Business name ownership

Ok, I'm trying to open a new office but someone has already taken the name I reeeely wanted, "Edison Acupuncture and Wellness".

How similar can I make my name to this existing name without being open to legal trouble? Is having a one-word difference in the name enough?

How bout "Edison Acupuncture and Herbs", or "Middlesex Acupuncture and Wellness"? Middlesex is the county that Edison is in.



I am not sure about the legality side of how close you can come to an already existing name. However, I suggest you may want to create a name that does not limit yourself.

Example: When I read "Edison Acupuncture and Herbs" it suggests to me that is all you do. Either Acupuncture or Herbs". How about "Edison Holistic" or "Edison Wellness Center" This will invite people who are seeking Acupuntcure or Herbal remedies to inquire and you can then tell them all you offer.

If someone is seeking a remedy other than acupuncture or herbs, they may not call you if your title suggests that is all you offer. With a name like "Edison Holisitc"...they may call seeking something you do not offer but you can then explain to them how acupuncture will help.

Suppose, when business really takes off, you want to offer Yoga Therapy Classes, Relaxation Therapy, Stress Management, etc. You then won't have to change your name, letterhead, business cards, etc.

Just a thought...I hope this helps.


Thanks Bobby,

The only thing is I'm considered in the area to be an acupuncture specialist (I'm fairly well known in acupuncture circles) and am trying to set up the clinic as a Chinese medicine center. Most of my patients are people with severe chronic illnesses who are looking strictly for medical acupuncture. There's also not enough space for classes.

But thanks again for the feedback, will have to definately consider it.



Well borrow a phrase from Emily Litella, "Nevermind." :)

Check with the secretary of state where you live. If you form an LLC or a corporation, you should have the ability to register your name with the state if it is not taken.

Good luck!


Andes, I tend to agree with Bobby's initial post. With the current international trend towards alternative healing, the industry is set to explode. With this boost comes competition. Without a larger 'product range' you will be limiting yourself to that which is on your sign board. Further, if you currently have a reputation as a medicinal accupuncturist, the name is not going to get you any further than the clientelle you will pick up through word of mouth. You can assume that as your practice grows you will need assistance, possibly another practitioner to handle the overflow.

Let us assume that this assistant receives a commission on each happy client he/she serves. To build up their clientelle, they wish to offer shiatsu, reiki and therapeutic indian head massage. Your practice has now grown to a somewhat complete holistic centre. Your offer a complete solution but your practice's name does not allude to all you offer. A prospective client with IBS walks past your shop but is afraid of needles and walks on to your naighbours practice that offers painless crystal therapy.

Now my point is not to discredit any practice only to illustrate the limitations your will be imposing based on your current expectations. You have to look at this practice as a business. You need for it to grow and become profitable. Don't limit your future growth by the implied constraints of a name.

Best of luck

BobbyD is correct. it's better to be more general than specific, and advertise specificities. Edison Holistic or Edison Wellness Center, with and advertisement and marketing campaign based around acupuncture.

it's like the difference of someone wanting to open up a bjj school. NOBODY knows what brazilian jiu jitsu is, but if you put XYZ Martial Arts, or XYZ Karate, you'll be swamped w/ clients.

Hey Andes, I'm just getting ready to take my finals after the first trimester to TCM school out here in California. Good luck with you business, all the best.


what school are you in? dude, it's fuckin hard making a living at acupuncture. Less than 1% of all acupuncturists become successful to the point that they can live comfortably off of nothing but acupuncture.

don't want to discourage you. also realize i'm bitter right now due to taxes..... i may edit this...