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Poll: Does your translation business have a name other than your own?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:51
SITE STAFF
Jun 17, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does your translation business have a name other than your own?".

This poll was originally submitted by Jenn Mercer. View the poll results »



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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
Other Jun 17, 2013

We are a family-owned business, so technically it is not MY name, but ours.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 17, 2013

I don't really consider myself as "having a business". I operate as a "freelance language service provider" under my own name, but if people want to perceive me/it as a company or firm, then so be it.

For example, where a tradesman's calling card might be "Joe Bloggs, Plumber", mine would read "Neil Macowan, Language Services". If it gives the impression of something rather more grand than just me sitting in a corner of my living room, fair enough.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:51
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Partually Jun 17, 2013

It's actually Thayenga Language Services (T. L. S.)

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:51
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Jun 17, 2013

My company name and my personal name - both together. I think that is the norm, where I come from.

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:51
Member
German to English
+ ...
Sort of Jun 17, 2013

My husband and I both operate through the same limited company, but providing different services. The limited company has a name, which is on all my invoices, etc. but it is not the name of a translation business specifically.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Limited company Jun 17, 2013

Hangover from when world domination was the plan

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Never got any further Jun 17, 2013

I decided at an early stage that CAT was fairly thoroughly taken, although I call myself Christine Andersen Translations.

Danglish did not seem a good option either

In fact Andersen, spelt the Danish way, is not at all bad as a brand name, although it is one of the commonest names in the phone book.

So I gave up trying to find anything more elaborate, and it is too late now!


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Revealing answers Jun 17, 2013

I am just starting my day with a large cup of tea and I noticed two trends in the poll answers:

a) People are reluctant to give away their business name (except Thayenga, unless she did it tongue of cheeky, ha).
b) Apparently, most translators who think up a business name think that their surname (or last name) must be part of that business name, and that the words 'language' or 'translations' must also be part of the business name.

It's never too late to come up with a business name, but please use your imagination. You don't want to sound like one of those dime-a-dozen translation agencies now, do you?


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:51
French to English
Well... Jun 17, 2013

If you want people to remember who to call back when they've heard of you, using your name is a good idea.
If you want to attract new clients, it's a good idea to let them know the nature of your business.

My brother had a dentist called Dr Iain Pullem = I pullem
There's a plumber here called Plombiers Robinet = Tap Plumbers

When I'm as big as Apple, I'll call my translation and interpreting business Banana!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
@Mario: Give away the full business name Jun 17, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:
a) People are reluctant to give away their business name (except Thayenga, unless she did it tongue of cheeky, ha).


I guess, this poll would look like one major ad space in no time if we all did that.

Before curiosity kills you, ours is Schnell Creative Group, Inc. (see profile page and BB)



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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:51
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Partly Jun 17, 2013

My business name is the typical combination of my surname and a language related word: Lahokoski Linguistics. However, my surname is a very rare one, which I think gives the business name a touch of individuality.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sure thing Jun 17, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:
a) People are reluctant to give away their business name (except Thayenga, unless she did it tongue of cheeky, ha).


I guess, this poll would look like one major ad space in no time if we all did that.

Before curiosity kills you, ours is Schnell Creative Group, Inc. (see profile page and BB)



My business name is Wordsmeet LLC (LLC means Limited Liability Company)

Thanks, Nicole.

Dear Nikki, you make two good points, but...

Let's not confuse business name with marketing or advertising.

Plus, Apple didn't become as big as it is today out of the blue or because of the name. It got started in a garage more than 30 years ago. After he was fired from Apple, Steve Jobs founded another company, NExT. Sure, he had a few million dollars to fund it, but the name was short and evocative. He could have called any of his companies “Steve Jobs Computers that are not Windows” but he didn't.

The point of a business name is to establish a point of reference for a business or a professional identity, nothing else. Anything else, what the business does or who to contact, etc. is up to PR, marketing and advertising.


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:51
German to English
other Jun 17, 2013

Oddly the poster did not include the option of a business name combined with a personal name. In Germany (and presumably in at least some other European countries), members of the "liberal professions" (including translators) are legally required to include their full names in the names of their businesses.

Of course that doesn't apply if you set up a "real business" (AG, GmbH, Ltd., etc.)

I came up with "michael wetzel kunstübersetzer" (and also purchased the domain for the English translation, "arttranslator.com") - domain names seem to be very important for SEO, so it is worth giving some real thought to this subject. (Ironically, while writing this post, I received a call and an order from someone who contacted me because my site came up first when he did a search. Still, that is a strange coincidence: I can't imagine that I get more than 3 dozen inquiries and maybe 2 dozen orders per year directly through my website alone.)


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
@Mario Jun 17, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:
My business name is Wordsmeet LLC (LLC means Limited Liability Company)

Thanks, Nicole.


We started out as an LLC as well. It takes two years of proven business activity until you can turn your company into an Inc.


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