Monday, November 17, 2008

More about using your own name vs. a pen name

There are two separate issues involved here - and both draw a measure of debate.

One: Should you use your own name as your business name? Or should you come up with a company name?

This one's really going to end up with a coin toss. Some say your company will have more credibility if you have a company name instead of just your name. Other say the opposite. Bob Bly uses his own name, and recommends that.

CPA's may recommend using a company name - especially if you've got a business entity set up. One point of having a business entity in place is to separate yourself from your business legally, liability-wise, and financially. Naming it after yourself seems to defeat the purpose. Obviously, check with your tax or legal counsel to know what's best in your situation.

In my situation, I went with Triumph Communications. I've got a team of writers, so using the company name seems more accurate than just my own name.

Two: Should you use your own name for your by-line (when you get one!)?

On this one, it depends. If I'm writing something within the niche of freelance writing, my specialty, I use my name. But I've got information products in other niches - and not that any are seedy or questionable, but they're completely unrelated to freelance writing. Rather than appear as a jack of all trades, master of none, I use a pen name for them.

So, what do YOU think?

Angela Booth's Writing Blog: Freelance writing - use your real name

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