15 Professional Titles for Business Owners

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What is a business owner title?

A title used by the person in charge of a business is “business owner.” The title a business owner selects usually considers the goals and objectives of their company while feeling personal. The title should reflect the variety of responsibilities a business owner bears.

In some business structures, the titles of the owners are predetermined by law, such as in limited liability companies, where an owner is referred to as a managing member. However, even in the case of these businesses, it is entirely up to the individual that leads the organization to decide what title to use when speaking with customers, partners, and other parties.

15 business owner titles

Here are 15 instances of typical job titles used by business owners:

1. Owner

One of the easiest titles for business owners to understand because it immediately conveys a person’s primary responsibility within an organization. However, it makes no mention of that individual’s position within the management hierarchy of the business, as some owners play no active part in running their own business.

Since it is typically believed that a small business owner will be actively involved in their company’s day-to-day operations, this is typically not a significant problem for small businesses. You might add titles as your business grows, like chief financial officer or managing director.

2. CEO

Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is an acronym for that person who oversees an organization’s daily operations as well as plays a significant part in developing and putting into action its long-term strategies. Finding the best candidates for each position in their company is one of the CEO’s primary responsibilities because this role typically involves consistently delegating to other employees.

Although there are no restrictions on using the title if you are the leader of a smaller organization, it can be confusing for business partners and clients because it is frequently used for large corporations.

3. Founder

When you are given the title of founder, it is obvious that you had a hand in starting the business. The founding of a company is a singular event, so unlike other titles like CEO or owner, this one cannot be transferred from one person to another.

Clients and partners typically respond favorably to this title because it conveys a strong sense of loyalty to the company. However, it does not provide any information about your current position within the organization’s hierarchy, making it more appropriate for smaller businesses unless it is followed by another title.

4. Managing director

The title of managing director, commonly abbreviated as MD, is comparable to that of a CEO in that both are frequently involved in all short- and long-term aspects and decisions of an organization. Choosing between the roles of MD and CEO is typically a personal choice. However, for smaller businesses, the title of MD may seem more appropriate than CEO as the latter may seem unrealistic given the scale of the business

5. President

The president’s title typically carries prestige and authority, making it appropriate for business owners who want to project the image of a reputable and established company.

The president may or may not also serve as the CEO as the leader of an organization or a branch of an organization. While some company presidents also hold the title of CEO, others are required to report directly to the CEO, who is at the top of the organizational hierarchy. Additionally, it does not indicate who owns the company, as some presidents are merely employees and others own at least a portion of it.

6. Director

7. Principal

The term “principal” can refer to a variety of roles that differ from organization to organization, but it is most frequently used to refer to company founders, owners, and CEOs. The position usually entails direct management of active clients and day-to-day business operations, but it also involves crucial decision-making for the organization’s short- and long-term future.

Principals in larger companies typically manage direct relationships with the organization’s clients, business partners, and other involved parties, in contrast to smaller companies where the roles of president, CEO, and principal typically carry out the same duties.

8. Managing partner or managing member

This title makes a good first impression regarding your level of ownership and involvement within the business. While the words “member” or “partner” indicate that you at least partially own the organization, the word “managing” clearly indicates that you are directly involved in the management of a company department or of the entire company.

A managing partner’s responsibility is to communicate to staff the company’s goals and plans and to carry out strategies that will likely move the company in the right direction.

9. Administrator

A manager’s job is to oversee daily operations to make sure the organization achieves its objectives while also developing short- and long-term plans for the organization to follow.

Although a manager can also be an administrator, the two roles are typically distinct because a manager is responsible for overseeing a team of people while an administrator typically deals with various aspects of an organization’s short- and long-term plans. The title of administrator is a clear indication that, as a business owner, you also play a significant role in directing the organization’s current and future actions.

10. Proprietor

Few business owners use the term proprietor outside of legal context, but it may be appropriate for companies that want to project a traditional and classic image to their clients and business associates.

11. General manager

A general manager is in charge of a specific area of a company’s operations, or both. They take care of all business operations, including ensuring that the company generates the anticipated revenue and keeps operating costs to a minimum. They also handle employee problems. A general manager might or might not also be the business’s owner. The position typically entails managing and overseeing other lower-level managers who are delegated to various company departments.

12. Chairperson

An elected group of people known as the board of directors oversees public companies on behalf of the shareholders. The board is tasked with making important decisions for the company, such as selecting and removing the president and CEO.

The top position in any organization is typically held by the chairperson of the board, who is chosen by the other board members. In some circumstances, the chairperson may also serve as the CEO if they are heavily involved in day-to-day operations and business decisions.

13. Director of operations

A director of operations is in charge of supporting the department leads who report to them in order to ensure that a company’s operations run smoothly and effectively. They assist in setting goals and objectives, helping to remove obstacles to operational success, and hiring, training, and developing new departmental managers and directors.

14. Technical director

Technical directors are in charge of making sure a group, division, or the entire business has reliable, secure technology. They manage all technical facets of the company, from developing and implementing programs to controlling how computers, tablets, and phones used by the company are used on a daily basis. Duties for a technical director may include:

15. Creative Director

FAQ

What’s a business owner called?

Small Business Owner Titles to Consider
  • CEO. A common title in the business world that makes it clear that you are in charge of your company is chief executive officer, or CEO.
  • President. …
  • Owner. …
  • Proprietor. …
  • Founder. …
  • Principal. …
  • X Director or Director of X. …
  • Managing Member or Managing Partner.

What is your business title?

Titles for small business owners can range from general (CEO, owner) to specialized (head plumber, director of technical operations). Each entrepreneur is required to choose the appropriate title on their own.

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