Not meaning to be snarky at all: perhaps ask IP legal advice of a lawyer, not an internet forum. I'm an attorney, and so it's hard to bite my tongue whenever these topics arise, and especially when the resulting bad/incorrect advice is offered by the uninformed.
(And if you do somehow head down a wrong path, do you really want to have published your thinking to a public forum?)
You joined in 2008 and I have been a member since 2002 so I have a very good understanding of the forum. Most members don't assume the worst.
To be specific, the woman is a musical theater performer who wants to also do personal training. She is looking for a business name that blends the two and does NOT have a problem paying for a business name if she has to.
Thanks for the link to the website Donald. It answers a lot of questions. Here is another:
After registering a trade name in your State, another entity can sue you if they think the name is too much like something they own. In fact, you could have a successful business going before they discover the similarity and claim you profited from it.
That's why it's best to have your ducks in a row first, with a search and opiinion from an attorney who deals in such things. That's not legal advice, just experience speaking.
@John, hope you understand I chimed in to be helpful, not antagonistic. musicvid hit the nail on the head. ( Hopefully his "experience" was not as a client.) You *can* get a lot of advice and answers in front of your computer, but its the specific application of law to your (your friend's) facts that can be a minefield. I hate to sound elitist, but real legal advice, even one hour -- and it doesn't have to be expensive -- would do you well, I believe.
(And thanks for the compliments on my work. Wish I could post more videos, but I don't have client permission.)
My long trip through the minefields has been aided by two simple rules: 1. Ask permission first. Don't try to dodge or rationalize a usage issue, just ask. The very worst thing they can do is say "no."
PS, don't ask Disney to use one of their names or a derivation.