A Missouri non-disclosure agreement is designed to protect trade secrets from being exposed to the public or competitors. A Missouri non-disclosure agreement is usually signed when an employee or contractor first begins to work with you.
Missouri’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, MO Rev Stat §§ 417.450 through 417.467, regulates the use of non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets.
Since the purpose of a Missouri non-disclosure agreement is to protect trade secrets, it’s important for businesses to understand how the law defines the term “trade secret.” Not everything a business does is something that could be considered a trade secret. According to Missouri’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, MO Rev. Stat § 417.453 (2017), a trade secret is information that includes but is not limited to data (that’s either technical or non-technical), a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, or a process. The information must have actual or potential economic value because it is isn’t something that is generally known. It also can’t be something that other businesses could easily come up with and figure out. In short, it must be something that is uniquely beneficial for the business, and it must be something that could be financially beneficial for another business if they had that information. In order for a company to claim that something is a trade secret, they must take reasonable steps to keep that information secret.
The Missouri Uniform Trade Secrets Act also explains what remedies a business may have if an employee or contractor threatens to or actually violates the NDA. In some instances, the company may be entitled to punitive damages.
Businesses may get more protection if they use an NDA along with a Missouri noncompete agreement.