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Ditching a company name, and what substitutes employment?

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Hi all -

This isn't really an 'introduction' as such, but I couldn't find a more appropriate board to post in.

I've been a freelancer for nearly 12 years now, always operating under a company name. And while I have worked with some large brands, I've never employed someone full time, but just contracted people in when necessary. However lately I am considering ditching working under a company name and just using my own name as I feel most people are coming to my company for me anyway, and the company just gets in the way. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or previous experience on this; thought it could be an interesting discussion point.

I feel that 10 years ago, it was more common to operate under a business name but now being a freelancer is more common, as we each aim to specialise and build up our personal track records and branding.

I've considered going for short-term contracts and only recently had to look at my CV. I noticed that others who freelance under their own name added various clients they'd carried out contracts with in under work history whereas I really could only list my company, which means that although I may have more experience, they looked like they had the better track record as they were able to list all these impressive brands in their employment. I just get the feeling if I went under my own name I'd have more freedom to be able to list my clients in my employers list (even on places like linkedin) but perhaps thats stretching the truth either way? Depends if we class a contract as employment?

Thoughts appreciated!

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Not sure if you mean "company" as in a trading style or brand; or a formal company structure which is more for accounting and tax purposes than marketing as you can trade under any name even as a freelancer.


(a) Whatever name you use should be memorable and that's often easier with a "brand" name. Your regular customers will remember your personal name but potential or irregular customers are likely to recall you if your "brand" is memorable. And don't forget you may pick up clients from people who have worked with you at one client but move to another - then it's even more important that you're easy to remember. 

(b) If you want to go with your own name you can always add "and Partners" to give weight to your business for those who need that comfort.

(c) Forget the technicalities of employment structure and just showcase your portfoliio; along the lines of  "I've worked on projects for..."

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