21 Business Owner Titles: Which One is Right for You? (2024)

Choosing the right business title is crucial for any small business owner as it not only reflects your role in the company but also affects how others perceive you and your business. To help you find the perfect job title that accurately represents your role, we’ve put together 21 small business owner title options. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is a Business Owner Title?

A business owner title is the official designation given to a person who owns a business. Business position titles reflect their role and responsibilities within the organization and communicate their position to others. A title can range from the standard CEO (chief executive officer) to a more creative business owner title.

Why Choosing the Right Job Title is Essential for Small Business Owners

Selecting appropriate job titles is a vital decision for small business owners. It can affect their company’s image and how they interact with customers, business partners, and employees.

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Business Structure

The job title should reflect the business’s structure and the owner’s role in it. An LLC or sole proprietor may choose a different title than a CEO of a corporation.

Business Strategy

The job title can align with the business’s growth and expansion plans. A visionary CEO may prefer a more strategic title, while a hands-on owner may choose a more operational title.

Limited Liability Companies

The job title of an LLC owner can vary, depending on how the company is managed. Members of an LLC can choose to be managers, members, or both.

Ensuring The Business Title Aligns with The Company’s Goals

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The job title should reflect the company’s mission and values. For example, a social entrepreneur may prefer a title that highlights their commitment to social or environmental impact.

Day-to-Day Operations

The job title should accurately reflect the owner’s role in the day-to-day operations of the business. A hands-on owner may choose a more operational title such as chief operating officer, while a delegator may opt for a more strategic title.

21 Titles for Small Business Owners

When starting a small business, choosing the right title can help establish authority and credibility. Here are 21 common titles for small business owners:

1. CEO Title

The CEO title carries significant responsibility, as the individual holding this position is at the pinnacle of corporate decision-making. Their decisions and vision greatly impact the company’s direction and overall success. CEOs are found in various industries and organizations, ranging from startups to multinational corporations.

2. Managing Director

A managing director plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth day-to-day operations of a company. They oversee various departments and teams, ensuring that the organization functions efficiently and achieves its objectives. Managing directors often hold leadership roles in both small and large businesses.

3. Chief Financial Officer

The CFO is a key figure in managing a company’s financial health. They are responsible for creating financial strategies, maintaining accurate financial records, and providing financial insights to guide important business decisions. Their role is integral to the company’s financial stability and growth.

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4. Chief Operating Officer

As a member of the C-suite, the COO is tasked with overseeing the company’s daily operations, including its finances and human resources. They collaborate closely with other executives to execute business strategies and ensure the organization’s smooth functioning.

5. Managing Partner

A managing partner leads the way in partnerships and is actively involved in the company’s management. They are instrumental in setting strategic goals, handling finances, and maintaining strong partner relationships.

6. Technical Director

A technical director’s expertise lies in managing the technical aspects of a company. They guide research and development, implement cutting-edge technologies, and oversee engineering and IT operations.

7. Creative Director

A creative director is responsible for overseeing the creative direction and output of a company, including branding, design, and marketing.

8. Director of Operations

As the director of operations, this executive is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the company, including production, logistics, and customer service. They play a pivotal role in optimizing efficiency and productivity.

9. Chief Marketing Officer

The CMO spearheads a company’s marketing efforts and is responsible for promoting the brand, conducting market research, and formulating marketing strategies to drive business growth.

10. Chief Technology Officer

The CTO is a technology visionary responsible for defining a company’s technology roadmap. They leverage technology to enhance operations, drive innovation, and gain a competitive edge in the market.21 Business Owner Titles: Which One is Right for You? (6)

11. Founder

The founder title represents the person who started the company and is often involved in setting its overall direction and strategy.

12. Owner

The owner holds legal control over the company and is vested with the ultimate responsibility for its success. They have a significant financial stake and may be involved in key decision-making processes.

13. Principal

A principal is a senior executive responsible for managing a specific business unit or function within the company. They play a vital role in driving performance and achieving departmental goals.

14. Proprietor

A proprietor is a solo entrepreneur who owns and operates a small business. They manage all aspects of the business, making decisions that directly impact its success.

15. President

The president takes on a pivotal role in overseeing day-to-day operations and implementing strategic initiatives. They work closely with other executives to ensure the company’s success.

