I am a computer graduate but the idea on which I want to start my startup is mechanical based. I have found a potential candidate but he live in a different country. He is completely new to me but inorder to start my company I need his help. Is there any way by which the freelancer could not leak my idea in case he tends to cheats on me .

  • Can you afford lawyers? If not then no, there is no way. Jun 28 '20 at 11:01
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    Can your idea be copyrighted or patented?
    – Unfair-Ban
    Jun 28 '20 at 11:22
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    @Studoku-ReinstateMonica Ideas can not be copyrighted. Some ideas can be patented, but very few actually fufill the necessary criteria of being considered an invention by the patent office.
    – Philipp
    Jun 29 '20 at 10:24
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    Are you sure your idea is actually that valuable? Most people really overstate the value of their ideas. The value is usually in the implementation of the idea, not in the idea itself. There are 7.8 billion people on this planet, and they all have ideas. When the idea would be good and easy to implement, then others would have already done it.
    – Philipp
    Jun 29 '20 at 10:27
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    @Tank many people need a bit of reality. Ideas are almost never worth a dime, it's almost always in the execution. And if you don't realize that you may wind up focused on the wrong thing. Jun 30 '20 at 23:33

The safest thing to do is give freelancers only part of a project. There is no need to give them the whole idea at all. Most won't ask questions, just build to specification.

I'm an engineer, my primary interest is finishing my work professionally and getting paid.

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    Not really. This tends to result in something that meets specification but is useless in practice or at best works in a naively inefficient way. The actual value in a good resource and most of what you are paying for in the way of expertise is help in refining the requirement to meet a better understanding of the actual application need. Actually implementing it is cheap. But until the person helping with the hard part is supervising a lot of other employees helping with the cheap part, the two are not meaningfully separable. Jun 28 '20 at 19:42
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    @ChrisStratton I've separated them more than once. The key is to clearly define the specifications then work with the person to make sure it's going to be what you need.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 28 '20 at 20:38

One thing you definitely need is a properly drawn up non-disclosure agreement (NDA). That gives you the basis to take legal action against him if he does disclose your ideas.

But an NDA is only useful if you can enforce it. That means hiring lawyers. And if he is in a different country, that would be lawyers in the country where he lives. If you aren't in a position to do that, you have no way to keep your ideas safe.


You are focused on the wrong issue. With every new invention, the most important thing is not employee / contractor theft. The most important factor is "what needs to be in version 2?" When you attempt to sell your new invention, the customers will tell you what features they really need. You will either redesign the invention or go out of business.

When I started out, I was worried about customers ripping off my software inventions and spent a bunch of time and effort trying to put in some kind of copy protection. That was a total waste of time and effort. What was more important was adding the features that customers really needed and were willing to pay for.

So, plan on redesigning it at least twice. A lot of inventions need 5-10 times redesigning. Redo, redo, and redo again until people want to buy it.

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