Find out which company form suits your company
When you enlist with the Chamber of Commerce, you must choose a legal form. You can choose from a legal document without legal personalities, such as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership (VOF), or a legal form with legal personalities, such as a private limited company (BV). Most (starting) freelancers opt for a sole proprietorship. As a starter, this usually provides you with more tax benefits than, for example, a BV. As the owner of a sole proprietorship, you are often entitled to the self-employed deduction. Check which possible legal forms suit your situation.
The legal form you choose has consequences for your liability and any tax benefits. Did you know that you are personally liable for your company’s debts with a sole proprietorship? It is usually not the case in a legal form with legal personalities, such as a BV. But a BV pays corporation tax and possibly also dividend tax. The director-major shareholder (data) also owes income tax on his wages and any dividends. Are your unsure which legal form suits your company best?
Choose a name that fits your activities
Have you chosen a legal form? Then you can think about a proper company name. It seems obvious, but a good company name can say something about the products or services you provide. What do you have to offer? A fantasy name or letter combination/abbreviation is also possible, but make sure that it is distinctive, easy to remember, and registerable. Also, consider whether your company name can be used internationally (if this applies to your work). Your company name is the first introduction to your company for potential customers. Take the opportunity to leave a good impression. Don’t be too descriptive; an original or unusual name is OK, especially if it fits your activities. For example, are you a copywriter? Then a subtle pun in your company name can be fun. But are you starting a funeral business? Then a descriptive or meaningful name is a better choice. A good company name sticks to arouses curiosity and is easy to remember. And look for inspiration in your environment: what kind of company name appeals to you?
Avoid Confusion and Deception
You can use not every name just like that because rules apply to a company name. Do you have a name in mind? Check whether you are also allowed to use it legally. Do this before investing in a logo/brand, website, and printed matter. For example, a company name may not resemble an existing trade name too much. Therefore, first, check in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce whether a name is already registered. Also, search the internet to see if a name is used. Try out different spellings. In addition, the name should not be misleading. For example, you may only use the term ‘accountant’ or ‘architect’ in your company name if you are an accountant or architect. And are you starting a sole proprietorship? Then the name should not give the impression that there are several owners. Therefore, you can forget the name ‘Pieter & Partners’ for a sole proprietorship.
Choose a future-proof name
Where will your business be in 10 years? Perhaps you want to expand your activities in the long term, change the legal form, or eventually dare to take the step across the border. A trend-sensitive, too-defined, or Dutch name can get in the way of expansion. Don’t want to exclude anything in the future? Check whether your intended company name has any undesirable characteristics in another language. Also, avoid trends or time-sensitive products in the name. For example, hardware specialist CD-ROM-LAND will now sell a few CD-ROMs.
The ultimate check: ask for feedback
Have you decided for yourself? Use family and friends as a test case. And preferably also ask potential customers, your target audience. Ask them to write down the name to make sure there are no problems with the spelling. What does the name evoke? Does the name match the image you have in mind for your company? Does your find pass the test? Then quickly make an appointment with the Chamber of Commerce to record your company name and legal form. Also, don’t forget to enlist your domain name for your website and email.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.