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What Small Business Owners and Startup Owners Job Title Be?

CEO? President? Partner? Director? Founder? Owner?

Let us understand these titles’ associated roles and how they differ from each other to help you choose the right one.



The CEO is one who manages few project managers each managing few teams.

CEO / CTO’s or any chief officers or CO’s is the person that has few teams to manage. You should never use it when you are starting out and are the only employee or have few employee working for you.


The President has a CEO, CTO and board of directors and is the public face of the organization.

The role of a president is often giving press releases, presentations in annual meetings, interviews on behalf of the company etc.


In India partner as a role is not used in private or public limited companies but more in a partnership firm which is more like a joint venture. Join venture is formed because they have preferred not to form a private limited company.


Every private limited company in India has directors and are the shareholders of the company. I am a director of my own private limited company.

I prefer to keep this title only in official documents where I sign for the company and not otherwise.

Founder / Owner

They both are very interchangeable here in India. Owner and founder are the in charge of the complete operation of the business.

If you are the sole owner (or sole founder), the title is Owner (Founder) else you are a co-owner (co-founder).

My Title

I prefer to avoid the title and don’t have it on my business card either but if I had to I use Business Owner.

People use CEO (or CTO if they are technical) as title because they think it may look cool on the business card, but it isn’t. On top of it, you are trying to be something that you aren’t which may give your client and customer a bad impression.

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