I still could register under another name, and there would be advantages in doing so, such as protection from another Jane Doe starting her own photography business under a confusing similar name.
Mainly if you want to have a very small business, with just yourself part-time doing the work, with little potential for legal or financial liabilities, you might want to keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible.
A one-person business is called a sole-propietorship. You still pay income taxes on money that you make, but you will be taxed as an individual. Keep in mind that any legal or financial liabilities are held personally, so you do not have the protections offered by registering a company.
You can still operate a sole-proprietorship under a name other than your personal name, but you will need to register that business name.
You still want to have a website, though, and this is where some of the new TLDs come into play. In the case cited, a great domain name might be JaneDoe.photography or JaneDoe.photo for example.
So what are your choices in TLD extensions? The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) maintain a TLD listing (nicely arranged alphabetically) of the current possibilities.
Some good TLD choices for professionals working under their own name are the following:
- .dentist (or .dental)
- .engineer (or .engineering)
- .finance (or .financial)
- .photographer (or .photo)
- .realtor (or .realty)
Check to be sure of any regulations in your area with respect to business names. An excellent article on Naming Your Business by Canada Business Network has links to the various Canadian provincial sites.
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