Naming a Business After Oneself – the Easy Way Out

Naming a business after the owners is commonplace, particularly for service providers.

There are two main reasons people name their company’s after themselves – it’s easy and there’s an ego involved.

The name, particularly if it’s comprised of two or three partner’s names, like most law and accounting firms, is usually available and possibly trademarkable. And it takes very little creativity to name a business after oneself. What’s more, the business can be named quickly so the founders can get on with the important things. They probably spend more time picking office furniture than they do naming their business.

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Ego is a little more complicated reason for the owner naming the business after themselves. Very seldom will the owner acknowledge that having a business named after oneself is an act of ego-stroking. Their response when asked usually has to do with the name having a “certain reputation in the field”. Then they might also allude to the fact that most professional service providers use the principal’s name. It’s, well, professional.

Little thought is given to an “exit plan”. Selling a business that’s named for someone else doesn’t appeal to other ego-driven professionals, nor do buyers see that they gain any equity by carrying on under someone else’s name.

There is a trend, even in the medical community, to do business under a name designed to evoke a positive feeling about the entity, and to differentiate on factors other than the founder’s reputation. I believe it’s healthy and beneficial to take the time and make the effort to name a professional service provider by a name that sets the organization, not the individuals, apart.

Oh, another group of professionals guilty of using founder names? Branding consultants.

Goodness gracious. Think they’d advise their clients to do the same?

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3 thoughts on “Naming a Business After Oneself – the Easy Way Out

  1. What are peoples feelings about naming your company after someone else? Like using their first name if they have a cool first name.

    I named my company after a girl I like, she has a cool name and, I like ‘like’ her too so thought it would be…kinda…a reflection of my feelings towards her in physical form I don’t know!

    If I were to tell her I named it after her because she has a cool name, I think she’d be ok with it right? I know I wouldnt be bothered negatively and would be flattered to be honest…

    Opinions appreciated!

  2. Oh, Ben…

    Naming a business after your girl friend? Before I’d begin naming anything I’d establish criteria for the name at minimum. What does the name need to impart to customers? What is appropriate? Will it stand the test of time? I wouldn’t adopt any name unless that name fit my business appropriately, imparted a benefit or suggested one. Remember, your name is a business asset, or should be at least. On another level, what if that girl quits you and insists you change the name? Well, it’s our call.

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