Small business owner titles can vary from the standard (CEO, owner) to the specific (head plumber, director of technical operations).You need to make your own decision about the right title to use. But there are some things to consider to help you determine the title that works best for your particular company and your role. Here are some of the options and things to consider:
CEO, or chief executive officer, is a very professional sounding title that lets you show that you’re the individual in charge of the whole company. It’s often used by companies with teams or those that want their business to seem very established.
Another professional sounding title, president conveys a message of authority and can be used basically interchangeably with CEO depending on your preferences and how you structure the rest of the titles within your company.
If you’re the principal owner of your business, so if it’s not a partnership or corporation with investors, then you might just choose to keep it simple and go with owner.
Principal is another option that shows that you’re the prime owner or person in charge of the business, but it can sound a bit more official than owner.
Proprietor is another term for owner/operator that was popular in decades past. So it conveys the same message but can be especially popular with Main Street businesses and small town service providers.
If you were actually the person who formed your company in the first place, and not someone who bought in or formed a partnership where you eventually became the person in charge, then you could opt for founder as your title.
For those looking for a professional sounding title that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the singular owner of the business, managing director can be a great option.
For LLC businesses, owners are technically members. But to convey that you’re the one who’s actually in charge of decisions related to the business, managing member can be just a bit more specific.
For partnership businesses, managing partner lets people know about the structure of your business while also conveying your status as the primary decision maker.
Remember, titles are meant to be meaningful, relevant and clarifying. Pick one that is relevant to your position.