Individual or Company?


Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the merits of branding yourself as a company rather than an individual? I’m currently just selling myself as a freelance graphic and web designer, but a lot of people tend to brand themselves more as agencies (even if there’s only one person actually involved). I was thinking perhaps I should do the same, but would this then put off the one-man-band client who may actually prefer dealing with a similar setup (and who do make up a fair bit of my client list).
This is the issue I'm currently having.
I think I'm going to go down the agency/studio route because I want the option to expand later on.
I run a business that only consists of me and a business partner. We are technically self-employed but have branded ourselves as a company and a design studio. It works quite well, as it projects us as being "bigger than we actually are" to our larger target clients. It also doesn't really affect our relationship with our small start-up clients, as we enjoy meeting new clients face-to-face and they can see that we were are still a small business.
Hope that helps
- Chris
Solid advice, thanks folks. I think I’ll do down the route of marketing myself as a small studio. Who knows, one day I might have an employee!
I honestly don't think it matters a great deal and that's why there's no simple answer: as the cliche has it, people buy from people and what you appear to be is far less important than what you are in terms of the service you offer and the way you conduct your business.
I follow both directions, I have a freelance virtual mailer and an 'and associates' company brochure, I then pitch accordingly.

I find that lots of people assume that as a one man band, one doesn't have the capacity to cover sickness etc. although you and I know that we have so many contacts, we can easily provide for those situations.
I follow both directions, I have a freelance virtual mailer and an 'and associates' company brochure, I then pitch accordingly.

i think you hit the nail on the head: as someone that may be seeking some design input shortly, i'd rather deal with an individual designer rather than a company. Unless it's a large project, i think most people would rather deal with a particular designer - it's their own particular creativities that led to the business presumably so why would they rather deal with a company? Likewise, a single designer trying to pass themselves off as a company or team may end up looking a little foolish later.
On the other hand there's nothing to make things look more 'company' orientated - for example, encorporate your business as a Ltd company, but, of course, there are tax issues with that.