One company approached us some time ago, asking whether we can participate in their tender for website development. They told we need something like a NDA document before we receive their tender information and before we prepare a proposal. I asked them to send it for us to sign.
I thought it will be a regular NDA document. Nope. It included a clause which states that after signing NDA you are obliged NOT TO WORK with any of their competitors for 2 years. Not if you win a contract. Only if you decide to participate in tender. They were an online e-commerce store (with various products, so many companies were their competitors), so basically you need to stop most of your e-commerce development in order just to have a peek at their tender documents, no one guarantees you will be working with them.
Me: I am sorry, but there is this clause regarding not working with your competitors for 2 years if we want to receive your tender information. We can’t sign this.
Client: Why not? Is it not a standard procedure?
Me: Nope. Yes, sometimes big companies, when they choose their web or marketing agency include similar clauses, but only after they start working. And usually they include yearly contracts of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, since many of regular ecommerce stores in the area are your competitors, that means we have to basically quit e-commerce development for 2 years, while it is one of our main income source. So I am sorry, but we wont sign it, and I dont believe any other company will sign this.
Client: Why not? Several other companies signed already.
Me: OK, let me paraphrase. No high-end web development companies will sign this. Those, who signed, either did not read NDA, or they are that desperate for any contract, or they are just lying and will ignore this DNA. Anyway, good luck with your project.