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Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

(OP)
5 Nov 07 15:49  
I have a question regarding a small company name? I am an EE. I graduated college about 35 years ago. I mostly worked for companies as an employee, but also did some design work for various others on a 1099 basis. In the late 70's I registered a company name in NJ as xxxx Consulting Co.
After reading all this argumentation regarding the use of "engineering" without a PE license, I'm wondering whether I can legally use my company name? Consulting sort of implies professional advise!  
BTW, I looked into getting a PE license a few times, but I was discouraged by some of the requirements such as having a sponser recommendation and the 16 hours of testing. I'm sure I could have passed easily when I graduated(I understand 95% do), but it would be very difficult 35 years later. I'm also sure most of the existing older PE's would also fail the tests now if they had to take them, despite the update courses they take as a requirement for renewal.  

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

It seems to me that if you are offering engineering services, no matter what you name your company, you are practicing engineering without a license.  Why don't you call the NJ Board of Professional Engineers and ask their opinion?  Or, check their web site for regulations.

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

If it is, I think Boston Consulting Group is in big trouble :)

I'm pretty certain 'consulting' is fine.

-
Aercoustics.com

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Does the Boston Consulting Group offer engineering services like Jerryls does?

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Using "consulting" is OK in every state except maybe California.  I've heard they regulate that, too.

Offering engineering services to the public is usually not OK.  Check with your state engineering board.

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

The word "engineering" is regulated in conpany names in most states (when I got my business license I had to let them make a copy of my PE Cert for the city's files).

There are other names that have similar restrictions (e.g., you can't have "Doctor" in your business name unless you are licensed in a medical/dental profession), but "consulting" is not one of them.

You didn't ask if your consulting business could legally provide engineering services and I'm going to assume that you have gotten competent legal advice on that subject and the allowed scope of your business.

David

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

(OP)
I will check with the NJ local board. Hopefully I'll get an answer this century! Most of my work has been circuit design for specific customers. The design is to a specification and the customer pays me when they are satisfied with the operation.  

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

"Consulting" should not be a problem, my company is International Construction Consulting, LLC - I'm not a PE.  Consultants do more than engineering work.

Greg Lamberson, BS, MBA
Consultant - Upstream Energy
Website: www.oil-gas-consulting.com

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Quote (zdas04):

There are other names that have similar restrictions (e.g., you can't have "Doctor" in your business name unless you are licensed in a medical/dental profession)
So I guess the Rug Doctors are in for a serious lawsuit?  What about Dr. Automotive down the street?

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

Yeah, I guess context is everything.  You could probably have a business named "Dr. Dan's Hi-Tech Designs" without any problem whatsoever, but you'd have a really hard time getting a business license for "Dr. Dan, LLC".

David

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

I agree with GregLamberson, owning a company with the name consulting shouldn't be a problem.  Not all consultants are engineers or work in engineering fields.

Additionally, I don't think it's the company name where you have to be careful, I think it's more in the service that you offer.  As long as you don't imply or claim to be an engineer as part of your service.

I used to be a stock holder in a firm that was xxxx and Associates, Consulting Engineers Inc. and I, like you have a lot of experience, an associates degree in a related field but am not a P.E.

We would have been in big trouble with a name like that and a non P.E. as part owner if the name meant anything.

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

All owners do not always have to be P.E.'s.  Usually someone on staff has to be a P.E. if the company is offering engineering services.  If a company were named xxxx and Associates, Consulting Engineers Inc., I would say that company needs to have, a least, a P.E. on staff.

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

I agree with GregLamberson and TrafficDesigner. What about a company with the name xxxx Engineering Services, Inc. that does computer engineering, programming, etc? I feel that it should have a lot more to do with the description of the business than the name itself...

With that said-with the way some laws/standards are, I wouldn't be surprised either way.

V

Mechanical Engineer
"When I am working on a problem, I do not think of beauty, but when I've finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."

- R. Buckminster Fuller

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

If the company is offering engineering services to the public in New Jersey then at least one individual who is on staff must be a licensed PE, or the LLC must have entered into a written contract with a New Jersey licensed professional engineer pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:40-10.3. See the top of page 40-23 in section 13:40-10.2 from the New Jersey State Board in the second link below:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/nonmedical/pels.htm

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/laws/pe_and_ls_regulations.pdf

The definition of engineering services is provided on page 40-3 in the same document. It would appear that anyone who provides engineering services (as defined in this document) to the general public without a valid PE license is in violation of these statutes.

Maui

RE: Is it okay to use "Consulting" in a company name without a PE license?

This is kind of a side-thought, but you may also want to check with insurance carriers to see if they'll write a policy without having a license.

Since you mention that you do electrical engineering work, I'd be very careful in making sure that I had insurance coverage if it were me.

Mike
http://www.partnerup.com/

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