A multilateral NOA involves three or more parties, of which at least one of the parties expects to disclose information to other parties, and requires that such information be protected from further disclosure. This type of NOA renders separate unilateral or bilateral NDAs between only two parties redundant. For example, a single NOA with several parties, each intending to pass on information to the other two parties, could be used instead of three separate bilateral ASOs between the first and second parts, the second and third parties, as well as the third and first parties. For this type of agreement, it should be noted that this is a mutual agreement. This means that neither party can disclose the information instead of simply preventing a party from doing so. This is an important distinction because it changes the reasons for its use. While there are confidentiality agreements that are a possibility and that concern a party, but in this case they apply to both people. With unilateral disclosure, it can offer a little more power and flexibility to the party that reveals the information. A two-way agreement, which is a reciprocal agreement, is more balanced because neither party can disclose information. This type of agreement is intended to protect both parties in the same way. It is a good practice to include clauses that allow recipients to pass on information to companies such as accountants, lawyers and certain parties – as long as those companies sign an agreement, do not disclose confidential information.

A multilateral NOA can be beneficial insofar as the parties concerned only re-examine, redevelop and implement it. This advantage can, however, be offset by more complex negotiations, which may be necessary to enable the parties concerned to reach a unanimous consensus on a multilateral agreement. Also, it is important to know that this type of agreement is not something you should implement to protect yourself from illegal practices. If you are trying to use this type of agreement to protect yourself from legal action because your methods are illegal, then this type of agreement would be inconclusive. The other side could report you, and the agreement would not prevent it from doing so. A confidentiality agreement (NDA) can be considered unilateral, bilateral or multilateral: just because it is generally used by companies does not mean that it can be used only by companies. This type of agreement can also be used by an individual. For example, if someone has a secret recipe that they have created with another party and wants to make sure it is protected, they can make that kind of arrangement to ensure that the recipe is not shared with other parties. The most common situation for the application of a mutual confidentiality agreement is between two companies.