Ahhhh... what a kettle you got going here.
Oh yeah... Hi Jlindsay! Welcome!
You really didn't explain your idea, but I understand. I don't have a good grasp on what you're trying to do.
What I can tell you for sure is this.
Patents are going to be a huge waste of time and money... that is, if you can patent your idea. You can not patent something that has already been patented, but you can patent 'around' it... if you follow that.
Problem with patents are this. They only give you the right to protect it. There are no 'Patent Police'. Nobody monitors what's going on in the field. It's totally up to you.
So even if you've got 100 sets of eyes watching... and I decided to use YOUR patent. Then what? You contact me. You 'pound your chest' and make threats. So what. If I know enough about your company... I simply sit back and tell you to sue me. Go ahead. That will cost between $15-$20,000 out of YOUR pocket to launch. Much more if you lose the case too!
On top of that... I cloud ownership... have a string of offshore companies that you have to chase in OFFSHORE jurisdictions.... and maybe spend 10 years tracking down the company that (ahhh... chucks...) just went out of business. Ooops!
Got that kind of money sitting around in the top drawer of your desk? Uh.. I didn't think so.
So forget about patents.
Get a simple 1 page NDA. They keep honest men honest. I did a lot of work using that system. Release only as much as you have to until you get comfortable.
As far as your company only being an idea... you need some sort of sample. You need (at the very least) a prototype. Nobody is going to buy an idea from a guy who sits across the table from them, twirling his finger in the air, trying to paint a picture that nobody gets.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
If you need more help... PM me.