Last Name for Company Name?

Just an opinion question here -

I went back and forth when choosing my company name to go with my last name or something more generic. I decided that my goal would be to stay a one man company and provide a great service so I went with my last name for the business. My goals have changed recently and I am starting to think about making my first hire.

With that being said, I’m curious what peoples’ thoughts are on having employees with a self named company? I only have $1500 or so tied up in my car decals and clothing so that isn’t a huge loss, I am more worried about brand recognition if I make a name change now.

I would leave the company name as it is. You obviously have a company name presence in you area that you will, likely, loose by changing the company name. Think about it. I suspect nobody named sears works at Sears.


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How long have you been in business?
You’ve only been an Internachi member since February, so 9 months if that is about when you started up… SO… Do it NOW!! You will never get a better chance to fix a wrong. Also, get rid of the “Home Inspections” unless you plan to never expand in the future. Talk about painting yourself into a corner!!

Option… “Hubbard Home Inspections”, DBA. “Hubbard and Associates Inspection Services”


Good day,
Jeff is a smart cookie and gives solid advice without all the hoopla.
So think about how you want to structure your business or register your business.
Naming a business goes hand in hand with registering and the costs involved.

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Most companies large and small have their legal business name and a shortened name everyone uses. If you started as Hubbard and are getting enough business as Hubbard to hire help. Then don’t change that part. That is what people know and probably the shorthand they use for your name. If you want to change I would recommend something similar to what JJ suggested.

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Unfortunately, the majority of all future clients WILL NOT know your name, and when searching Google/Bing/Etc… will be searing along the lines of “Inspection Services” NOT “Hubbard”. The trick is to get searchers to type in the most exacting phrase to match your name so that YOU come up as close to the top of page 1 as possible. That is the thinking behind my suggestion, while keeping whatever Branding already exists from the name Hubbard.

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True future clients will not, but if he has built up his business in a short amount of time to be able to support hiring, then he probably has multiple avenues where business is coming from. And keeping his main name is important along with maximizing SEO like you say. I agree with you. I was just trying to say don’t change your name completely from what it is to “Big Smith Inspection Agency” or something completely unrelated to what he’s built up so far.

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One of the considerations I had when naming my business was transferability in the future. Some day we all want to retire and I want my business to be able to be sold to hopefully cushion my nest egg. Not a big deal if your last name is somewhat generic but in my case, I felt using my last name would reduce the value to a potential buyer.

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Personally, I would try to get the name of the city/area where you work into the company name. That will give you oodles of FREE generic SEO…for people doing Google searches for inspectors around there.

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JJ’s suggestion is a good one. the Hubbard name is what sticks with people. definitely leave that the same. I thought about something similar to this, that is why I went with “Property Inspections”, so I could add multifamily, commercial, etc… later as I (hopefully) grow…

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I appreciate all the advice everyone! I’m thinking I will be sticking to just residential but I guess that could always change so broadening the name can’t hurt!

I’m 9 months in and while I’m not overflowing with business, we have another venture taking off that I’d like to be more available for. Then I can focus on marketing, keep an employee happy with enough work and build up to more business and soon I’ll have more time to get back to full time inspecting.

All good problems to be having to think about!

Until he/she gets tired of making all the money for you and goes out on his own!
Did you calculate that into your master plan?

Sure did! Although it never works out as planned, right? Hire someone competent enough to maintain a good name for the company but unmotivated enough that they don’t desire to do all the behind the scenes work themselves.

In all seriousness, I understand this part is probably the toughest. Hopefully I can treat them well enough that they are satisfied but I’m sure that only ever lasts so long.

Make it a part of their employment that they are to work in the office 1 day a month doing all the crap work none of us enjoy. Let them see first hand what they are in for when they’re not in the field doing the fun work!! Give them a reason to not want to go at it on their own… ya know… kinda like when you were a ‘blind and stoopid’ newbie just getting started with $$ in your eyes!! :wink:

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Love that idea, might as well offload some of that too as long as they’re on the payroll

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