Should I use my own name for my business?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using my own name for my new business as a marketing consultant to small businesses? Is it better to create a new business name? What factors should I consider when naming my business?
I prefer to be known with the business name relating to products and services offered .
Also, I completely separates my personal and professional accounts on social networks such as twitter and facebook. For reasons of ethics and safety, my clients, partners and other people with an interest in my products and services have no access to my personal networking of activities .
Equally dependent on the number of the same name that are in your area.
Having different names helps to establish clear and precise distinctions
The main reason to separate yourself from your business is for tax and liability purposes. By naming your business anything other than your real name should clear you from any liability especially if you decide to incorporate. If you decide to incorporate you are "isolated" from any liabilities that accrue against the corporation. That way your corporation gets sued and not you personally. This is the reason why most people do not name their businesses using the birth name.
For more information: http://counterintuity.com/blog/
I did it...my LLC is TheBolnicks, LLC. I thought it was cool, and pretty much knew no one else had it. I hate it! I am now doing business as The Excel Consulting Group, along with my commercial real estate business. Sounds a whole lot more professional and descriptive, no? I'll file taxes as TheBolnicks, LLC.
Another thing to think of is the difficulty of re-branding later all your web assets. For instance, in SEO and brand marketing to get more exposure, you need to be in lots of local directories, etc. - many of which make your url end with /my-personal-name To keep that web asset, you may change your name to a business name, but that initial url will not change - you'd need to make lots of new listings. Plus all links you spent time building, would lose weight when changing your main website URL (even with redirects). In regard to your web assets, it would almost be like starting over & rebuilding. I would plan on a business name - you can still use personal name in Linkedin, Twitter, etc. for the personal touch, but have business pages in your business name.
Developing a name that is meaningful to both you and your clients is a lot of work, but it pays off if you get it right. My firm's name, Fearless Branding, drives everything I do and the way I work with clients. It gets me into conversations and helps me win business.
A name that is catchy or clever, but is not intimately tied to your brand positioning will probably not add value to your business and may even push clients away.
Many, many firms use the names of their founders. Some have become extremely well know (Ernst and Young, Tiffany, the list goes on and on.) So there is nothing wrong with that approach, but it is incumbent on the business to communicate its value without the assistance of a meaningful name.
If you already have a name in mind, try it out on some potential clients or others in your target audience and hear their reactions. Does it intrigue them, interest them, inspire them? If so, you are on to something. (I'll reinforce - talk to people in your target market … other's opinions may be somewhat useful, but if they won't buy from you, their reactions are of limited value.) Let the name speak for itself … don't "lead the witness" and do too much explaining.
If you have not yet developed a name, but you are wondering if you should invest the time in it, I'd advise that you first start by defining your position in your market - what makes your business special? Consider what you do (what I call "functional differentiation") but also consider how you make your clients or customers feel (what I call "emotional differentiation.") Ideally, your name should be a crisp distillation of both factors. Having a clear strategy to work from will help to give you objective criteria as to whether your name will help you grow your business and add to your value.
Please have see www.FearlessBranding.com and read my manifesto www.fearlessbranding.com/manifesto for more ideas.
Please let me know what you decide!
Richard Stern-The name of your company is very important.
Using your own name is fine unless the name is not interesting.enough to draw attention.
The company name also starts to establish the personality of the company.
Once you choose the company name check the name on the USTPO to be sure the name in the category you choose is not being used by someone else.
Suggest you also consider doing a Trademark.
I would not use my own name for my business. I always made it a point to come up with a name that potential clients ask "What does it mean?". That breaks the ice. I also agree that this can be a negative if you want to sell your business later on.
In my opinion, I think it's about the brand, regardless. Does your name work as a brand, as a company? There's many successful businesses that are named after the founder, some work and some don't. I believe this is based not on whether its your name or not, but whether it works as a name for a business.
It worked for Duncan Banatine and all these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_named_after_people
Name your company what you are comfortable with.
Brand awareness isn't created by the coolness of your name but with hard work, quality products and services, customer services, etc.
It can depend on the type of operation and also the fear of failure.
If the business fails and your name is above the door, then that can be difficult, but if you project your name and have the courage to stand by it then it has benefits :- e.g. "Baxters" (the food processors and suppliers in Scotland) now a world wide brand.
