Every laminate flooring manufacturer has its own installation procedures. We strongly recommend you read, and follow, the manufacturer's installation procedures for the flooring you purchase. You may notice how similar they are, yet there are subtle differences in certain aspects such as gluing. It is important to realize that failure to follow the instructions supplied by your manufacturer, or failure to use their recommended products, may void their warranty.
Although each manufacturer has their own guidelines, there are a few things common among all. First, you need a level, no bounce subfloor to lay the planks over. Typically the floor should be sound and flat with no voids greater than 3 inches. High spots must be ground off and low spots filled to make the floor flat (1/8 inch and 48 inches in length). You must account for a 1/4 inch gap along the whole perimeter of the installation. If the floor is touching or too close to a wall, it will undoubtedly fail.
All the laminate floors must be allowed to acclimate to their final surroundings. Two or three days is usually appropriate. Do not bring a floor home and install it. Allow the flooring to adjust to its new environmental conditions before you start the installation.
In order to avoid seeing the seams near a patio door, consider running the planks at a right angle to the door, or at a 45-degree diagonal angle, which is more work, but also more attractive.