Should I Manufacture or License My Product?

Deciding whether to manufacture or license your product depends on several factors, including your business goals, available resources, and the nature of your product. Here are some key considerations to help you make this decision:

Manufacture or License



Product Complexity

The complexity of your product can be a significant factor. If your product requires specialized manufacturing processes or materials, it might be more practical to manufacture it yourself, especially if you have the expertise and resources to do so.

Resource Availability

Do you have the resources, including capital, equipment, and expertise, to manufacture the product in-house? If not, licensing might be a better option, as it allows you to leverage the capabilities of a third-party manufacturer.

Market Research

Consider the market demand for your product. If there is a strong demand and potential for significant sales, manufacturing might be a more profitable option. If the market is uncertain or small, licensing could be a lower-risk approach.

Time and Speed to Market: Licensing can be quicker to market since you don’t have to set up manufacturing processes. If time-to-market is crucial, licensing might be the way to go.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Licensing can allow you to protect your intellectual property (IP) while generating revenue. This is particularly useful if your product relies on patented technology or designs. Manufacturing, especially if outsourced, might pose greater IP risks. The type of Patent you have obtained will also greatly impact the strategy for licensing.

Distribution and Marketing

Think about how you plan to distribute and market your product. Licensing often involves partnering with established companies that have distribution channels and marketing expertise. Manufacturing might require you to build these capabilities yourself.

Revenue and Profit Margins

Evaluate the potential for revenue and profit margins in both scenarios. Manufacturing can offer higher margins, but it also comes with higher operational costs and risks.

Long-Term Goals

Consider your long-term business goals. Licensing may provide a steady stream of income but limit your control over the product. Manufacturing gives you more control but also more responsibility and risk.

Competitive Landscape

Analyze the competitive landscape. If competitors are already manufacturing similar products, licensing might be a way to differentiate and expand your product’s reach.

Legal and Contractual Considerations

Be sure to consult with legal advisors when negotiating licensing agreements or setting up manufacturing processes. Contracts and agreements need to be well-structured and protect your interests. The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your decision should align with your specific product, business strategy, financial capabilities, and risk tolerance. It’s also possible to start with one approach and transition to another as your business evolves. Careful research and planning are key to making an informed choice.

Contact us to learn more about how to get your product manufactured or licensed.


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July 2024

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