Thoughts on having a Non Disclosure Agreement with Employees

Post from DSN User:

“Does anyone have experience using a non disclosure agreement with employees?

I’m wanting to protect intellectual property. I know it is standard business practice in many fields and wondered if anyone here has any insights.




  • “This seems like something that would be difficult to do. There’s not much that’s truly innovative or new in dental ideas, so to plant your flag as protected IP seems tough to enforce. Can you give some broad examples of what you consider IP? I personally feel that ideas are a dime a dozen but execution is the key to success.”

→ Original Poster Reply: “specific marketing strategies, systems that we develop, etc”

→ Original Commenter Reply: “I guess I don’t personally feel the need to protect those things. We execute them in a way that would be hard to properly duplicate. But I do understand wanting to protect it.”

→ Original Poster Reply: “I can understand that. We’ve had some employees leave and do destructive things. I’m trying to minimize more of that in the future”

  • “I have it in my employee manual as well. Key team members sign a more robust one. My attorney wrote them for me. I had to provide a bonus for signing them as well. For me it wasn’t about enforcing as much as it was about making sure my team understood my expectations of them. It made them feel more important too.”


This DSN user feels that it is necessary to have a non disclosure agreement with his employees. He has experienced retaliation from previous employees and would like to implement something that will prevent it from happening again. This makes sense, right?


According to one of the commentators, he feels that it doesn’t seem necessary to have a non disclosure agreement because within the dental field there aren’t any true “new” ideas.


Another commentator agrees with the original poster and has stated that she has her agreement incorporated within her employee manual. She said, “I don’t want someone walking out with my manuals to go next door to implement it.”


As dentists we work hard to get our practice in order. We implement systems and protocols. With our team we share specific marketing strategies. Even though the ideas may not be original, we still spent many hours perfecting these ideas so that we can run a smooth practice. So why shouldn’t we implement something to protect us from being taken advantage of?


As a DSN member you are free to ask all questions that come to mind when trying to improve your practice. Not every member is going to agree or like your idea but that is totally okay. DSN is a place where dentists can come together to discuss ideas openly without fear of being shunned or ignored.  If you’re looking for more actionable information like this, join DSN!