When you’re setting up your new freelance business, should you use your own name or a business name?

We all go through this same predicament as we try to decide the best name for our business. Here are some considerations for each option.

Reasons to Use Your Own Name

Some small businesses owners & individuals prefer to work with other individuals.

Some small business owners that I’ve talked to fear that they won’t get personal attention from an agency or bigger business. By working with an individual, they know that they are working with you which can help you build trust & a strong client relationship.

When networking, people only have to learn about you.

When you brand your business using your name, you are building your business brand and personal brand together. So when you’re networking new contacts only have to learn and remember one thing: you; not you and your business.

It’s less work! Or at least a good place to start.

Coming up with a brand name can be tough and time consuming. If you don’t have the time or interest in going through the brand naming process, you can skip it altogether and start working on your business right away.

Reasons to Create a Business Name

Your company brand has a fresh start

When you create a company name, you can build the brand from scratch. Your brand won’t be tainted by your previous businesses or that stupid thing you did on social media 5 years ago.

You can create a name that’s connected the nature of your business

Unlike with your personal name, you have the opportunity to choose a business name. Take advantage of that opportunity by creating a company name that’s informational and memorable.

A business name is setup for growth beyond yourself

If you don’t intend to be a one (wo)man shop forever, you may want to choose a business name instead of using your personal name.

You can keep your personal and business profiles separate

I like to keep my personal life separate from my business, and having a company name makes this easier. All online accounts and social media profiles can be kept separate.

 Name change? No problem

If you think you’ll be changing your own name soon (due to marriage or other reason), you may want to create a business name. You’ll have a smoother transition – no need to rebrand your company.

If your personal name is complicated or hard to spell, you may want to create a business name.

A complicated name will be harder for people to remember. The last thing you want to do is make it impossible for customers or prospects to find you!

Other Considerations

You can do both!

You may have the luxury of including your personal name in your business name. For example, say your name is Jane Dunn and you’re a designer, you may decide to name your company Dunn Designs (Alliteration is not required). This is an easier way to name a business while still getting some of the benefits of having a separate business name.

Is the name taken?

For whichever name you choose, find out if the domain name and social media profiles are available. If they are taken, you may want to brainstorm new business names so your business is unique.

To summarize, there are benefits to each option. Choosing to use your personal name or create a business name largely comes down to how you want to represent your business (and the quality of your own name).

If you’ve already named your business, which route did you choose?


Disclaimer: These tips are meant to provoke thought related to branding your business. This article is not meant to provide any legal or accounting advice. Be sure to consult your attorney or accountant for legal or accounting implications.