Although the same could be said for a registered company name :- e.g. "The National Steel Company". Sounds like a big operation, but could only be two or three people (with big ideas).
All down to how brave you feel on the day.
It's not really recommended. It's simpler, since you don't need a DBA (Doing Business As) however, if at some point you want to sell the company, goodwill , a primary factor of pricing a business, would not attach because the new owners would have to rebrand. In another case, you wuld have to sell the business to the new owners WITH your name, which could be even more odd...Some owners have found themselves unable to use their name in business again, because a business was trademarked and sold. So...I highly recommend against it.
I agree with those who advise you to consider the exit strategy. If you are planning to grow and sell the business, it can't be all about you. The odds on you being the next Henry Ford are pretty slim. If you don't care about a buyout (i.e you just want to be a solo consultant) then by all means use your name if you want, although a name that describes your business will help people find it.
Using your own name is okay if your products are branded that way. That said the legal protection of registering a business name is important later on if anyone decides to sue you. In that instance it is better to have a separate name most likely but you should ask a lawyer since this wouldn't constitute legal advice and shouldn't be considered legal advice under any circumstances.
You do not necessarily need to use personal name to register a business but I would rather suggest you think of a unique name that represent the concepts of the intended business.
Despite all the "Personal Branding Experts", the question you have to ask yourself is simply this: "What Legacy do I want to leave?" If you put your name on your business, what's your exit strategy? Do you want to shut down your successful business at the ends of your run because it bears your name or do you want to be able to sell the value you created to the next business owner while preserving your legacy and your good name? My view is no one but me gets to impair my reputation.
I'm confident that you will be successful because Brilliant business women are never afraid to ask questions or to ask for help.
James J. Lenihan, MBA, CTM, CTP
"The Strategic Conversationalist"
CEO, TreasuryPros where "Education Is The Journey and A Magnificent Future Is The Destination"
Hi. There is no one answer for this. Some of the considerations you need to ask yourself include what your individual goals are with the business, how you plan on setting your business up (sole trader or ltd), what sector you are in and competitors and if you will hire others to work for you and in what capacity (will they be freelance or employed).
Using your own name can add a personal touch and sense of trust as you are putting your reputation on your sleeve. You can also use a play on your personal name, incorporating it into the overall name itself. It's important to look at your competitors, your market and to find a name that will appeal to the market you want to approach.
For instance, not many solicitors use funny names with bright or outlandish logos. Their names fit their market. Marketing is a vast field - will you have a specialty sector you work within or what type of marketing will you offer?
Start by asking lots of questions of yourself, your company and your target market. Seek the help of a professional if you need it or there are lots of resources on line you can find as well that can help guide you if your budget is really tight.
Another hint: your font and your colour need to appeal to your market as well. It all needs to work together. Hope that helps some!
One more thing to ponder: what if your name changes (e.g. marriage, divorce, widowed & remarried)? There are lots of personal considerations here, & you may never expect to change your name...but sometimes plans change. I have a friend that didn't think she'd get married and change her name. She did. Now her business name is her maiden name & it's really quite confusing. If you've built a brand worth anything, re-branding is costly.
I would recommend that you do not use your name directly you may use your initials for example "LW Consulting" would be the closest of using your name that I would suggest if you wanted too. But I highly recommend using a business name that is not your name that will give room to grow and the will not give the wrong idea that your business could be small. With my experience I have a self owned business but I use a business name to represent my company and what the company does. Also, it allows me to be setup if I want to take on other employees down the road. Finally, the work I do is not about me it is about my clients so I do not need my name popular. People will know my work by what I do.
I learned at a very early age of my career to never "put your name on the door" because if anyone taints your company that can hurt you for life! Especially in the openness of social media today and the litigious society we live in. Good luck and be creative! My name came from my childrens names and grandfather.
Great Question! One that many fail to ask, when starting their business. I did a workshop on "What's In A Business Name?", showing you how to come up with a compelling and creative business name. Plus, answer your question on why you should Not use your personal name..
Watch It Here: http://youtu.be/USVeysguIkM?list=PLZ7SFPXm2IyG9L2Uj4QXDrgvNxbzJHLTq
Hope this helps.