Hi, I'm still in the initial phase of my startup and I heard that with whom I speak to about the project I need an NDA. Do you know where / how I can get one?
NDA's are certainly a must have for new startup companies, especially if you are developing intellectual property. I would recommend consulting with an attorney that is licensed in your home state. Attorney's have very strict client confidentiality obligations, so you won't need an NDA with your own attorney, but you will likely need one for employees, vendors and other subcontractors.
Have an attorney write this but compose the first draft yourself, to ensure all the points important to you are included. A good attorney can then turn that into the required legal protections, based on your needs.
I am a consultant that has has been involved with over 35 startups as an angel investor, VC, founder, CEO, Director, advisor, and core consulting in strategy, product/market fit, and corporate governance.
Needing an NDA at the initial phase depends on who you want to speak with about the project. Most people will not sign an NDA until they have a broad perspective about the project so they do not lose optionality if they do not engage with you. You should reserve the most sensitive areas of the idea until they commit to learning more at which time you can ask them to sign an NDA to move forward. Discussing and idea that may or may not be viable usually will not motivate a person to sign an NDA. I common fear with new startups is that a person will take their idea and execute without you. That may happen occasionally, I have not seen that occur in over 20 years looking at hundreds of startups. Ideas are easy, but change with knowledge and often evolve, so in the oft chance you do discuss with a person by the time you launch, the idea has changes significantly to where the NDA will not be applicable.
Having an NDA with team members is expected. A consultant will sign an NDA at the point they know if the project fits their skills and availability. An investor will usually never sign an NDA until they invest, then only as part of the closing documents. Potential customers will not sign NDAs.
There are many free resources providing templates. As suggested, you should acquire one, work through the language to cut down inapplicable material or add specific material, and perhaps then go to an attorney with corporate experience for a final review.
First of all, good luck on your startup. Be ready for many ups and downs.
Early in my own startup, I needed to sign a few NDA's and I had saved a copy that a consultant had me sign so I just edited that.
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I would also like to share what I learnt about NDA's early on. Assess carefully if and when an NDA is required and when it might become an UNNECESSARY barrier. It all depends on the kind of information that will be shared and the information value and associated possibility of misuse. Some people are averse to signing NDA's. Some will sign anything and break it at the drop of a hat.
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Depend what you want to do with it. NDA can be used for many purposes and situations.
Quickest one - go online to get a template and modified from there. You may purchase or search for free for a few templates in different structure to suit your needs. (this provided you are confident to modified by yourself or your colleagues).
If you are not confident of the above, the next option is to pay some money to a legal person to help to produce some (actually s/he also go to Internet to get few and modified for you). If you find getting professional may be too expensive, look for freelance.com, upwork.com, fiverr.com ... for a cheaper one (but quality will depend your luck).
You can find a boilerplate mutual NDA online pretty easily. The real valuable advice here is that these are far less necessary than most first time founders are led to believe.
If you are going to engage with someone on a deep level and share with them proprietary data and highly valuable company secrets, and they are very motivated to work with you, an NDA is fine. However, many first time founders run around afraid to share their idea with people unless they have an NDA in place. They also reach out to people for advice, mentoring, help with something, asking for a favor from someone, and then ask that person to sign an NDA. It's very bad form.
99.99999% of the time, nobody is going to steal your idea or do anything with the information you share. You're lucky if you can get people to care at all, let alone steal your idea. You are far more likely to get lots of help and benefits by sharing your story freely than you are to get screwed by someone who takes your idea and has the desire, time, resources, talent and perseverance to build your startup faster than you.
The reason why your idea seems so valuable early on is because it's all you have and you worry about someone taking it and executing faster than you. Most people already have ideas of their own that they're not doing anything with. The minute you start building your company you realize that the idea was the easy part and it's the everyday grind that is hard. At some point, you start to wish people would try to copy you because it will be funny to watch them struggle as you have.
You can get a standard NDA by searching online or just asking a company you're friendly with to send you theirs. Chances are, usually, you don't need one.