Do I need a business name or shall I use my name?


I'm due to have a business mentor meeting on monday to get a place on a business development programme through my university so that I can get business support for my own graphic design business. I would like to have my potential company name sorted ready for the presentation but I'm struggling as I don't know which angle to take.

Should I really be thinking about coming up with a business name, or shall I use my own name as my business name?

I don't really know what comes more recommended. I'm thinking perhaps my name would be a better idea to begin with as its just me, but then having a business name later on. Or should I bite the bullet and come up with something clever.

have to admit, I'm not SO great with words...much better with being clever with graphics which is why I am struggling.

any advice from you much more knowledgeable people would be greatly appreciated

Hi Laura,

I would use your own name for now. I expect that you will be working as a freelancer/sole trader initially, and I think that your own name would be best for this type of work – its straightforward, honest, and probably just as memorable. When I worked as a freelancer I took the view that I was selling me, so my own name was best.

It can be very difficult to come up with a name that is unique, appropriate, clever, available as a domain, etc, etc, so I would not worry too much at this stage.

Use your own name to build up a customer base and a portfolio, and then use a company name later, when you feel ready to take the next step.

Good luck, I hope you get the place on the programme.

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Hi Danny,

Thanks, thats exactly what I thought...just wanted a 2nd opinion. Perhaps I am not as clueless as I think!

Funnily enough, I just had someone approach me with a pretty good potential brief through my website so fingers crossed this is the start of a few more!

I've a few plans coming into place over the next few weeks, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how this goes.

Thanks for the reply. Fingers crossed for monday hey!

I second Danny's opinion :icon_thumbup:

Good luck with the business development programme, if you have any further questions then just ask :icon_smile:
My vote is to select a company name now.
You should be promoting your name / brand from the start, rather than wasting those resources later on. Build brand equity now, strap lines can be changed, logos adapted.

Thanks all!

I pitched my business plan to the panel on monday, I should find out today whether I get it or not. I really hope so as its £4500 of business support and this will help me a lot.

I pitched both myself as my own name and the business name that I came up with last week. The panel thought my work was great, and so will be launching the business with the name (thats not my name haha CONFUSING) over the summer if I get on the programme.

Fingers crossed for good news today

As if 2 days waiting wasn't long enough, the appraisal board (who were directors from other universities) had to go and get called out to meetings yesterday and delayed the decision.

So begins another day of jumping every time the phone rings!!
I also agree that you should use a business name which will be your company's trademark... Changing name from a personal name to business name would not be good especially if you have already established a good reputation.

IMO, a business name has more impact for establishing a name in business...
Business Names

Never trade under your own business name unless you are in a traditional profession ie, accountancy or law. The reasons are many.

1 It makes you look small.
2 It makes it harder to sell the business is years to come.
3 You cannot hide behind the facade of the business by saying, "I will have to talk to my partners/ fellow directors before agreeing to that," in difficult situations.
4 Your business name has to say what you do and shout it as loudly as possible - Compare CE Collins and sons to Modern Print.

I have spoken to meany advertising consultants over the years and all have agreed that apart from very large firms and specialist professions businesses should use a name that says what it dose.


PS - All the very best with the enterprise.
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