In the age of instant communication, it’s not easy to protect business ideas. Depending on what kind of information is accessible to others, there are several options available to protect business ideas from being stolen or copied by third parties. If you want to ensure that your business partners or employees do not misappropriate or share important business ideas or information with others, your best bet may be to create an employment agreement/independent contractor agreement and/or a non-disclosure or non-compete agreement that includes certain confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants in them.
These obligations and covenants, if drafted reasonably, can protect important and/or proprietary information. These types of agreements help to ensure confidentiality among employees and other individuals associated with your business, and they also protect against their leaving your company to create a competing business nearby that utilizes your ideas. Every state offers some form of trade secret protection for proprietary business information, and there are also federal statutes in place which criminalize theft of such secrets.