Setting Up Your Consulting Practice

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Topic: Name Your Firm

Your firm name should show the type of impact you have — what you do.  Ensure your business name is memorable and that the website domain name is available. 

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Create a name for your firm. The very simplest approach to this, which some people do and I do not recommend, is just to take your name, comma, LLC. So in my case, William H. Bachman, LLC. You could create a legal entity with that name, but it gives a pretty poor impression. It makes it seem like you gave no thought at all to coming up with a name for your firm.

The next better approach is to incorporate your name in the firm but to use one of the sorts of standard formats. It could be The Bachman Group, or Bachman and Co., or Bachman Advisers, one of those kinds of forms. Acceptable. Some people do that. I don’t recommend it. It makes your firm seem a little small. It makes people think that if you’re the managing director of The Bachman Group, perhaps you’re the only person in The Bachman Group. So I don’t recommend that approach. Although a lot of people do take it. The other problem with that approach is it doesn’t give much indication of what you do. Or what the strategy or the focus of your firm is.

So try to come up with a name that conveys something about the industry that you work on, or the functional area that you work on, or the type of impact you have — that conveys something about the work.  Meanwhile, you don’t want to make it so generic that you would never show up in a Google search, even if someone is trying to find your particular firm. 

So if you tried to name your firm, you know, Operational Improvement Consulting Firm LLC, no one is ever going to find you, obviously. So you want to find something that’s distinctive, something that represents something about what you do but is not so generic.

It’s pretty tough to find a name like that, where you can also find the domain name. And you really do want to find a name where you can get the dot com on it. It just doesn’t create a very impressive impression if your firm is dot net, or dot US, or dot CO.

So try to find a name where you can also get the domain name and you can get the dot com.

If you’re struggling to come up with a name, you can go to one of the websites that has a curated set of names. So for example: Go there, and you can sort by different categories where they’ve come up with names for insurance firms or food delivery firms or professional service firms. You can just sort through those names until you come across one that catches your eye, and then to say “I can live with that name. It’s distinctive, I can get the domain name.”