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A very strange question for knowledgeable members

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posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 11:32 AM
One thing I have found out about ATS is that it attracts a different sort of member than other forums. While there is the average mix, the membership seems to comprise an above average number of professionals.

I need the advice of these professionals now. To those who will state the obvious, I have no intention of relying solely on the advice I (hopefully) will obtain in this thread. I will, however, use it to aid my research, and hopefully avoid any unexpected pitfalls that every industry has in place to prevent new competition.

The question is this: given the development of a new and highly-efficient/effective heating system, and given sufficient funds to begin manufacturing and marketing of such on a small (local) scale, what would be the scope of any governmental requirements to allow the sale of such a device to the public to be legal?

The business will be operated as a corporation (a C-corp, not S-corp, as I have experience with the advantages and disadvantages of the two). Marketing is under control. Initial production would be on an extremely small scale (assuming 100 units per year production) initially and allowed to increase as demand allows/requires. General tax requirements and employee regulations are not a problem.

The concern is things like UL listing (is it required, and what are the hoops one must jump through to obtain it), any special insurance requirements of other mandated requirements due to the nature of the product, and the degree of regulation (If any, and I am sure there are some) of this particular type of manufacturing.

Consider this as a natural-gas fired system, with extensive electrical controls.

Thanks for your consideration and any replies you may have. Knowledge is power; please share some of your power with me.


posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 07:37 PM
You do realise for all intensive purposes, your best bet would be to go down to your local council offices, and request this information directly from them,
being as in the U.S each state-county-region-city-town-village can have completely different laws/regulations to any other state-county-region-city-town-village

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 07:48 PM
Go to concerning certification.

Go to your local and state governments and ask what they require for your endeavor.

Have you considered forming an LLC rather that an S Corp? I much prefer the LLC.

Good luck.

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 07:56 PM
Are we talking about something already patented?

The device is considered a gas fired furnace. You need to address ASTM, ANSI, and NFPA codes which start the building code process. Specifically, you would need to look at the National Gas Code and International Gas Code both of which are based off of ANSI Z223.1-2006. It's much more involved than a UL listing which is for safety only.

The gas code will have the minimum requirements for safety devices and installation or recommended installation in lieu of factory recommended installation practices.

If you have any electrical, be sure to browse the National Electric Code. This is the industry standard with other code agencies using the basic NEC as the base code. Pay particular attention to grounding and safety cutoffs.

You have tons of research ahead of you, but time will fly while delving in codes and standards.

Good luck with your venture....

posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 10:46 AM
reply to post by AmmonSeth

That I have done. Unfortunately, the government offices around here don't even mention a tax number, which I know I will need. All they tell me is that i will need a business license from them (which I already knew) and I "have to comply with all other regulations".

My last business was a total learning experience, with me being caught unprepared for some of the legal nuances that came up. I managed to fix all the problems as they came up, but I want to be a bit more prepared this time.

reply to post by dizziedame

LLC's are something that did not exist before, so, yeah, maybe it would be a good idea to look into them. I will do so, thanks!

I checked your link for MetLabs. They sound interesting. The claim is that their seal is preferable to the UL listing. I think I am going to check on some other products to see if their label is being used much; as long as I am protected from any claim of producing faulty equipment, I am happy; I'm very proud of my design abilities and don't think I will have any trouble meeting any reasonable standards.

reply to post by hinky

If it is patented, that patent is very well hidden. According to the patent laws, if I produce a patented product with intent to do so (or with negligence, meaning I should have known about the patent infringement), I am subject to punitive damages. If I produce a patented device that I had no idea was patented, nor should have had knowledge of such, punitive damages are generally not awarded. I can be forced to pay reasonable royalties to the patent owner and may be barred from further production, but that is usually the extent of damages.

There are several variables in the design of this system that I have been able to find absolutely no data on, despite searching the Internet and libraries (both public and university). Thusly, I am in the process of testing prototypes now to allow for considerations that are incalculable due to this lack of information. I would think that if such a device were patented, at least the physical data concerning the type of process being used would be available.

I really can't go deeper than that into the operation at this time, for obvious reasons. The gas-fired furnace is a good example of the regulations I would fall under, but this is not a gas-fired furnace per se.

Your references are exactly what I was interested in! Can you provide a link to these online, or can you recommend where I might find them in book form (preferably somewhere like a library; I really don't like the idea of spending a few hundred dollars on reference books right now

Thanks to everyone who responded, and I hope more do the same!


posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 12:00 PM
Ah regulations... and how I really freaking hate them.
I'm in complete agreement. I swear they are put into law via petitioning from large corporations, just to make sure newcomers can easily be sued into the ground if they didn't read the fine print...

