You have a patent in mind that you would like to file in North Carolina. As a small business owner, you may not have access to the same financial resources as a bigger business.

Turning to these tips from Fit Small Business, you can save on the cost of filing a patent. Learn how to get what you need to protect your invention without cutting corners.

Do not file until you have a complete idea

You do not want to run the risk of someone else staking a legal claim on your idea, which means you may file a patent for a half-developed invention. While understandable, doing so is likely to increase your overall cost. Put your time, energy and focus on completing the idea before you file for a patent.

Write up a draft

Another way to lower the cost of a patent is to create an initial draft to bring to a legal professional. This gives you and your lawyer a head start on the filing process, and it reduces your total number of billable hours and drafting fees.

Have a provisional patent

Besides having the first draft of your patent, you can also save money with a provisional patent. Such patents are an especially good idea with plant and utility patents. Just be sure to ask your legal professional about the possibility of a nonprovisional patent being a better fit.

Go into great detail

You cannot have too many details when it comes to filing a patent for your invention. When you give your lawyer a big-picture description that also includes the small details, you speed things up and can reduce the number of questions you have to answer.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.