They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For provisional applications, it hopefully won't take you quite a thousand miles, but the process does take time. Provisional applications are a very special type of patent application. They're only available in the US. They're there to help you get your foot in the door without having to spend too much money. Provisional applications are designed to help inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, but also larger companies, get into the patent filing process. You can file a provisional application and protect your idea, without spending too much money.