nondisclosure agreement

A legally binding contract (also known as an NDA or confidentiality agreement) in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper authorization. Nondisclosure agreements are often used when a business discloses a trade secret to another person or business for such purposes as development, marketing, evaluation, or securing financial backing. A nondisclosure agreement will not protect trade secrets if the trade secret owner has not taken reasonable steps to keep the information secret.

nonconforming use

Also known as a prior nonconforming use (PNU), this exists when a zoning code is changed, but a parcel of land that is already being used for something disallowed by the new zoning code is "grandfathered in" (is allowed to continue).  For example, if a neigborhood zoning is changed to residential, a corner grocery store may be allowed to continue to operate.  The PNU will generally end when the use of the land is changed (so if the grocery store closes, the new zoning code will bar a new store from moving in).

net lease

A commercial real estate lease in which the tenant regularly pays not only for the space (as he does with a gross lease) but for a portion of the landlords operating costs as well. When all three of the usual costs--taxes, maintenance, and insurance--are passed on, the arrangement is known as a "triple net lease." Because these costs are variable and almost never decrease, a net lease favors the landlord. Accordingly, it may be possible for a tenant to bargain for a net lease with caps or ceilings, which limit the amount of rent the tenant must pay. For example, a net lease with caps may specify that an increase in taxes beyond a certain point (or any new taxes) will be paid by the landlord. The same kind of protection can be designed to cover increased insurance premiums and maintenance expenses.


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