It’s natural to be excited about a new business idea, whether it’s a service or product. Your excitement, however, can lead to inadvertent risk depending on how, when and where you’re talking about it.

Generally speaking, your lawyer, accountant and banker will know to guard your intellectual property – your ideas – and not share them with others. But that’s not the same for colleagues, cohorts, potential investors and funders. While they may have every good intention, it’s wise to protect yourself with a non-disclosure agreement, sometimes referred to as an NDA.

NDAs can be simple or complex, and they have the common goal of protecting your ideas from being shared in a way that doesn’t serve your business. So when your next great idea comes along, employ an NDA to ensure that your intellectual property isn’t hijacked, inadvertently or intentionally, by someone else.