Confidentiality Agreements

Question: Are companies ever concerned about the confidentiality of contractors? Do companies prefer to hire employees to further protect their confidential and proprietary information?

No, it is standard practice for companies large and small to hire contractors. Most companies will ask you to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) before disclosing any company information. You should read the NDA thoroughly and ask questions about anything that isn¹t clear.

A company may ask you to sign an NDA before you can even talk about putting a quote or proposal together for them, and sometimes it’s once you have signed a contract for the work. Some clients never ask at all.

Protect the company¹s information by disposing of drafts, source documents, etc. in a secure way. Contractors can also bring old docs to the company to put into their own recycling containers.

Refer to the CIC SIG online book for more information on getting started as an independent contractor: Especially relevant is Chapter 11, Contracts and Letters of Agreements, which covers confidentiality agreements, and contains a sample contract.