What is an NDA and why do I need one for my remote software developer?
Contractual and legal protection is vital for the success and growth of your company. When working with any employed developer, be sure that you have the documents in place to protect your ideas and data. So, what is and NDA and why do you need to have one?
An NDA, or nondisclosure agreement, is a contract that protects both signers from having their information stolen, used, or accidentally released. At its core, the contract requires both sides to agree to specific terms about the protection and use of data, ideas, and even skills used while working together. This is especially useful for projects for software as a service companies, since the idea behind your software is just as important as the actual development and code.
By signing an NDA with your software developers, you ensure that they are legally bound to not replicate or use any of your proprietary data or ideas. Your specialized company information is what makes you, you, and is at the core of your business. With a solid NDA, developers agree that they cannot duplicate your services or information, and some contracts even specify that they cannot work for other companies on similar projects in order to prevent even accidental copying.
NDAs also protect your clients’ data that may exist in your software solution. This includes information that could be used on purpose or by accident, and is especially important when working with data such as medical or payment information. It protects you by having the developer agree that they will do everything reasonably possible to protect client data, and adds another layer of legal security for you and your clients. Of course, you still need to take steps to ensure that your data is secure, but a signed contract confirms that your developers are taking your clients’ data as seriously as you are.
Additionally, go beyond data alone and have a contract that explains what proprietary information is for your company specifically and that it cannot be used by the other party except for work on your project. Include that your developer is responsible for returning any project information after the end of work, as well as deleting it from their system. NDAs are also a great place to specify ownership of any accounts that have been used for development, such as login information for servers or website administrator accounts.
While you can sign NDA contracts with individuals, the ideal situation is working with an established company whose contracts will be legally recognized and upheld. For example, U.S. companies are safest working with an established staffing firm that is based in the United States. Not only does this make billing and communication easier, but it also means that if there is a legal disagreement you know that your signed contracts will hold. Litigation across national borders can be a nightmare, and impossible financially for smaller businesses due to high costs. By working with a trusted U.S. partner, not only do you have easier access to information about their company and reputation, but you also know that any documents signed will keep your business safe under the law.
As always, when signing any contracts with either a remote developer, service provider, or other partner, be sure that you are working with a licensed legal representative who will be able to give you full and accurate advice on the specific details of the contract.
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