What is a mutual non-disclosure agreement?

A non-disclosure agreement is very similar to a confidentiality agreement – which document to use is often simply a matter of personal preference. Both require the stipulation that specific information will not be disclosed to third parties for any reason. Additionally, neither agreement format prohibits anyone from reporting a crime or violation.

Non-disclosure agreements can be used in the business arena or in personal matters. A mutual non-disclosure agreement prevents two or more parties from divulging information pertaining to the other parties involved. It is basically a mutual agreement not to discuss dealings or decisions that have transpired between the parties. This could simply mean that an employee might be prohibited from discussing business trade secrets of their former employer, while at the same time requiring the former employer from discussing confidential information regarding the employee, such as salary, the agreement where termination or notice was given, and the like. They may also be used in landlord/tenant matters, marital issues, custody disputes, and many different situations where neither party wishes the other(s) to discuss transactions which have occurred. The agreement offers a “two-way” protection for those signing it. In most circumstances, mutual non-disclosure agreements will be rendered void if the information they protect is required by a court of law in a related matter.

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