Business Development

30+ Titles For Business Owners

By Barsha Bhattacharya

November 10, 2023

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30+ Titles For Business Owners


In the intricate tapestry of the business world, titles are more than just names; they encapsulate roles, responsibilities, and the very essence of an organization. Small business owners, in particular, often find themselves wearing various hats and carrying a diverse range of titles, each shedding light on different facets of their roles. Collaborating with the esteemed London small business accountant Howlader & Co., we embark on a journey to unravel the fascinating world of business owner titles.

Founder Vs. Owner

In the realm of business ownership, two titles often stand out as fundamental to a company’s identity: “Founder” and “Owner.” These titles, although seemingly interchangeable, carry distinct connotations that shed light on the evolution and nature of a business.


A Founder is the architect of a business’s very existence. This title is reserved for those visionaries who breathe life into an idea, concept, or venture. Founders are the dreamers and doers who transform a spark of inspiration into a thriving enterprise. They are the pioneers who embark on the entrepreneurial journey, often fueled by an unrelenting passion for their vision. Founders take the concept from its initial ideation, navigate the tumultuous waters of startup, and bring it to fruition.

The title of Founder carries several implications:

  • Innovation and Vision. Founders are known for their innovative thinking and the ability to envision new solutions, products, or services that can fill a gap in the market.
  • Risk and Grit. The entrepreneurial path is paved with risks and challenges. Founders are willing to embrace these uncertainties and possess the determination to overcome obstacles.
  • Ownership and Legacy. The title of Founder signifies a deep and personal connection to the business. It often suggests a sense of ownership, not just financially, but in terms of the company’s values and mission.


The title of Owner typically conveys a financial or legal connection to the business. Owners may or may not have been involved in the business’s founding. They are individuals, entities, or shareholders who hold a stake in the company, either through the purchase of shares, equity, or other forms of ownership.

Key aspects associated with the title of Owner include:

  • Investment and Financial Interest. Owners are investors who have committed capital to the business. Their interests are primarily financial, seeking returns on their investment.
  • Diverse Roles. Owners can play various roles within the company, from passive investors who hold shares to active participants who take on management responsibilities.
  • Stakeholder and Profit-sharing. As owners, individuals or entities have a vested interest in the company’s performance. They often share in the company’s profits and bear the risks associated with ownership.

Top 15 Startup Titles

1. CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

The CEO is the captain of the ship, responsible for charting the course, making major corporate decisions, and steering the overall operations and resources of the company. They are the driving force behind the startup’s vision and strategy.

2. CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

The CTO is the tech wizard. They lead the charge on all things technical, from product development to technology innovation. CTOs often play a pivotal role in shaping the startup’s technical direction.

3. COO (Chief Operating Officer)

The COO ensures that the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the startup run smoothly. They are the ones who make sure the gears are well-oiled and the team is firing on all cylinders.

4. CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

The CFO is the guardian of financial health. They manage financial risks, financial planning, record-keeping, and financial reporting. In a startup, where resources can be limited, the CFO plays a vital role in financial strategy.

5. CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)

The CMO is the storyteller. They lead marketing efforts, define the brand’s narrative, and strategize how to connect with and engage customers. Startups often rely on a strong CMO to establish their brand identity.

6. CPO (Chief Product Officer)

The CPO is the product visionary. They focus on the development and improvement of the startup’s core product or service. This role is pivotal in creating a product that resonates with customers.

7. CCO (Chief Creative Officer)

The CCO is the creative soul of the startup. They are responsible for the company’s creative direction, design, and aesthetics. A strong CCO can make a startup’s brand stand out.

8. CRO (Chief Revenue Officer)

The CRO is all about revenue. They lead the charge in driving revenue growth through various channels. In startups, where growth is critical, the CRO plays a significant role.

9. CSO (Chief Strategy Officer)

The CSO is the strategist. They develop and execute the company’s strategic plans and initiatives. This role is essential for navigating the ever-changing startup landscape.

