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Startup Lawyer for NDA in Maryland/DC metro area ?

Hi everyone,

I've been talking with possible consultant with whom I have shared the main concepts and early details related to my idea. I'm currently mapping out a pretty detailed analysis plan & strategy (for a consultant to implement) that will create the foundation for the MVP build; I suspect that it is time for an NDA. I am not sure if boilerplate NDAs that I can download online are solid and would appreciate any feedback on whether or not I should consult a lawyer. I would appreciate any suggestions forstartup lawyers (Maryland Bar) in the DC metro area.

Thanks in advance,

Charlene

16 Replies

Rand Owens
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Rand Owens Entrepreneur
CoFounder Spartups Accelerator
Charlene,

I know your not asking, but I am going to give you my 2 cents anyways. NDAs are garbage and looked down on in the startup world. I recommend doing the opposite and talkubg about your idea to everyone. I thinks very unlikely that someone will steal your idea.

Anyways, its up to you on how to spent/waste your money.

Regards,
Rand
Charlene Brown, MD, MPH
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CEO & Founder, ReciproCare, Halcyon Fellow
I definitely appreciate the feedback.

I should have clarified in my posting that I'm not worried about anyone stealing my ideas; I've shared them quite freely with dozens of people at this point.

I'm just questioning whether or not I should not give out a complex, technical (health/medical) roadmap for how to implement my idea without some kind of agreement in place and how to get such an agreement in place.

Thanks!
Rand Owens
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Rand Owens Entrepreneur
CoFounder Spartups Accelerator
That's great to hear. I am not in your industry, but with my experience in the startup world I am almost always against NDAs.

Widh you the best! :)
Joe Mellin
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Joe Mellin Entrepreneur
View My Learnings
Yeah, please do not do an NDA. For me it is saying that the only reason you think it will be you that builds this business is that you came up with the initial idea.

You should have the attitude that even if the contractor steals your idea you will still beat them.

In reality contractors like contracting, and they are probably only telling you they like your idea to get your business.

The main thing is that you have to get in your head that ideas are pretty much worthless. Value comes from years of work making an idea a reality.

Rand Owens
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Rand Owens Entrepreneur
CoFounder Spartups Accelerator
Exactly. /
Joe Mellin
0
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Joe Mellin Entrepreneur
View My Learnings
"I'm just questioning whether or not I should not give out a complex, technical (health/medical) roadmap for how to implement my idea without some kind of agreement in place and how to get such an agreement in place."

Any roadmap that you have before you launch you MVP will probably be thrown away.

So the only question I would ask the question is : what gets my MVP out fastest?

Legal stuff only slows things down.
Robbie Salter
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Robbie Salter Entrepreneur
Senior Executive at MediaLink
Hey Charlene: In my opinion, it all comes down to money and how much you've got. I'd say that online NDAs cover about 95% of what most startups need. Consider referencing some of the documents that Techstars has prepared (found through their site), and making the small necessary adjustments to make them applicable to your idea. If money isn't an issue, having a new NDA made or modified shouldn't cost you more than $250 by any attorney worth his or her salt. Good luck! -robbie
Bill Kelley
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Bill Kelley Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Mentor
I'm going to go against the grain here. A good NDA (and there are a lot online, since legal documents can't be copyrighted) is a signal to your collaborator that they are crossing a line and coming into the inner circle of trust.

Further, I have been through due diligence exercises with investors, and a signed NDA from all involved parties shows you are conscientious and mindful of their (potential)investment.

As to real world value, it's marginal. As with most agreements, they depend 90% on the integrity of those signing. Few startups have the legal resources to go after NDA violators.

Juston Brommel
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Juston Brommel Entrepreneur • Advisor
Growth Strategist & Advisor to CEOs
Bill is spot on. Agreements set the spirit of an engagement, and are nice because they make it clear where boundaries lie. Non circ agreements also set nice boundaries for staff, partners, etc.

The other guys are also spot-on, in that NDAs are generally unenforceable. That said, they only take a few minutes to review and execute.

PM me if you want a copy of mine. Most found online are good anyway.

In Gratitude, Juston
Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Bill Kelley echo's my sentiments exactly - don't disclose to people you don't trust as an NDA won't solve the problem. There are situations where an NDA is appropriate and others not. You can still talk freely, just don't go into the secret sauce if you don't trust them to treat the information appropriately. Investors, partners, and potential co-founders want to know that you take things seriously and that you expect them to as well. VC will be the first to tell you they don't sign NDAs...
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