16. Vice President

A vice president is a senior executive in a company who is responsible for managing a specific business unit or function.

17. General Manager

A general manager is responsible for managing a company’s overall business operations and is often responsible for implementing strategic goals.

18. Business Development Manager

A business development manager is responsible for identifying and pursuing new business opportunities for a company.

19. Human Resources Manager

The human resources manager is responsible for managing a company’s workforce, including recruiting, hiring, and employee relations.

20. Sales Manager

A sales manager is responsible for managing a company’s sales team and developing strategies to increase sales revenue.

21. Project Manager

A project manager is responsible for overseeing the planning, execution, and delivery of specific projects within a company.

Tips for Choosing the Right Business Owner Title

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Selecting the right business owner title is crucial for your business’s identity. Consider your role and responsibilities, align the title with the image you want to portray and ensure it accommodates future growth. Seek feedback from others, keep it simple and clear, and research industry norms. Emphasize your strengths, consult with partners, and reevaluate periodically to maintain alignment with your evolving business. Your title is not just a formality; it plays a vital role in setting the right tone and showcasing your expertise.

  • Consider Your Role: Think about your primary responsibilities and the role you play in the company’s operations to find a title that accurately represents your position.
  • Reflect the Business Image: The title you choose should align with the image you want to portray for your business. It should communicate your authority and expertise.
  • Think About Growth: If you have plans for future expansion or hiring, consider a title that can accommodate the company’s growth.
  • Seek Feedback: Get input from your team, mentors, or advisors to ensure the title you select resonates well with others and reflects your role effectively.
  • Keep It Simple: Avoid overly complicated or creative titles that may confuse others or make it challenging to understand your role.
  • Be Transparent: Choose a title that clarifies your position within the organization to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Research Industry Norms: Look into common job titles in your industry to ensure that your chosen title aligns with industry standards.
  • Emphasize Your Strengths: If you excel in a particular area of expertise, consider a title that highlights your key strengths and contributions.
  • Legal Considerations: If you have partners or shareholders, consult with them before finalizing your title to ensure alignment and agreement.
  • Reevaluate Periodically: As your business evolves, reassess your title to ensure that it continues to reflect your responsibilities and contributions.
Tips for Choosing the Right Business Owner Title
1. Consider Your Role
2. Reflect the Business Image
3. Think About Growth
4. Seek Feedback
5. Keep It Simple
6. Be Transparent
7. Research Industry Norms
8. Emphasize Your Strengths
9. Legal Considerations
10. Reevaluate Periodically

Remember that your business owner title is not just a formality; it is an essential aspect of your business identity. Take the time to choose a title that aligns with your role, showcases your strengths, and sets the right tone for your business.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right business owner title is an important decision that can impact your company’s success. By understanding the different options available when researching how to start a business and considering your own skills and preferences, you can select the title that best aligns with your goals and responsibilities. Remember that starting a business requires much more than just picking a title, so be sure to also brush up on important meeting tips and other aspects of entrepreneurship to set yourself up for success.

Business Owner Title FAQs

Does a Business Owner Need to Have a Title?

A business owner does not necessarily need to have a formal title, but having one can help establish authority and credibility. Common titles for business owners include CEO, founder, president, or owner.

What is a Good Title For a Business Owner?

A good title for a business owner depends on the industry and size of the company. CEO, founder, president, and owner are common titles. Other options include managing director, principal, or proprietor.

What is The Best Title for Owner of an LLC?

The best title for the owner of an LLC is often “owner” or “member.” Other options include managing members or the CEO, depending on the size and structure of the company.

Should My Business Title be Owner or CEO?

Whether a business title should be owner or CEO depends on the size and structure of the company. If there are multiple owners, CEO may be a more appropriate title. Otherwise, owner is a common and simple title.

What Small Business Owner Titles are The Best?

Small business owner titles vary depending on the size and structure of the company. Depending on the business, titles include everything from CMO to CEO. Some business owners may even choose between titles like CEO or entrepreneur. As the company grows, titles like president or managing director may be added.

Should I Put Owner or CEO on a Business Card?

The title on a business card should accurately reflect the person’s role in the company. Owner is appropriate for a sole proprietorship or small business, while CEO may be more suitable for a larger company with multiple executives.

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21 Business Owner Titles: Which One is Right for You? (2024)
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