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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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How did I go about selling a product idea to a company or starting

Customer Question

How did I go about selling a product idea to a company or starting my own company.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

The only way to sell an idea to another business is to develop it yourself, to the point where you have a viable and operating business, and then seek investment from a venture capital firm, if you cannot borrow sufficient capital to expand and market the business yourself.

No venture capital firm will invest in a pure idea -- it's simply too risky.

This link to the Federal Small Business Administration provides a broad discussion on how to start your own business. It is an objective look at the issue from a potential guarantor of future lending capital. The info is definitely worthy of close study.

Is my answer helpful? Please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Before I start a business is there just a way to present it to companies and see if they like it but how a legal rights for the idea so they can't just take the idea and use it on their own

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I apologize for the delay, but the website is having an incredibly long lag time and it requires practically 30 minutes for me to receive customer replies. That said, you asked:

Before I start a business is there just a way to present it to companies and see if they like it but how a legal rights for the idea so they can't just take the idea and use it on their own?

A: Assuming that you could get anyone to meet with you, you would need them to enter into a written nondisclosure agreement (NDA). This is a fairly standard agreement under which the recipient of confidential information agrees that the use or disclosure of the information would create irreparable damage to the content provider, and sets an amount of damages and equitable relief that the provider can obtain in court.

A typical NDA agreement can be found at this link.

Please let me know if my answer is helpful and/or if you need further assistance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if they do agree to buy the product will I get paid once up front or will I get paid part of all the earnings
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
That issue is entirely negotiable between you and the purchaser. There is no industry standard, because there is no history of businesses purchasing inchoate product ideas from outside vendors. Even if what you have is a unique invention, you will need a working prototype.

For customer service purposes, please let me know if my answer is helpful. Thanks in advance.

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