Do I need a lawyer to write up a non-disclosure agreement? If so how much should this cost on average?
It is a small company and it would be beneficial for them if I did not bring this to other companies. If the idea worked, I would be looking for some kind partnership.
Chances are that the company has its own non-disclosure agreement. Or, you can find sample NDAs on the web -- I have one on my website. (No guarantee that it's good for your situation, but these things don't really have that much variation.)
The biggest things to worry about are: (1) what information is covered, (2) how long it has to be kept confidential, and (3) what they can do with the information during that period.
As Gary E. has alluded companies are often unwilling to agree to confidentiality for mere 'ideas.' Ideas are cheap and easy to come by -- if you've had an idea, chances are that somebody else has also, and the corporation doesn't want draw itself into a potential fight over who had the idea first.
So you think you have an idea that might be of interest to a small company. But there are a lot of other pieces of information you need before you start on the NDA problem.
When you can answer all of these questions and you realize that there are lots of ideas, but generally only the successful implimentations of an idea has value, you are ready to work on the NDA.
If your idea is of great value to this company, and you have found someone in authority who might be willing to buy it, and you have worked out a presentation of your idea to this company, you should probably hire an attorney to produce an NDA expressly for this situation.
On the other hand, if this idea is worth only a smalll amount of money, you might want to use a standard form NDA, which can be found all over the web.
HUH? So I understand this correctly. You have a concept and want to bring it to this company? You want to effectively stop YOURSELF from going to other companies and selling the same idea? Please explain to me WHY you would do this?
Going back to the NDA. They are as strong as the legal team you have behind you. If you don't have a huge team then it's worthless. Pitch your concept and only enough to get them interested. Then do the same thing to as many of their competitors in the same market. Tell them you just came or have a meeting with XYZ and they're interested in at least getting a pitch. Take it from there.