Transitioning to a business name
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:21
Member (2008)
French to English
Aug 1, 2014

I am considering transitioning from just using my own name, as I have for many years, to registering a business name. There are a variety of reasons: my bank prefers a business account to be in a business name, liability, insurance issues, etc.

But I am wondering how to approach my existing clients with whom I have dealt for years under my personal name, both agencies and end clients. Is the change likely to raise any concerns with them? Can anyone relate their experience in making this transition?

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Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:21
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Might not be such a good idea Aug 1, 2014


just my 2 cents, and from a US point of view, to boot.

1. Having a business name has no impact on your liability. Maybe you mean incorporating? Those are two different things. Incorporation is usually done to avoid personal liability (apart from tax reasons, for which you should consult your accountant).

2. Whenever I have changed only one tiny thing (cell phone no., email or physical address…), I have lost at least one or two clients. Not to mention the dozens who never get around to getting the changes made at all their offices (Accounting, most notably - and no, I don't always have their address so that I can do it myself).

3. So if your bank insists, you may be able to get your own name as a business name, with Translations (or whatever) added. That should do it. Here, I would have to register such a business name (or any business name, such as Whirligig Enterprises…good names are taken, it seems) with the State (Oregon) and pay a small fee. That's it. Renewable every other year online.
Has the advantage that for communication with your clients, nothing of importance changes.

4. I wouldn't neglect the cachet that your name will have by now. Hard-earned, valuable, and not-to-be-sneezed-at. You may have to start all over, reputation- and memory-wise. Is it worth it? And I have also noticed that some companies prefer to deal with an individual rather than another company (I guess they know how much overhead they will be asked to pay…). I myself do, too.


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

I have the same issue Aug 1, 2014

Instead of creating a new name, I've used my initials and surname: DJHartmann. This has kept everyone familiar and lost no one.

PS if you change emails, forward emails from your old account to new one.

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