Wow – congrats on inventing something at such a young age! The answer to your question is no; you do not need an attorney for a provisional patent. As Konstantinos mentioned, the USPTO has a ton offor inventors. Information on the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program can be found . To answer another question of yours – yes you may file online by clicking . I suggest you check out a step-by-step guide for filing online found on this . It provides screen shots of the application to walk you through the process.
I noticed you are also from South Africa. If you have any questions regarding filing a patent application as a non-U.S. citizen then check out a pastof mine in response to – Can a non-US citizen apply for a Provisional Application for Patent in the US as Inventor ?
Lastly, you should take a look atwhere we connect inventors with experienced patent attorneys for a living. Because inventors have needs specific to their respective product, we customize services and pricing to fit your budget. I think it would be in your best interest to get a free, on-demand price quote to see for yourself just how affordable we are. Feel free to message me with any legal questions you have specific to your company and/or invention. Good luck!