’t all the same, so it’s important that you develop one with extensive information. Outline everything in the fine print. This will ensure that there’s no confusion or room for interpretation.

How Can Global Employers Use NDAs?

There are many uses for NDAs, including:

  • Protecting intellectual property (innovations, business-specific software, new product ideas)
  • Finding potential business partners
  • Getting new VIP clients privy to sensitive information
  • Protecting client information (that employees and vendors can access)
  • Protecting business processes and workflows, including innovation and manufacturing processes
  • Hiring key employees without worrying about them sharing sensitive data

Some NDAs also exist to protect the signer. For example, if you have a data security concern, your network may be open to a breach. This could cause employee information to be stolen including identifying and banking information.

Having employees sign an NDA regarding the network’s uses and vulnerabilities can protect the signer as well as your company.

New Partnerships

Businesses looking to expand globally will need to forge new partnerships worldwide.

A global workforce means new frontiers, which means that you’ll be expanding your business to new countries. You may even plan to become a cross-continental behemoth. This will require you to take information about your business to professionals in international markets.

NDAs stop these experts from bringing your methods abroad on their own. They ensure that global industry leaders don’t hear your ideas, decide they don’t want to help you expand, and implement your ideas locally for less money.

You’ll have an easier time forging trusting partnerships. You’ll also be able to better position yourself as a global leader because people will recognize you as the creator of profitable ideas.

Expansion Locations

You also will need to give some people information about the locations that you want to expand to. Those you’re forming international partnerships with are just one example. New employees (both local and global), marketing teams, sales professionals, and HR representatives are other examples.

You likely don’t want others in your industry to know of your expansion plans. They may try to get their foot in the door before you do. They also may try to create products and services that inhibit your expansion with stronger competition.

You can offer NDAs to those who know you’re expanding. This will stop them from leaking your plans to those who may not have your company’s best interests at heart.

Communication Tools and Methods

You also will likely be creating and implementing new technologies to make the remote work process easier. This means more innovation. You’ll be building and/or integrating new communication applications, translation tools, chat interfaces, video conferencing technologies, and more.

If you plan to create these technologies, you’ll want to protect them. If you plan to adapt existing technologies to fit your needs, you won’t want your secrets to come out. An NDA can help you globalize without worrying that other companies will rip off your strategies. 

Can You Enforce an NDA Overseas?

NDAs are internationally enforceable. However, you will need to specify the jurisdiction within the NDA. This should be part of the document text so there’s no room for interpretation.

It’s also important to know that the jurisdiction in which it’s enforceable and the governing law of the NDA can be different countries. If you have an NDA with US law covering it, the jurisdiction can still be the UK or Australia. The US laws will simply apply to the international signer.

Find the Best Employees for Your Business Needs

Now that you know the uses for non-disclosure agreement documents in global expansion, it’s time to begin moving your business overseas. Bradford Jacobs’ consultants are excited to help you look into your options for a no-hassle expansion.

Contact us to learn how we can help you attract, engage, onboard, and induct top employees regardless of where in the world they reside.