Is there any way to protect a business idea while testing it?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.Ideas are generally not covered by intellectual property laws until there is some actual expression of the idea. Although a "provisional patent" can be obtained before the idea is fully implemented, this would still require progress beyond the mere idea. The usual way to protect your idea is to
prepare a document known as a "Non-Disclosure/Non-Competition Agreement," which should be signed by anyone having access to the idea during the design and testing phases. You should consult an attorney familiar with these transactions to prepare the proper documentation.