1. How Can a Confidentiality Statement Protect You?
2. When Do You Need a Confidentiality Agreement?
3. Confidentiality Statement Business Plan
4. Who Signs a Confidentiality Statement of a Business Plan?
5. Considerations

A business confidentiality statement is a tool that businesses use when they discuss their business plan with others who will be given information that the company values or wishes to keep a secret. In essence, it is a document that states that when a company's business plan is seen, they will not be able to discuss the contents of it with anyone outside of the agreement.

Confidentiality statements may also be referred to as non-disclosure statements that sales representative and other employees often sign but are typically used in regards to exposure to a company's business plan. They are intended to provide protection for both parties involved in a business plan or transaction.

How Can a Confidentiality Statement Protect You?

In every confidentiality agreement, there should be a provision that states that both parties will not disclose any of the information they are about to discuss or see in a business plan. In addition to that, there should also be a provision that covers damages which will occur in the event that a party breaches the agreement. This is often a place to list the monetary liability the party may be sued for.

If you do not have a confidentiality agreement in place when you write your business plan, then you are opening the door for anyone who sees your business plan to use parts of it without your permission. While copyright law may protect a large amount of it, not all of it will be protected.

If you do have a confidentiality agreement in place and someone does breach it, you will be entitled to some form of compensation and be able to possibly obtain a judgment from the breaching party. If you do not have an agreement in place, the courts are not likely to give you any damages if someone were to steal your idea.

When Do You Need a Confidentiality Agreement?

It is good practice to have a confidentiality agreement anytime that you make a business plan. Some of the benefits of having a confidentiality agreement include:

  • You can make sure that your financial information stays private.
  • You can protect your ides even though the plan may need to be seen by multiple parties.

You should request a signed confidentiality agreement when showing your business plan to anyone, even to a bank. Even though they work for an organization that values confidentiality, it does not mean that everyone working there will be ethical. Always make sure the agreement is signed before handing the business plan over.

Confidentiality Statement Business Plan

The downside of requiring a confidentiality agreement for your business is that it may turn off investors as it can signal distrust. They may feel that you think they plan on stealing your idea and may not be comfortable providing funds for the investment. Other reasons that you may choose not to use a confidentiality agreement include:

  • It can make it seem as though you are a novice.
  • Some people may find it offensive.
  • You may not be able to secure funding and keep it confidential.

Who Signs a Confidentiality Statement of a Business Plan?

In typical fashion, confidentiality agreements would precede or accompany a business plan submission. When requiring the signing of a confidentiality agreement, you should require signing by anyone who you anticipate will see the plan to ensure the information contained in it is confidential.

Considerations

There are some considerations that need to be made before deciding to use a confidentiality agreement. The first is that your confidentiality agreement is not only protecting an invention, but it also should be used to protect:

  • Business ideas.
  • Strategies.
  • Marketing.

Until you have received financing or the investment you need to get your business started, anyone will be able to create an identical business without having to ask permission.

It is also important when drafting a confidentiality agreement that it is simply stated and clearly outlines what needs to be protected and what can occur if the agreement is violated. The agreement should be non-intimidating in its verbiage. you can use this agreement for anyone who you may be in contact with about your business before it is stared such as financers, clients, and potential vendors.

If you need help with a business confidentiality statement, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.