Recently we discussed using trademarks and copyrights to protect your intellectual property.  Today we are going to talk about protecting your work and ideas while dealing with third parties.  Below are three steps every small business owner should incorporate when working with others.

  1. Put It on Paper: When hiring employees or using independent contractors use non-compete and non disclosures agreements to ensure that third parties don’t learn all of your secrets and use them to their benefit elsewhere.  Non- Compete Agreements are typically used with employees. The agreement prevents them from doing things such as contacting your existing customers for a set time and establishing the same type business for a set time and place.  Courts are cautious about prohibiting people from making a living; therefore it’s important that the agreement is narrowly drafted by a professional.  Non Disclosure Agreements or confidentiality agreements are used by parties who need to disclose information that they normally would keep confidential.  These agreements can be used with employees, independent contractors or even with other businesses.
  2.  Only Tell People What They Need To Know:  Often businesses have information that is valuable to it and its bottom line.  If efforts are made to keep this information secret from the public then there may be a cause of action if a third party discloses this information.  This information is commonly referred to as trade secrets.
  3. Keep Secure Records:  Establish a written procedure for handling confidential information. The procedure should require a record of all confidential information, when that information was disclosed, with whom it was disclosed and why it was disclosed.

Contact The Murray Law Group, LLC, today to discuss drafting a personalized template of any of the above mentioned agreements for your business.