A question we get asked a lot is will we sign one before quoting on a project?
Confidentiality and NDA agreements
A question we get asked a lot when speaking to potential new clients is will we sign an NDA or Confidentiality agreement before we engage and quote / scope works.
The simple answer is no, not unless we've also agreed a contract to work on a project with a company/client. In that case, we'd be happy to commit to a confidentiality agreement of some sort (subject to solicitors’ fees being agreed). Our standard contract contains agreements on both parties anyway so at the contractual stage, we pretty much have it all covered.
At the first stages of the relationship, your project specification should be able to be communicated to us without the need for specific, commercially sensitive information being revealed to us. If you have an existing project you need help upon, we need to be able to see the code and it’s workings to see if we can take it on or not – we don’t need legal agreements getting in the way of this at this stage.
We're professionals in this industry and treat all project enquiries 100% confidentially. Even if the conversation does not go past the early stages, what is discussed goes no further than our offices.
Asking us to sign a significant legal document before we've even had a chance to have a proper chat with you about the project is a big step and one we cannot afford to undertake.
Many confidentially agreements or NDA's have non-compete clauses or broad claims over intellectual property rights included. We work with a wide range of clients across many industries and it's very difficult to guarantee that using industry best practices to design and build websites and applications won't at some point be considered competing with whatever might be involved in your idea or requirements down the line.
We don't know at this stage what technology or code we might ultimately use if we work together and how that might affect our existing client base.
We hope our potential clients will appreciate our stance is not to be awkward or unhelpful but to remove a level of difficulty and unnecessary legal complexity so early in a relationship but just in case there's any difficulty articulating our reasons above, here are a selection of other well-reasoned articles on not signing NDA's from a range of people in our industry.
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