I've started as a freelancer and back then I got a friend to design me two business cards that I handle in different situations.
Bellow my name I have:
My situation has changed and now I have a very good team working with me, but I'm the only one that call the shots.
Some days ago I met an old friend, he was abroad for almost 10 years, and when I handle him a card, he stated:
"You should really put something in it that states that you call the shots "
He got me thinking and I believe he's right.
I'm the guy that does everything - business development, sales, accouting, etc. -, i.e., I'm the C*O guy...
The word "owner" is out of the question, "partner" does not apply and "CEO" is not quite true...
The best I came with was "founder".
Is this the best title for a guy that has it's own business and it's alone on it?
Using founder says you are a start up. Good or Bad, this can make some people you are dealing with see you as small, not serious, and the like. I am not saying that is the right impression to have, but some will have it. CEO, CTO, President, etc... says authority and implies that you have structure. I think CEO or President would be a better choice for you.
I like "founder", it doesn't seem out of place for a small company, and doesn't come across as an ego title.
I am not sure if there are local differences, but in Australia it is common to see "Director" and "Managing Director" as well.
Personally I use founder if I need a title, but even better for me is no title at all. No title gives you the most versatility.
In the UK 'Director' or 'IT Director' is a good option if your start-up is a Limited company. It is both accurate and says that you are jn charge.
Director is also suitably vague for most situations and, in my opinion, not too pretentious.