Updated November 23, 2020:

A non-disclosure agreement in Florida is a contract between two parties that promises the protection of information from any third party in the state of Florida.

What Is a Florida Non-Disclosure Agreement?

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are governed under state law but are treated similarly in every state. When formulating a non-disclosure agreement, it is a good idea to double-check the state rules and regulations for such agreements. This extra precaution will help to ensure that the contract will hold up in court.

Non-disclosure agreements can be used to protect many different types of information. Some of the most common types include:

  • Valuable research and data
  • Software
  • Intellectual property (IP)
  • Marketing plans
  • Trademarks and patents
  • Prototypes
  • Customer and client information

The Florida statutes govern and enforce all non-disclosure agreements formed within the state.

Non-disclosure agreements prevent disgruntled employees from threatening to share confidential information or valuable trade secrets with their company's competitors.

How to Write a Non-Disclosure Agreement

When writing a non-disclosure agreement, it can be very beneficial to download and use a template. There are several available online.

Basic information should be included in the agreement, such as the date the agreement was drafted and the names of both parties involved. Then, the creator will need to specify which type of agreement they want to form.

There are two types of non-disclosure agreements:

  • Unilateral
  • Mutual

A unilateral NDA only restricts one of the two parties from sharing the protected information. A mutual agreement applies to both of the parties.

The non-disclosure agreement should also clearly explain the relationship between the two parties involved. Is this an agreement between business partners or company and its employee.

If the agreement is sent to be signed by another party, it should specify a deadline for returning the contract.

A non-disclosure agreement is considered complete and enforceable when both parties have signed it with their names printed and the date of signatures included.

Types of Restrictive Agreements

There are several different types of restrictive agreements that are used to protect the information in the business world. NDAs are one type, but there are also confidentially agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and non-compete agreements. These are very similar but do have some important differences.

Confidentiality agreements are the least restricting of the three types mentioned (other than NDAs). Non-compete agreements are the most restricting. Non-solicitation agreements are somewhere in between those two.

These three restrictive agreements apply mainly to employees and their relationships with their employers. NDAs can apply to other types of business relationships. Not only do these agreements prevent employees from sharing certain protected information, but they also restrict current and former employees from certain activities.

Confidentiality Agreement

Confidentiality agreements keep employees from sharing any confidential information with entities outside of their company. In the state of Florida, confidentiality agreements can only be enforced over actually confidential information. This means that confidentiality agreements will not protect any information that is available to or known by the general public.

There are no requirements regarding the length of coverage for a confidentiality agreement. The duration of the agreement should be specified in the written document. A company can choose to enforce a confidentiality agreement as long as the protected information continues to be considered confidential.

Non-Solicitation Agreement

Non-solicitations agreements prevent employees, whether current or former, from trying to convince other employees, customers, or clients, to leave one company and join a competitor. These agreements usually apply while an individual is employed and for two years after their employment is terminated, either voluntarily or not.

Non-Compete Agreement

Non-compete agreements, also called non-compete clauses, help to protect companies from unfair competition. Under a non-compete agreement, an employee may not open their own business that competes with their employer (or former employer). They are also prevented from working for a competitor for a certain period of time after termination.

If a company wants to require employees to sign a non-compete agreement in the state of Florida, they must prove that their business has a specific interest that should be protected such as:

  • Trade secrets
  • Valuable relationships or goodwill with current or potential clients, patients, or customers
  • Specialized training

Non-compete agreements cannot be enforced simply to prevent generic competition. The legitimacy of the business interest that is being protected by the agreement has to be proven to the court to enforce the agreement.

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