NDA for App Development: Free Templates & Tips on How to Sign It

NDA, or a non-disclosure agreement, is a special form of a legal contract. Two or more parties (companies or individuals) can sign it. Such a document provides all sides of the arrangement with the assurance of secrecy.

It needs to be signed once companies start sharing confidential data, materials, or know-how. Preparing a non-disclosure contract when working as an app developer may be crucial to keep the confidentiality of software ideas. 

When using an NDA mobile application development is safeguarded by a legal document. This helps a lot, especially if any troubles occur during the process. A non-disclosure agreement outlines what can happen if the developer shares confidential information with third parties. In the following article, we want to outline the most important facts about NDAs. Useful samples and templates are included within the text.

What Is an NDA? Why Should You Sign It?

NDA stands for a non-disclosure agreement. This kind of document is also known as:

  • CA (confidentiality agreement).
  • SA (secrecy agreement).
  • CDA (confidential disclosure agreement).
  • PIA (proprietary information agreement).

Throughout the article, we use “NDA”, as it is the most popular name for this legal document.

A software development NDA is a legal arrangement that commits two or more parties to complete secrecy of the deal. It can be prepared when you need the development of a mobile app, a web app, or any other software-related product. Is it necessary to have such a document? Yes. Especially, when the creator needs to exchange unique materials or details with the customer. At the same time, access to the data becomes restricted.

When You Ought to Consider Signing an NDA

nda for software development

There are certain circumstances you might ask yourself: when to use a non-disclosure agreement?

Speaking of NDA program development, it should be signed prior to its formal release to secure the assignment secrets. When you do not want your rivals to figure out what you are working on, this kind of arrangement is important.

Do you aim to keep your trade secrets confidential? Whatever your technique is, it helps you stand out in your app development. You know, we are talking about all those special ingredients you use. Providing a software NDA will help you keep your secrets to yourself.

There are times when an NDA for product development is not necessarily needed. The final product can be a generic piece of software, built on a pre-existing template or database. In such situations, negotiating a legal contract might only slow things down. An NDA for software development is also unnecessary if both parties do not have to share any confidential information.

In What Situations an NDA Is Not Needed?

There are times when an NDA for product development is not necessarily needed. This method is wise whenever you are collaborating with a reputable and renowned company. Still, you know what they say, forewarned is forearmed. Let us just establish that signing a non-disclosure agreement with trustworthy parties is optional.

Then there is another case. The final product can be a generic piece of software, built on a pre-existing template or database. In such situations, negotiating and signing a legal contract might only slow things down. An NDA for software development is also unnecessary if both parties do not have to share any confidential information.

Do You Need an NDA for StartUp in IT?

Every start-up company should work using a standard non-disclosure agreement. This way all their intellectual property can be secured and safe from third parties. An NDA format for an IT company can be chosen by the start-ups depending on what information needs to be protected. 

Basically, anyone, who cooperates or interacts with an IT start-up ought to sign an NDA beforehand. Even though it is very unlikely, that the people you share your ideas with will use them to prepare similar products.

Do You Need an NDA for an Existing Application?

As we mentioned before, non-disclosure agreements in software development should only be signed when confidentiality is at stake. If the final product – such as a mobile or web app – already exists, there is no need for an NDA. 

However, you should always consider signing such a contract before you exchange private ideas and materials with the other party. In other words, securing existing ideas is generally considered a better option.

Different Types of NDA

You can find three general kinds of non-disclosure agreements, which also apply to IT and software development. NDA documents can be classified as unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral. All these types can vary in length, although it is not important. Some contracts can be written on just one page, others may take a dozen pages to fit all crucial elements. 

Sometimes you need to prepare an NDA for international cooperation involving two or more different languages. Any non-disclosure agreement can become a multi-language contract. To avoid any issues regarding language barriers, look for a professional translator to provide you with high-quality service.

Unilateral NDA (One-Way NDA)

This form of non-disclosure arrangement is the most widely used. This paper contains two companies or individuals. The thing is that only one of them anticipates the confidentiality of certain information or services.

The receiver party agrees to protect and safeguard the info. This way all trade secrets or developing ideas are kept secured. After signing a unilateral NDA, the receiving party can be prosecuted legally, should they break any part of the arrangement.

Bilateral NDA (Two-Way NDA)

Signing this reciprocal form of non-disclosure arrangement ensures that the sides are equally involved in the contract. Each of them agrees to shield any information and materials from being exchanged with other companies or individuals. Such an agreement is most common among businesses or people who need to work together on a project.

It is also used for businesses collaborating in joint ventures or mergers. A two-way NDA is considered to be fair to both sides, as it stops each party from disclosing any confidential information.

Multilateral NDA

This non-disclosure policy applies under situations where three or more parties have agreed not to disclose sensitive information. Disclosing all pieces of information by a multilateral NDA removed the need for one-way and two-way NDAs. It is simpler and quicker to sign a multilateral non-disclosure agreement for all stakeholders. 

But it can be a little tricky, too. Signing a multilateral NDA can lead to delays in work before a unanimous decision is reached on the final version of the contract. The more people involved, the more complicated the negotiations can be.

Sample NDA Template for App Development

free non disclosure agreement template

Since you can find more than one NDA format for Software Company, we present the best possible template. You can use this non-disclosure agreement sample for your own needs. If you choose to look for other NDA formats, be sure that they include all the necessary information. A non-disclosure agreement for software development does not have to be notarized. Despite that, it is a good idea to let a lawyer prepare such a document for you.


Download NDA templates:


How to Prepare your Own NDA?

