Your Legal Name As Your Company Name: Yes or No?

In day to day life we make decisions based on any number of emotions to influence the best outcome of a situation. In this case, if you own or are planning to own a business, at some point you’re going to have to name it.

Initially it may seem like a simple task but in business it can be just the opposite. Many people take what appears to be the easy route and simply name it after themselves which is okay since it’s your business. If you do consider naming it after yourself, one of the toughest things to do is determine whether or not you should. Once you arrive at this crossroad there are a few things to consider before making your final decision.

  1. How Common Is Your Name? If your name is common then it may not help you much with search engines because there may be others using the name. The negative affect of that is you’d be forced to create different versions of your name in order to make it work and therefore you’ll start to chip away at your identity. In this case, you could then decide to add your last name and though that would help, it would also require consumers to work a little harder to find or remember you. They’d have to remember more and, in many cases, you’d have to count on them to spell it correctly. Don’t get me wrong, the most novice of people can figure it out but ideally you want to make it as easy as possible for them.
  2. Your Name Could Change.  Once again, this could create a separation between you and your brand. Although that’s not always a bad thing, some people welcome that and see it as an unplanned opportunity.  There are plenty of instances where the business owner did a great job building their brand and ultimately decide they don’t always want to be associated with the brand in every social environment. In some cases, they may just want to move on and focus on another project.
  3. You Could Lose The Rights To Your Name. Remember, once you’ve lent your name to a brand or business, it is attached until someone legally changes it. When that change happens, it’s not always changed by the person who bears the name. Depending on how large you want to take your business, this could matter because you may decide to sell the company at some point. If and when that day comes, your name legally goes with it and could prevent you from using your own name for commercial use in the future. However, exceptions can be made if negotiated in advance.

There’s no right or wrong decision here, just be sure to know your options in the short and long term and know what they mean. Always consult with your legal official on these and similar matters.

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