Advice on Next Step for Selling a Product

jonzejonze subscriber Posts: 1
edited January 2009 in Business Planning
I`ve created a product based that is basically a deck of cards that function in a particular way for a particular audience.  I`m have a printer lined up and I`m ready to go as far as production is concerned. 
I am at a crossroads of sorts as I am not sure how the product will be received by customers, but the risk involved is very low so I want to give it a shot.  That said, I`m wondering if I should go ahead with my first print run and see how it is received (a sort of testing phase of sorts), or go through the motions of setting up a business structure and all that is involved with the chance that it will all fail. 
My questions are as follows:
1. Should I go ahead and file to trademark the product name prior to the first printing?  The name is important, so I want to make sure it is protected.
2. Do you think it necessary to file for a copyright for the text used on the cards?  I know it`s technically under copyright when I wrote it, so I`m guessing this would be for added protection.
3. Should I bother setting up a business structure (sole-proprietorship, etc) or wait until I see how well the product is selling?
4. The product will be sold through a website.  How do I deal with taxes when the product is purchased by someone living in my state?
5. Are there any other things I am not thinking about that you could point out for me?
Thanks in advance.
  

Comments

  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    for the trademark, i suggest you file directly with uspto or hire a lawyer.  legalzoom is a waste of money.
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    don`t wait for copyright protection.  the earlier the better.
  • startuphelperstartuphelper subscriber Posts: 2

    1. Should I go ahead and file to trademark the product name prior to the first printing?  The name is important, so I want to make sure it is protected.
    2. Do you think it necessary to file for a copyright for the text used on the cards?  I know it`s technically under copyright when I wrote it, so I`m guessing this would be for added protection.
    3. Should I bother setting up a business structure (sole-proprietorship, etc) or wait until I see how well the product is selling?
    4. The product will be sold through a website.  How do I deal with taxes when the product is purchased by someone living in my state?
    5. Are there any other things I am not thinking about that you could point out for me?

     
    I would say to go ahead with the testing of the product and see how it is received before worrying about trademarks and copyrights. You are correct that you are already protected as long as your paperwork, prototype, etc has been documented and dated.
     
    If you are going to sell from a website you will need to be set up on the business end. However, there is probably no need to jump on the LLC bandwagon at this early stage. Sole proprietorship should be fine to start with.
     
    You will need a business bank account so you will need a DBA (doing business as) certifcate. You will need that also if you are going to set up to be able to accept credit cards.
     
    If you need to pay sales tax in your state you will need to apply to your state for a reseller number or tax id number. It is a very quick, simple process. You will then need to charge tax to customers in your state. The state will determine how often you will need to file your state sales tax. It may be monthly to start, then they will adjust the filing schedule as needed.
     
    It sounds like you`ve got a pretty good handle on your start up procedures. For more info check out my website below.
     
    Good luck!
  • infinique1infinique1 subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Try testing whether there's a demand by selling it off the streets. Next work on the pricing people would be willing to pay. If you find this product viable, then find out the cost for mass production and approach investors who might be willing to invest in your business idea/product. You might want to approach your family members and relatives before heading to the VCs(Vulture Cannibals).
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