What is a Confidentiality Letter?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2020
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A confidentiality letter is a document that a business or individual may use to express the need for confidentiality in a particular situation and request the other party’s agreement in keeping certain matters confidential. For example, a business that hires an employee may request that the employee keep particular company matters and information confidential. In fact, signing this type of letter may be a condition of employment in some cases. If an individual signs a confidentiality letter and then breaks the confidentiality agreement, the wronged party may fire him, break their contract, or even sue him in court.

In many cases, a confidentiality letter is written in business letter format. This means it typically includes the name and address of the person who is sending the letter as well as the name and address of the recipient. It is typically dated and usually has a section for the signature of the recipient as well.

Typically, a confidentiality letter provides information about the reason the recipient is receiving the letter. For example, if the recipient of the letter is a new employee of the firm that sent it, the letter may congratulate the employee on joining the firm. It may also include the date on which the new hire is scheduled to begin employment. The letter may then indicate its purpose, which is to set out the terms and conditions of confidentiality that apply in the particular case.


The terms and conditions of a confidentiality letter usually include detailed information about the matters and types of information the sender expects the recipient to keep confidential. Usually, these letters include a section that states that the recipient acknowledges that the sender may reveal confidential information to him. It may also state that the recipient understands that disclosing the confidential information may harm the sender in some way. These letters frequently state that the recipient has to obtain written consent from the sender before he can break the terms of the confidentiality agreement.

Though signing a confidentiality agreement may be a condition of employment or doing business with a particular company or individual, an individual may do well to avoid rushing into signing. Instead, a person may protect his interests by asking a lawyer to review the agreement before he signs. By doing so, the recipient may make sure the terms of the agreement are fair and legal. Additionally, a lawyer may explain legal jargon that the recipient may have difficulty understanding on his own.


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