1. Should I go ahead and file to trademark the product name prior to the first printing? The name is important, so I want to make sure it is protected.
2. Do you think it necessary to file for a copyright for the text used on the cards? I know it`s technically under copyright when I wrote it, so I`m guessing this would be for added protection.
3. Should I bother setting up a business structure (sole-proprietorship, etc) or wait until I see how well the product is selling?
4. The product will be sold through a website. How do I deal with taxes when the product is purchased by someone living in my state?
5. Are there any other things I am not thinking about that you could point out for me?
I would say to go ahead with the testing of the product and see how it is received before worrying about trademarks and copyrights. You are correct that you are already protected as long as your paperwork, prototype, etc has been documented and dated.
If you are going to sell from a website you will need to be set up on the business end. However, there is probably no need to jump on the LLC bandwagon at this early stage. Sole proprietorship should be fine to start with.
You will need a business bank account so you will need a DBA (doing business as) certifcate. You will need that also if you are going to set up to be able to accept credit cards.
If you need to pay sales tax in your state you will need to apply to your state for a reseller number or tax id number. It is a very quick, simple process. You will then need to charge tax to customers in your state. The state will determine how often you will need to file your state sales tax. It may be monthly to start, then they will adjust the filing schedule as needed.
It sounds like you`ve got a pretty good handle on your start up procedures. For more info check out my website below.
Freelance Business Plan Writer