It’s not a necessity for you to form a business to get a patent. Ultimately, your question is does this look more professional than just approaching companies as an independent developer. I’d still like to address the idea of forming a business.
You would want to form a business (let’s say an LLC as an example) if you begin to make some money and worry about lawsuits that could mean you pay out of your personal assets. The different business entities offer different benefits when it comes to protection of personal assets and tax benefits. For example, an LLC is a “pass-through” entity. It doesn’t necessarily give you a lot of tax benefits, but it does simply the taxes (especially if you remain a one-person operation) because the profits pass through to you and you would just use your regular tax forms.
Now back to your question of professional appearance. Could having a business help with that? I suppose it could. I think, though, the key is in who you are approaching. You’re still a business as a sole proprietor (and it has no paperwork that is required). As an example, if you were offering a new widget that you patented and your name was Pat Smith, you could be “Pat Smith, d/b/a Smith’s Superior Widgets.” So, you’re still a business. Professionalism will be found in you: how you interact with potential clients, how you answer your phone, the service you provide, and in your presentations.
With that said, you should have an intellectual property attorney on your side in some way. It is imperative that anything that you understand anything that you sign related to your patent. Of course, I am making the presumption you already have the patent. If you are only now considering a patent, get an intellectual property attorney to help you. The application process is tedious and if it’s not properly completed, it could result in being rejected.
With this being Quora, obviously you’ve given only minimum details. So, it makes it hard to really determine if you should consider creating a legal business entity. I recommend that you check out LawTrades. We are a legal marketplace. The reason why I am suggesting it is because we have a service known as. What this service does is puts you into contact with an experienced attorney for an affordable flat-rate (usually just $25). With it, you can ask a specific question and get a custom response within 48 hours.