... but as for useful information, it really depends on where you're selling the product.
Different states and provinces have different regulations.

In my field, I don't deal with these regulations, my job is simply to get the prototypes working, assist during a production run, and occasionally do repairs. Another body deals with the regulatory issues.

But I have a design I've been working on of my own, outside of the company. And not related to the companies product line.
The issue being, with this design I'm going to have to go through a number of regulations, as the design crosses a few specializations, and will have to meet the regulations of a few types of products per area.

It's hard to describe which areas my design crosses into without giving away the whole purpose of the design... so forgive me for not telling you what it does.

... I still think it's a funny concept... to categorize that which hasn't been invented yet...

I'm half tempted to get the initial design working, patent it, then just take the heat in front of a dragons den (investors) to get an initial investment. Then buy a lawyer. lol.

For now, my best advice is just get it working.
Worry about what the law says once you've got the kinks worked out and know people aren't going to be suing you in droves because of some easily user-caused issue.

Once you know it works and the level at which it's effective... then you can start working on a business strategy.

[edit on 21-10-2008 by johnsky]

posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 12:54 PM
There are several sites with ASTM and ANSI standards available. You first need to look at a master list to see what standards you want to see. There are literally hundreds of them with the sub paragraphs and addendums. Any good sized library will have access to this data. Once you narrow down the Standards you want, it will be easier searching.

NFPA has a web site that will provide a certain amount of info for free once you become a member, also free. This complete set of Fire safety standards run a little over 2000 pages or about 1 foot of shelf space in binders. They will have something to say about what you want to build.

I'd also recommend another site ran by the International Code Council. They have a forum that allows you to ask questions to the people who establish / develop building codes, enforce codes, and also provide the rational thought process behind why stuff is done the way it is done.

As for the individual building codes, your local city hall or county contractor licensing board will have 3 sets of code books for the public to view and read. You may have to do it at their office, but it will be free. For the most part, and only if the State you live in has adopted a state wide code, will the code be online and only for that particular State. Otherwise, local jurisdictions adopt their own codes from the different code councils, and these are never online. Code councils make money from selling code books, hence no freebees.

Again, good luck with your venture....

posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 06:13 PM
reply to post by johnsky

... but as for useful information, it really depends on where you're selling the product.
Different states and provinces have different regulations.

My initial market will be local to me, but I intend to design the units to be capable of national sales. That's the big reason I asked; it makes no sense to design a product that must be redesigned every time I want to expand my market area. That's one aspect of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

I may indeed be 'getting my cart in front of my horse', but I tend to think ahead... and that was my saving grace in my previous design business many times.

Thanks for responding, and I will take your advice seriously.

reply to post by hinky

Thank you again, hinky. This gives me a lot to research.

I used to be familiar with ANSI and ASTM codes for the steel industry when I was working as a steel detailer. I'm sure that in any field, as in that particular one, the majority of the regs will be either common sense or not applicable to my situation. It's just a matter of looking through them all and finding the ones which are applicable.


[edit on 21-10-2008 by TheRedneck]

posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:01 PM
Hey Redneck,
Interesting stuff. I've got an idea of what you may be up to... but of course I'm not sure! :p

Looks like a lot of other members are more knowledgable than myself on this type of advice. If you are going to be manufacturing something then you might check with the Dept of Environmental Services in your state?

I know you're on top of your game so you might have done this already. In any case, good luck.


posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

You may indeed have a new invention but some principle you might use has a patent and you need to know it. A patent lawyer is a very good investment. You can do it yourself but its very time consuming and you realy need to visit DC and pour through files, and the name of a device makes a differance its not necessarliy listed as type. I'm going through a small process myself for a very small device that I want to manufacture so I do understand how complicated an endevour your understaking. Wish I knew more to help!


posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:46 PM

Originally posted by TheRedneck
Consider this as a natural-gas fired system, with extensive electrical controls.

Oh great....are you making yet another doomsday device? Heating the icecaps causing ocean levels to rapidly rise, forcing the governments of the world to pay you billions to not switch it on

Ummm......sorry got lost a bit there

But seriously, scramjet has a good point, check with the DEP regarding any environmental impacts....oh and they I hear they frown upon the manufacturing of doomsday devices

posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:46 PM
Double post sorry

[edit on 3/11/2008 by OzWeatherman]

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