Discussion: View Thread

  • 1.  naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-12-2022 16:29
    When deciding on a name for a small, solo statistical consulting business, is it necessary to avoid a similar or identical name that is already in use by some other firm (in statistics or not)? An internet search seemingly can disclose a gazillion (yeah, technical term) small businesses of almost any conceivable name, in a wide variety of fields. I suppose there are issues of search engine discoverability, and also legal questions about infringement, etc. But conventional wisdom is that most statistical consulting work probably comes from word-of-mouth, rather than internet searches? And maybe business names are rarely trademarked or otherwise protected?

    We have a wonderful pizzeria in town called Joey's, and there's probably a "Joey's Pizzeria" in every sizeable town across the country.



    --Chris Ryan

    Christopher Ryan
    Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine

  • 2.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-12-2022 17:10
    Trademarking only came up once in my career so far, when a former employer was (inevitably) sued over its highly generic name: 

    Guy Who Runs Three Companies Called Fidelity But Not The Fidelity You Know Probably Doesn't Care That There's Already A Company Called System1 That Does That Same Thing As The System1 His SPAC Is Buying

    A good lawyer can probably tell you if a name's too similar or not, or just buy a trademark for ~$500 on legalzoom and see if the PTO accepts the application. 

    Or you can let it ride and maybe you don't get sued ever anyway, especially if your profile is low.

  • 3.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-13-2022 13:00
    I briefly pondered the name for my company and decided on Statistical Consulting Services, later adding LLC and then Inc. Although descriptive, sometimes the name and statistical-consulting-services.com do not fit in the number of spaces or boxes provided and is just too long. Sometimes I wish I'd gone with another consideration "Bristol Medical Statistics", making use of my name and the logo BMS at the top of the page. I read that a guy named McDonald was sued for opening a restaurant using his family name. Choose wisely and keep it as short as possible.

    David Bristol
    Statistical Consulting Services, Inc.

  • 4.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-13-2022 14:35
    In California, one can look on the website for the Secretary of state ("sos"), for requirements for naming a corporation. One sends in a preferred name and within about 30 -60 days, the name is reviewed. and a determination is made whether the name is unique .

    Effective January 1, 2021, the names of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships must be "distinguishable in the records" from an existing entity of the same type of record with the California Secretary of State and "may not be likely to mislead the public"

    My corporate name includes my name, Chris Barker (as in Chris barker statistical planning and analysis services, inc.) - and I did not have to file a "dba" (doing business as) with the state  of California because my name is included. in California, for a dba, one posts an announcement (one time)  in the legal section of the newspaper to indicate the actual identity of the person(s) who registered the corporation.  That means I'd have to file a dba (one time) for "Really amazing incredible awesome, statistical consulting firm" because an actual name is not part of the corporation name.  I conjecture that in California a name like "Apple of my Eye Statistical consulting" might run into problems because of the other much larger Apple in Santa Clara.

    I use a "cheat" and often put a line feed after my name so that it often appears as -
    Chris Barker
    Statistical Planning and Analysis Services, Inc.

    Chris Barker, Ph.D.
    2022 Statistical Consulting Section
    Consultant and
    Adjunct Associate Professor of Biostatistics

    "In composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in 15 seconds, in improvisation you have 15 seconds."
    -Steve Lacy

  • 5.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-23-2022 16:23
    Make sure the name is easy to spell and pronounce.   In 2006 I picked a name, Direct Effects, LLC.  I took it from a psychometrics text that a psychologist friend gave me.  It was good not having my name on the company.  It didn't tie me to a particular activity.  However, I found myself constantly spelling E-F-F-E-C-T-S and then saying "E at the beginning and S at the end."    Also try to get a name where the ".com" URL is available.  I would get a qualified e-marketing expert to make your business comes up in searches in your niche. 

    Different states have different laws about D/B/A and business conflicts.  GAP Clothing made a tour company change its name from GAP Adventures.  

    Happy Holidays!


    Georgette Asherman

    Georgette Asherman

  • 6.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-26-2022 07:50
    The lawyer who helped me set-up my LLC conducted the search to ensure no one else had my business name.  In hind sight, I would have chosen a name that was more descriptive of my services. 

    Nancy Buderer, MS
    Nancy Buderer Consulting, LLC
    Biostatistician, Program Evaluator, Research Consultant

  • 7.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-27-2022 13:00
    This discussion should be a valuable and useful tool for those who are starting a consulting business.
    So many of the respondents, including myself, have expressed that in hindsight wish that we would have made different  decisions regarding choice of business names or choice of an email. 

    David Bristol
    Statistical Consulting Services, Inc.

  • 8.  RE: naming a statistical consulting business

    Posted 12-27-2022 19:43
    This is verging on comical, but... My domain msightanalytics.com is a bit on the long side but it works for me. That said, the business is essentially a solo firm, so I don't know what possessed me to do first.last as my email address for a grand total of 35 characters. Unintended consequences have included running out of character spaces in forms (online or paper) when it asks me for email. I do have an alias I can use in most circumstances. But in one unusual case, an online portal that used emails as IDs evidently made some system changes, after which it no longer allowed enough positions to enter my user ID! (It took talking to a live person to fix that.) The moral of the story: specific is good, but be mindful of the total length of your email address especially if you have a custom domain :-)

    My application for the logo trademark was initially rejected due to the word similarity to another company in another state. It was successfully argued with the help of my attorney that reasonable people wouldn't confuse us. I would have to imagine a word mark is harder without the benefits of the image. I did do a quick look-up at the state level before I registered the business which was well before I applied for the trademark. Of course, registering a federal trademark and registering a business with the state are two different things.

    P.S. Unrelated but somewhat relevant to the discussion: I also own the domains msightconsulting.com and msightsolutions.com, although I don't use them. For the nature of my business, it makes sense for the cost.

    Michiko Wolcott
    Principal Consultant