There is no need for you to use any samples or templates for software NDA. If you have some experience with legal documentation, agreements, and confidentiality law, you can procure an NDA yourself. However even if you have much familiarity in this field, we suggest taking the document to a professional. Having a legal advisor to look at the documents will help eliminate any mistakes and potential threats. After all, non-disclosure agreements are an important part of your business.

There are some important elements that each NDA for product development or NDA for software development should have. These include the following:

  • The legal information on all the parties (names, addresses, etc.).
  • Scope of what information and materials need to remain confidential.
  • Confidentiality responsibilities outline.
  • Any information and materials excluded from the contract (what can and cannot be shared).
  • Terms and conditions (what happens when confidential info is leaked or shared).

How to Sign a Contract With a Developer From Another Country?

Modern times make international cooperation easier and more accessible. Acting with IT experts from another country will also prove to be a more effective approach. Perhaps your line of work can involve a very unique set of skills that only international developers have. In such a scenario, you may enter into a contract to protect the partnership. How to sign an NDA with them?

The value of signing an NDA with an international app developer could be key to breaking the language barrier. If you are from a non-native English speaking nation, consider planning a bilingual version of the agreement. This way, you will prevent problems in recognizing the developer’s obligations and the secrecy of the software.

Acting as a software developer does not always mean possessing English language expertise as an expert. You should get a competent interpreter to prepare a flawless non-English translation of the deal. No international law explains non-disclosure arrangements and thus there is no requirement for attorneys to accept the deal. For your consideration, it is a good idea to at least seek legal advice before signing any international NDA.

Legal Force of an International NDA With a Foreign Company

It can be unpredictable to execute a non-disclosure agreement for software development. You must note that no records guarantee the confidentiality of your sensitive details or materials. Signing an NDA takes you a step closer to obtaining any elements that need to be revealed. However, there is one important step that you need to take before you sign an agreement with a foreign corporation. Legal force.

Signing a non-disclosure policy does not prevent anyone from committing any fraud. What it does, though, is establish specific directions if any misconduct happens. It is important to decide how to discourage the other side from stealing, revealing or exchanging classified information. Well-prepared NDAs will be an important protection mechanism if you need to go to the court of law. Here are a few things you need to consider before signing an NDA with a foreign company:

Arbitration and mediation

These are less formal and less expensive ways to legally resolve issues. The developer should consent to arbitrate or mediate any problems in the country of the contracting party. If they do not, there are a few good international institutions in existence. You could try the London Court of International Arbitration. Or the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Be aware, using these establishments is usually quite expensive.

Judicial system

Getting the approval of the developer to the authority of your country is a very valuable method. This is the only way you can take a foreign corporation to a local court in your country. You will find it difficult to compromise and execute certain subsections. Businesses and freelancers from other nations can be fearful of going to arbitration. Also, consider that they could refuse to apply to the international judicial system.

National legislation

Whenever you procure a contract, it should be tailored according to your national legislation. Preparing an NDA, you should put a subsection regarding the interpretation of the document by your national law.

How to Monitor Compliance with NDA conditions?

Breathing down your developer’s neck is difficult, especially when they work remotely or are located in another country. However, you should mitigate the chance of minor misunderstandings turning into legal disasters. You may do this by providing rules specifying authority, arbitrary and legal fees. A well-constructed and robust non-disclosure arrangement for app creation will save a lot of tension, effort, and resources.

nda for product development

These clauses are not meant to be ambiguous or too lengthy. Both sides of the agreement have an equal right to negotiate them. Only after the parties agree on these clauses, they can be put into the NDA for app development. They strive to create an agreement that is fair to everyone. 

This would encourage you to verify if the other side has agreed with their termination of the contract. Remember not to make an NDA that is profitable to only one party on legal issues. Both parties need fair rights if a lawsuit becomes imminent.

What to Do if Any Clause From the NDA Is Violated?

There is a risk that some or even all confidential data will be shared openly by the other party. Should you discover any situations like that taking place, you need to work fast. You must secure all evidence against such actions. It is important to know who exactly is responsible for stealing and leaking your confidential information. How and where is the data used can also matter to the court of law. 

If you don’t have a lawyer, find one who knows the essence of your business. At this point, choosing the legal course of action and bringing the matter to court is likely. If you have gathered all the facts and hired a lawyer, you will pursue your rights. These should be defined in a detailed, well-prepared NDA. This form of contract will secure both your business and your records.

The document should outline all the implications of a violation of the agreement. Usually, the disclosing firm or freelancer will seek financial compensation. There should be a fixed sum of money laid down in the deal. Sometimes the defendant may attempt to resolve the matter on the grounds of mediation, consultation or arbitration. Try convincing them to take the financial deal.

Conclusion: Why You Need an NDA for App Development

Now you know what a non-disclosure agreement is and why it is important to sign one in advance. Even if you think software development is a safe environment, an NDA makes the process even more secure. You should sign this contract whenever you cooperate on a new app idea. If you want to establish good terms of cooperation with the other party, a non-disclosure agreement is crucial.

You also know when to use a non-disclosure agreement. It should be prepared before you start your collaboration with the other party. Remember to put all essential information within the contract to avoid any misunderstanding about the whole concept. Any NDA for startup ideas or software companies should treat both sides equally. Whenever any serious issues occur against the contract, legal actions can be taken by the aggrieved party.

Software NDA can also be signed when you cooperate with a foreign company or freelancer. Just remember that the language differences might cause misunderstandings. Therefore it is a good practice to hire a professional translator to have the document ready in two languages. If any questions regarding the NDA for app development arise, seek advice from a professional lawyer. In any case, consider using our NDA startup template if you are looking for a well-written agreement. 

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