So, you’re on Kickstarter, you’ve come up with a really neat idea, and you want to start production now that you’ve gotten funding. You’ve found a good lawyer, you’ve got your CPA, you’ve found a Customs broker, and you’re ready to start production! But how do you decide which producer should mass produce your product? Do you have the funds to go to China? You choose then what suppliers you want to talk to, and the first thing they ask you is what your specifications are, and what regulations you want them to comply with. How are you supposed to know? This is the point at which you need to engage a testing lab, a product safety lawyer, or a product compliance consultant such as myself.
Some examples of products where you would want support from a product compliance consultant:
- 3D fabric printer (Flammable Fabrics Act, fiber labeling)
- A reinvented bike helmet (CPSIA)
- Biodegradable bag (FTC claims verification for the term “biodegradable”)
- Electric knife alternative (FDA food contact substances)
- Doll with natural hair (CPSIA, FHSA)
- Large pillow (state stuffing law labeling)
In addition to the mandatory requirements, there are many products that can result in potential safety claims which may not have mandatory standards, but have voluntary industry standards that are typically followed in the industry. You may also want to vet the suppliers before making your choice, and inspecting the shipments before you take ownership to ensure that you are truly getting the product you were expecting to mass produce.