What is an NDA?

If you watch politically-based and/or courtroom dramas, chances are that you have heard the term “NDA” quite often. It usually signifies some sort of confidential information is being hidden or people are being legally forbidden to speak on something. The reality of these agreements is not too far from what’s shown on TV. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is legal contract between parties that allows for the sharing of confidential information (or other applicable things) that are not accessible to parties outside of the contract.

What is an NDA?NDAs can be signed among two or more parties in a variety of contexts. For example, an employer may require an employee to sign an NDA upon being hired if the employee has access to confidential materials. A unilateral NDA can achieve this, meaning only one party discloses the information that must be protected. Other forms of NDAs can be bilateral or multilateral and allow for multiple parties to reveal confidential information.


It is important to note that an NDA cannot be signed or enforced if it is done so to protect acts like felonies. For the NDAs that are legally upheld, they can contain common and unique provisions based on the confidential information being shared as well as the results of negotiation among the involved parties. The NDA will clarify the signatory parties to the agreement, a list of items defined as confidential, any exclusions, the term for the agreement, and other conditions. The aforementioned is simply an overview of some of the common contents; NDAs can be much more complex than just this. An NDA can also include obligations for parties and other restrictions. If an NDA is violated, the violating party has committed a breach of contract. Depending on the circumstances/the law, the party who has committed the violation can face lawsuits, fines, and other penalties as defined.