Companies and individuals in Texas may have information that they would like to keep secret. If the information got out, it could hinder a company’s ability to retain its competitive edge. It could also violate a person’s privacy or otherwise put an individual in a compromising situation. This is why those who want to protect a trade secret or other sensitive data might require those who see it to sign a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.

An NDA requires an individual to refrain from talking about whatever sensitive data he or she was allowed to see. Those who violate the terms of an NDA could be liable for paying other parties a financial settlement. If the NDA is said to be mutual, all parties who have signed the agreement must keep quiet to avoid violating the pact. This would be true whether the agreement was related to a trade secret or a personal secret.

Regardless of how the agreement is labeled, it will usually contain five core components. Those components include the names of the parties to the agreement, the information it contains and the scope of the agreement. It will also specify how long the agreement is in effect for and if there are any exclusions to its terms. For instance, a person may be allowed to talk about information that is already available to the public.

Prior to signing an NDA, it may be a good idea to consult with a legal representative. Doing so may help a person better understand whether the agreement can be enforced and what the possible penalties could be for violating it. Legal counsel may also be able to help a person preserve his or her rights in the event that an agreement was breached by another individual.