How to Create a Confidentiality Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Create a Confidentiality Agreement

Confidentiality agreements, also known as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), are crucial legal documents used to protect sensitive information shared between parties. Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or individual engaging in a collaborative project, creating a well-crafted confidentiality agreement is essential to safeguarding your proprietary information. In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of drafting a confidentiality agreement, covering important clauses and best practices to ensure the protection of confidential information.

Introduction to Confidentiality Agreements

A confidentiality agreement is a crucial legal instrument utilized to safeguard sensitive information shared between parties. This binding contract delineates the terms and conditions governing the disclosure and protection of confidential data, setting forth the obligations of each party regarding the handling, use, and disclosure of such information. By establishing clear guidelines for the treatment of confidential data, confidentiality agreements provide a framework for trust and collaboration between parties while mitigating the risks associated with unauthorized disclosure.

Parties to the Agreement

In a confidentiality agreement, it is imperative to explicitly identify the parties involved to ensure clarity and enforceability. The disclosing party, typically the individual or entity sharing confidential information, is distinguished from the receiving party, who is entrusted with safeguarding the confidential information. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each party helps establish accountability and delineate the scope of the agreement’s application.

Definition of Confidential Information

Central to any confidentiality agreement is the definition of confidential information, which delineates the scope of data protected under the agreement. This clause specifies the categories of information deemed confidential, encompassing trade secrets, proprietary data, intellectual property, business strategies, and other sensitive materials. By clearly defining the types of information subject to protection, the agreement provides clarity and certainty to both parties regarding the scope of their confidentiality obligations.

Obligations of the Receiving Party

The receiving party in a confidentiality agreement is bound by specific obligations to ensure the protection and non-disclosure of confidential information. These obligations typically include maintaining the confidentiality of the information received, refraining from disclosing it to third parties without prior consent, and utilizing the information solely for the purposes outlined in the agreement. By delineating the responsibilities of the receiving party, the agreement establishes clear guidelines for the proper handling and use of confidential data.

Permitted Disclosures

While confidentiality agreements aim to restrict the disclosure of sensitive information, they often include provisions outlining permissible disclosures under certain circumstances. These exceptions may include disclosures required by law, court order, or government regulations. By delineating the circumstances under which disclosure is permitted, the agreement strikes a balance between confidentiality requirements and legal obligations, providing clarity and certainty to the parties involved.

Duration of Confidentiality

The duration of confidentiality specifies the period during which the obligations of confidentiality remain in effect. Depending on the nature of the information and the needs of the parties involved, the duration may be for a specific term or indefinite. By establishing a clear timeframe for confidentiality obligations, the agreement provides certainty and predictability regarding the duration of protection afforded to confidential information.

Remedies for Breach

In the unfortunate event of a breach of the confidentiality agreement, this clause outlines the remedies available to the disclosing party. Remedies may include injunctive relief to prevent further disclosure, monetary damages to compensate for losses incurred, or termination of the agreement. By specifying the consequences of breach, the agreement incentivizes compliance and provides a mechanism for recourse in the event of non-compliance.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

This clause establishes the governing law and jurisdiction applicable to the confidentiality agreement, determining the legal framework within which any disputes arising from the agreement will be resolved. By specifying the applicable law and jurisdiction, the agreement provides clarity and predictability regarding the legal principles and procedures governing its interpretation and enforcement.


The severability clause ensures that if any provision of the confidentiality agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect. By including this provision, the agreement preserves its overall validity and enforceability in the event that certain provisions are found to be unenforceable.

Integration Clause

Also known as the entire agreement clause, this provision stipulates that the confidentiality agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties regarding the subject matter and supersedes any prior agreements or representations. By incorporating this clause, the agreement prevents disputes arising from conflicting or supplementary agreements and ensures that the written agreement accurately reflects the parties’ intentions.


The indemnity clause requires the receiving party to indemnify and hold harmless the disclosing party from any losses, damages, or liabilities arising from the breach of the confidentiality agreement. By including this provision, the agreement allocates responsibility for damages resulting from breaches of confidentiality, providing a mechanism for recourse and compensation.


In certain cases, a non-solicitation clause may be included in the confidentiality agreement to prevent the receiving party from soliciting employees, clients, or customers of the disclosing party for a specified period. This clause helps protect the disclosing party’s business interests and relationships by preventing the unauthorized solicitation of its stakeholders.

