What is a one-way NDA?

A woman in an office uses her laptop to sign a one-way NDA.

Learn what one-way NDAs are and how digital signatures can help you safely share confidential information with your business partners.

Modern businesses of all sizes often need to hire other companies or contractors for special expertise. But that typically means you will have to share sensitive business information with those partners. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) can help give your business secrets the legal protection they need.

Different types of NDAs.

There are many different kinds of NDAs for various needs. One of the most common types is a one-way NDA. Read on to learn what a one-way NDA is and how you can easily request your business partners to sign it with e-signatures. Here are a few examples:

What is an NDA in general?

NDAs are agreements that seek to protect sensitive information from leaks or other inappropriate disclosures. They can cover client names and addresses, product specifications, software code, market research data, or any other business information you don’t want your competitors to know about. An NDA specifies what information the signers can’t share with others.

Every NDA has disclosing parties, which provide sensitive information, and receiving parties, who get access to that information.

What is a one-way NDA vs mutual NDA?

When an NDA has only one disclosing and one receiving party, it’s called a one-way NDA. A one-way NDA is the simplest type of NDA type. It prohibits the receiver from sharing confidential business information with third parties and determines the consequences of doing so. Let’s go over the differences between a mutual NDA versus a one-way NDA.

A one-way non-disclosure agreement involves a single disclosing party and a single receiving party. This arrangement is commonly used when a party needs to protect its proprietary information when sharing it, for example, with a consultant, contractor, or business partner.

The agreement specifies the details of what qualifies as confidential information, how it’s supposed to be used, and the duration of confidentiality. It also outlines the legal repercussions if the receiving party breaches the NDA.

In contrast, a mutual NDA, or two-way NDA, involves a shared exchange of confidential information between two parties. So unlike a one-way NDA, where only one party shares sensitive information, a mutual NDA has a double obligation with both parties committed to protecting each other’s confidential information.

When is a one-way NDA agreement ideal to use?

A one-way NDA is particularly ideal in various scenarios, especially when you’re hiring contractors or freelancers for special projects. In these instances, where a single party is disclosing confidential information, such as proprietary processes, business strategies, or trade secrets, the one-way NDA makes sure that the receiving party is legally bound to keep this information confidential.

It provides a straightforward way of protecting sensitive data when only one party is sharing proprietary insights or intellectual property. For example, a one-way NDA vs a non-compete would be best to use when entering into collaborations where information flows mainly in one direction.

Sign a one-sided NDA quickly with e-signatures.

You should always have all of your partners sign an NDA before they begin working. This means that, especially with time-sensitive projects, you need to get their signatures quickly. Using PDFs for electronic contract signing can save you valuable time and money.

E-signatures, or electronic signatures, are just as legal as handwritten ones. A good e-signature software, like Adobe Acrobat, lets you quickly request signatures from your partners with a single mouse click. You can also track the signature process and send reminders if it seems they have missed your earlier messages. Your one-sided NDA will be signed in no time.

Find out more ways Acrobat can help you get vital signatures for NDAs and other types of contracts to keep your business moving.