The trend in company names? According to ABC Namebank International, a New York City-based consulting firm, more companies than ever are moving toward names pulled out of the air (like Kodak) rather than ones that involve surnames (too founder oriented), geographic areas (constricting if the company grows), or descriptions (also potentially limiting).


First-Year Gross Sales of New Companies

* * *

Less than $50,000 35%

$50,000-$99,000 25

100,000-$199,000 17

$200,000-$499,000 14

$500,000-$999,000 4

More than $1 million 4

Source: A national survey of new companies by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)


Business begets business: NFIB's new-companies survey found that fully 45% of company founders had parents who owned their own businesses.


The Inventors' Council, in Chicago, is sponsoring a national contest for grand ideas. Entrants will have a shot at making contacts with potential investors and receiving their feedback, as well as winning a $10,000 award. The judging is by a roundtable of 10 manufacturers. Potential downside: disclosing inventions prematurely. The entry fee is $75; the deadline is January 3, 1991.

-- Leslie Brokaw