What are non-disclosure agreements?

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Non-disclosure agreements, also called confidentiality agreements, are legally binding contracts establishing the conditions under which one party (the disclosing party) discloses information in confidence to another party (the receiving party).

Depending on the number of parties disclosing information, non-disclosure agreements may be “one-way” (also known as unilateral) with one party disclosing information and one party receiving information, or “two-way” (also known as bilateral or mutual) when there is a bilateral disclosure. Whenever the two parties wish to disclose information instead of relying on a “two-way” agreement, it is also possible to sign two unilateral non-disclosure agreements, which may sometimes facilitate negotiations on the drafting of such an agreement. Sometimes you may also see multilateral agreements, with more than two parties involved.