Remember the following:
1. There are disclosure laws, generally, you must file within one year of making a disclosure for a US patent. But many other countries still require filing before making any disclosure of the invention.
2. A provisional patent is a good way to preserve an early effective filing date before going through the expense of a non-provisional patent. However, it only has a one year life. If you do not file the non-provisional within one year the provisional is automatically abandoned as is the earlier effective filing date.
3. Keep in mind we are in a first to file world now, not a first to document the idea.
4. Keep in mind too that a patent only gives you the right to defend your idea and is often a good roadmap for competitors to reverse engineer and design a route around your claims. Make an informed decision about what you want to patent and what is better left a trade secret. Defending a patent is a very expensive endeavour.
5. The term patent pending has lost all meaning with many professional investors since the definition was loosened.
Hope that is helpful, Thanks, Tom