Return or Destruction of Information

Upon the termination or expiration of the confidentiality agreement, the receiving party may be required to return or destroy all confidential information received under the agreement. This clause ensures the proper handling and disposition of confidential data, minimizing the risk of unauthorized retention or use after the agreement’s conclusion.

Good Faith and Cooperation

This clause emphasizes the importance of good faith and cooperation between the parties in fulfilling their obligations under the confidentiality agreement. By promoting a collaborative and transparent approach to confidentiality, this provision fosters mutual trust and facilitates effective compliance with the agreement’s terms.

Confidentiality Agreement Templates and Resources

To streamline the process of creating a confidentiality agreement, various templates and resources are available online. These templates can serve as a starting point for drafting your agreement, providing a framework for customization based on your specific needs and circumstances. However, it’s essential to tailor the document to ensure that it accurately reflects the parties’ intentions and addresses all relevant legal considerations.

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FAQs on Creating a Confidentiality Agreement

What is a confidentiality agreement, and why is it important?

A confidentiality agreement is a legally binding contract that governs the disclosure and protection of sensitive information between parties. It is essential for protecting proprietary information and preventing unauthorized disclosure or use of confidential data.

Who should use a confidentiality agreement?

Confidentiality agreements are commonly used by businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, contractors, employees, and individuals engaging in collaborative projects or sharing sensitive information with third parties.

What should be included in a confidentiality agreement?

A confidentiality agreement should include clauses defining confidential information, outlining obligations of the parties, specifying permitted disclosures, establishing the duration of confidentiality, and outlining remedies for breach, among other provisions.

. Are there different types of confidentiality agreements?

Yes, confidentiality agreements can vary in scope and purpose. Some common types include unilateral (one-way) agreements, where only one party discloses information, and mutual (two-way) agreements, where both parties share confidential information.

When should a confidentiality agreement be used?

Confidentiality agreements should be used whenever sensitive information is shared between parties, such as during business negotiations, partnerships, collaborations, employment relationships, or discussions involving proprietary technology or trade secrets.

Can I use a template to create a confidentiality agreement?

Yes, confidentiality agreement templates are widely available online and can be used as a starting point for drafting your agreement. However, it's crucial to customize the template to suit your specific needs and seek legal advice if necessary.

Do confidentiality agreements expire?

Confidentiality agreements may specify a duration for confidentiality, after which the obligations expire. Alternatively, confidentiality obligations may continue indefinitely, depending on the nature of the information and the agreement between the parties.

What happens if someone breaches a confidentiality agreement?

If someone breaches a confidentiality agreement, the disclosing party may pursue legal remedies such as injunctive relief, monetary damages, or termination of the agreement. The specific remedies available will depend on the terms of the agreement and applicable law.

Can I include non-compete clauses in a confidentiality agreement?

While non-compete clauses are distinct from confidentiality agreements, they may be included as separate provisions in the agreement. However, the enforceability of non-compete clauses varies by jurisdiction and depends on factors such as duration, scope, and reasonableness.

Are confidentiality agreements enforceable?

Yes, confidentiality agreements are generally enforceable if they meet certain legal requirements, such as offering consideration, defining the scope of confidential information, and establishing clear obligations for the parties involved.

Can I modify a confidentiality agreement after it's been signed?

Modifying a confidentiality agreement after it's been signed may require the consent of all parties involved. Any changes should be documented in writing and signed by all parties to ensure clarity and enforceability.

Do confidentiality agreements protect against all types of disclosure?

While confidentiality agreements offer protection against unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, they may not prevent disclosure required by law, court order, or government regulations. It's essential to include exceptions for such disclosures in the agreement.

Can I use a confidentiality agreement internationally?

Yes, confidentiality agreements can be used internationally, but it's essential to consider legal differences and jurisdictional issues when drafting the agreement. Consulting with legal professionals familiar with international law can help ensure compliance and enforceability.

Do I need a lawyer to create a confidentiality agreement?

While it's possible to create a confidentiality agreement using templates or online resources, consulting with a lawyer experienced in contract law can provide valuable guidance and ensure that the agreement meets your specific needs and offers adequate protection.

How do I ensure that my confidentiality agreement is effective?

To ensure the effectiveness of your confidentiality agreement, carefully consider the specific circumstances and risks involved, tailor the agreement to meet your needs, seek legal advice if necessary, and ensure that all parties fully understand and agree to the terms outlined in the agreement. Regularly review and update the agreement as needed to reflect changes in the business or legal landscape.