As a non-technical founder, should I get coders to sign NDAs when I explain the idea to them?

Your basic idea should be able to be explained without requiring an NDA. Requiring an NDA at this stage may be a little over the top and here is why. Basically, an NDA is to protect non-public information. In short, your basic idea is probably not non-public information, and if it is, you should refine it so that you can publicly disclose it to coders or anyone you are looking to hire without needing an NDA. Then, once you do pay someone to do work for you, you can expose them to the non-public information and also require them to sign an NDA. It is just not necessary to make someone sign an NDA before they are even a part of your company. Further, it is kinda annoying for someone to have to sign an NDA and subject themselves to potential liability just so they can hear your idea.

All of that is not to say that NDAs are not important. They are important and you will need them to protect the non-public information that may be a very valuable part of your company. But, you shouldn’t ask coders to sign an NDA until they actually do work for you.

Your NDA should define what types of information are protected and how long such protection lasts. It should also provide for how your employees will use the information and to whom and under what circumstances they may disclose the information, among other things. You should craft your NDA so that the burden on the employee is not too onerous. Obviously, the strictness of the requirements should be proportionate to the amount of value that nondisclosure will provide you.

I would suggest that you consult with an attorney before crafting and asking someone to sign your NDA. I know that spending money on an attorney at this stage may not be ideal, but at LawTrades we work with you according to your budget and needs. If you have any questions you should check us out, there is no obligation to retain an attorney after a free consultation.