Joe Designer or ACME Design - Best way to name?

Is it better as a freelancer to do business under your name or a company name?

Some pros/cons I can think of for using your own name:

-simpler, no need for LLC
-better connection to alreay-in-place social media.

-may seem like “one-man-band”.
-your name may not be as memorable as a clever company name.

Cons - Your name might be hard to spell. Thus harder to remember.

thanks Sain:
Hey, I like your website, what did you use to post it? Who are u using for hosting? Thanks.

Does it matter? Are you just doing a bit of freelancing or starting a consultancy/brand?

You can operate under any name you wish without incorporating by doing a dba (doing business as) as a sole proprietorship, tegistrring a business name, at least in Canada but would assume it similar elsewhere.


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Sain, I think I’d be changing those little “details” pretty quick. … .

To backup R, in most states in the U.S. you’ll need to file a fictitious business name statement (DBA) with your county recorder, and obtain a business license from your county tax collector. When I started out I had to obtain a home occupation permit from the city as well.

If you’ll be transmitting prints, model work, etc., you’ll need a “resale” permit to charge your materials against (otherwise you’ll be paying sales taxes on them).

to R,

Working as a freelancer, not creating a multi-person consulting firm.

Yes, of course all those things are needed. But that’s different than making an LLC and incorporating which requires more paperwork and totally separate accounting. If it’s a sole proprietorship, you just file your normal personal tax returns. At least here in Canada.

If you are just doing a bit of freelancing, I don’t think it matters what name you do it under.


thanks Sain:
Hey, I like your website, what did you use to post it? Who are u using for hosting? Thanks.

I hate to take a thread off topic. But here is a bit more info on my site layout. > > I use for my hosting. Very good host, quick to respond and well reviewed. There are some good promo codes and reviews there. > .:. UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH & DISK .:. Plans starting at only $1.75/m | Web Hosting Talk

Sain, I think I’d be changing those little “details” pretty quick. …

Fixed it, all of the content on that site is essentially placeholder. I should honestly just take down the site until its completely finished. But finishing the website is near the top of my to do list and hopefully will be done soon.

In this case I think just using your name might be best. Seems like in the end companies will remember by your name even if you use a ACME Design title. So why not just bypass that step.

I just recently took on some freelance work. Since Im not doing a ton and just dealing with one company, I decided the best way would just be to use my name. As long as you are a sole proprietorship, you will add this income into your personal taxes as Richard previously stated. I believe you soc # acts as your business ID number. If you plan on making a full go of freelancing and really branching out to multiple people, you may want to get a DBA so that you can grow if needed.

hi, joyride, thanks are u ever afraid of having your ss# out there as your business ID number? I guess you gotta take risks to get gain. Maybe this is one con of doing business under your real name.

The company that I am workign with is fairly large with over a thousand employees. My soc is really only going to their accounting finance department, which deals with everyones soc numbers. I do not put it on my invoices. They simply had me fill out a W-9 with my soc and then it was stored like they do with every other employee. When I get the bill, it is for the gross amount. Taxes will be taken out once I file next year. Here is some info on the W-9 form:

Form’s Use
The form is used for employers to collect the most important information from affiliates or freelance workers. These workers or affiliates get paid by the employer, but the worker is responsible for all his taxes. The W9 form gets reported to the IRS to help keep track of the taxes that independent contractors actually owe.

Information Required
As of 2010, a W-9 form has only one page of information to fill out, and three pages of explanation about the form and its uses. The form requires a name, address, business name (if applicable) and a Social Security Number (SSN) or equivalent Employer Identification Number (EIN). (You can register for an EIN through if you are concerned about your soc)

Importance with Freelancers
The W-9 form is most commonly used with freelance employees who are responsible for paying their own taxes. This is one way for the IRS to keep track of what freelancers are making and to check the yearly W-9 numbers employers turn in versus what the freelancers claim they made.

Reported Income
The employer turns in a form to the IRS every year on every worker for whom they have a W-9, and the W-9 includes the specific amount paid to the freelance worker over the past year. The SSN or EIN on the W-9 forms are used by the IRS to get an idea of what the independent contractors are making and to make sure they are reporting their full income.

thanks, all very helpful.