Changing my name for business


I need your opinion on this:

I'm from Europe but live in US for years. My name is a very difficult to pronounce here in US .
Something like Timoleon Karaxtzidakis.

I'm starting an online business selling a product and I'm thinking of changing my business to something that everyone can pronounce, like Tim Kara.

So, I'm thinking of using this name to all emails, business cards, on my blog, in general to be my identity in the web.

What do you think of it?
What complications I may face in the future?

Thanks in advanced.
Tim Kara 8-)

Business Identity

asked Apr 14 '10 at 00:45
Tim Kara
98 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

6 Answers


Well, I do agree Tim Kara is a lot easier.

Will your business have your name on its name? If not, would it be that important to have an easier name?

Have you though about having something like a nick name and not dropping your name at all? Something like "Timoleon X Karaxtzidakis", where X is the name by which you would like to be remembered or associated with.

Whatever your decision is, I don't really see any future complications. It's just like when a rock star has an artistic name. There are lot's of examples like Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, aka George Michael, or Paul David Hewson, aka Bono Vox.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 01:00
Fernando Martins
798 points
  • Fernando, my business won't have my name, but it will appear on my blog, support emails, etc. I like the idea of Timoleon Karaxtzidakis (aka Tim Kara). Or is better Tim Kara (aka Timoleon Karaxtzidakis)? – Tim Kara 14 years ago
  • Zuly Gonzalez has already has answer it, you can sign just as Tim Kara, except on legal business stuff where you'll use your real name. I don't really see the need of using the "(aka name)" stuff. – Fernando Martins 14 years ago


I think going with Tim is a good idea. I'm actually in a similar position myself. I found that although most people seem to remember me because I have such an unusual firstname, they have a hard time pronouncing it. So I use my nickname (Zuly) instead of my firstname. Zuly is still uncommon, so people tend to remember me, yet it is easy to pronounce.

I use my firstname on all official business documents (bank accounts, contracts, etc), but use Zuly any other time (my blog, email, etc).

EDIT (to address your question about your lastname): I don't think you'll have a problem if you choose to use a different last name from your legal one. In my case, I legally have two last names, but I only use one last name. I've been doing that for decades in the USA without a single problem. My legal name is Firstname Lastname1 Lastname2, but I’m known as Nickname Lastname1.

Another example is middle names...most people have middle names, but they rarely use them. If you search through all the blogs (or business cards) you'll be hard pressed to find a single person posting as Firstname Middlename Lastname. They want to be known as Firstname Lastname, just like I want to be known as Nickname Lastname, you want to be known as Tim Kara, and Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou wants to be known as George Michael (stealing Fernando’s example). It's legal. All you’re trying to do is create a brand for yourself.

When most people are online they like to see informal names. Using Tim Kara will make you seem more friendly, real, and welcoming. And may help people relate to you better. Now when you have to sign a legal document you will sign using your legal name. I hope this helps, but if you still feel uncomfortable about it, speak to an attorney.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 03:04
Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points


Hey Tim! I think it's a fine idea.

You're making yourself more accessible by using a name that is easy to pronounce and remember in the culture where you're doing business. I'd do the same if I were conducting business in your country.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 01:34
Keith De Long
5,091 points
  • Your name is so easy to remember Keith, you can do business with it in any country. – Tim Kara 14 years ago


I live in Australia and I've come across many people from Asian countries that have a 'preferred' name instead of their original name. Nobody here gives it a second thought and they certainly don't view it in a negative way. They take it for what it was intended, easier to say and remember.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 09:53
Smart Company Software
1,190 points


If you've been in US for a few years by now you probably already heard a few versions of your name. I have a friend dentist, with long Persian name. He goes by Dr. K. It is easier on his patients and they remember it, unlike his real name. Now, it also depends on the type of items you plan to sell. It is probably not a good idea to start a high fashion line with a simple name like John Smith... Do you have clients? Pick their brains. Put a simple online questionnaire and offer some incentives for completion.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 09:48
1,698 points
  • Actually now I remember that my accountant did the same thing. His real last name is 15 characters long and he cut it to 3... – Tim Kara 14 years ago



I can't speak much about other countries, but in the U.S. I don't see an advantage to formally changing your name. And if you start using an alias, you run into three kinds of issues: legal documents, financial and "What's wrong with being a [take your pick]?!?" reaction.

answered Apr 14 '10 at 04:21
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • Funny Bob.. I was just dreaming of seeing my post on 8-) Back to the name, this is exactly what I'm afraid. I may have to sign a contract with a company and when they'll see a different name they will react strangely. Do you thing something like Tim Kara (aka Timoleon Karaxtzidakis) will work? – Tim Kara 14 years ago
  • Sorry Bob, but I disagree :-( I've been using my nickname for years and I've never had a problem when signing my real name on a legal document. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it's extremely unlikely. You can always provide a drivers license as proof if it ever comes to that. As Fernando pointed out, a majority of celebrities use aliases without legally changing their names. – Zuly Gonzalez 14 years ago
  • Zuly I agree but mainly is my last name that causes the problem – Tim Kara 14 years ago
  • Anon, I updated my answer to address your question about your lastname. – Zuly Gonzalez 14 years ago
  • Remember you can use your real name on anything legal and your alias on other things. No one will care. – Jason 14 years ago
  • Tim - if the goal is to be more approachable, go with Tim Karaxtzidakis - no one cares what you call yourself (I go by Bob). But changing your last name has legal implications. If you go by Tim Karaxtzidakis and you papers say Timoleon Karaxtzidakis, no problem. But if you go by Tim Kara and your driver's license, passport, etc say Timoleon Karaxtzidakis, that will be depending on the circumstances a huge problem. P.S. - I'd like to see your post at 47hats too! Email me. – Bob Walsh 14 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Business Identity