10. CCO (Chief Compliance Officer)

The CCO ensures that the startup complies with all relevant laws and regulations. In an era of increased regulatory scrutiny, this role is gaining prominence.

11. CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer)

The CHRO manages the startup’s human resources and personnel. Hiring the right talent and nurturing the startup’s culture is central to their responsibilities.

12. CIO (Chief Information Officer)

The CIO oversees the startup’s information technology strategy and implementation. With technology at the core of most startups, this role is critical.

13. CCO (Chief Customer Officer)

The CCO focuses on creating and nurturing positive customer experiences. Happy customers are more likely to become loyal customers in the startup world.

14. CVO (Chief Visionary Officer)

The CVO sets the startup’s vision and long-term goals. They are the dreamers who imagine what the future could hold for the company.

15. CDO (Chief Data Officer)

The CDO manages the startup’s data strategy and data-related initiatives. In an age where data is king, this role is integral to decision-making.

19 Common Business Owner Titles

The landscape of business ownership is as diverse as the global marketplace itself. Whether you’re running a small family-owned business, a thriving startup, or a large corporation, the title you bear as a business owner signifies your role, responsibilities, and level of involvement within the company. Here, we explore a myriad of common business owner titles across various industries and scales of operations, shedding light on the rich tapestry of entrepreneurial roles.

1. Sole Proprietor

A Sole Proprietor is an individual who operates and owns the business as a personal venture. This title is often associated with small enterprises and freelancers. As a sole proprietor, you are personally responsible for all aspects of your business, including decision-making and finances.

2. Partner

Partners are individuals who share ownership of a business. They collaborate to make crucial decisions, share profits and liabilities and are often found in professional practices such as law firms and accounting firms.

3. President

In larger corporations, the President is a high-ranking executive responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations. This title carries significant authority and leadership within the company.

4. Managing Director

Managing Directors are frequently seen in financial and professional service firms. They hold the reins of a branch, division, or department, ensuring its effective management and performance.

5. Chairman Of The Board

The Chairman of the Board leads the company’s board of directors, providing strategic direction and governance. This title is prevalent in large corporations and nonprofit organizations.

6. CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

The CEO is the highest-ranking executive in a company, responsible for making major corporate decisions, managing overall operations, and allocating resources. They are the driving force behind the company’s vision and strategy.

7. Managing Partner

Managing Partners often serve in law firms, consulting practices, and professional service firms. They are responsible for the management of the firm’s operations, growth, and client relationships.

8. Franchisee

A Franchisee is an individual who owns and operates a franchise business under a larger brand. This title is common in the world of franchising.

9. Principal

The principal is a title often used in professional service firms. Principals are senior leaders who manage a branch, office, or department and often hold ownership stakes.

10. Owner-Operator

The Owner-Operator is actively involved in the daily operations of the business and may hold sole financial ownership. This title is frequently found in small businesses and family-owned enterprises.

11. Entrepreneur

An Entrepreneur is someone who initiates and manages a business venture, often marked by a focus on innovation, new products, or unique services. They are characterized by their risk-taking mindset and vision.

12. Director

Directors are responsible for specific departments or aspects of the business, such as Finance Director, Marketing Director, or Operations Director.

13. Founder

A Founder is a visionary who plays a pivotal role in creating and conceptualizing the business. They are often synonymous with startups and innovative ventures, marking the origin of the company.

14. Proprietor

The title Proprietor, like a Sole Proprietor, emphasizes individual ownership and management. It is commonly used in small businesses and local enterprises.

15. Investor

An Investor is an individual or entity that has invested in the business and holds a financial stake. Investors may have an active or passive role in the business, depending on their level of involvement.

16. Shareholder

A Shareholder is someone who owns shares or equity in a corporation. Shareholders are entitled to a portion of the company’s profits and often have voting rights in corporate decisions.

17. Member

Limited liability companies (LLCs) often use the title Member to denote owners with a financial stake in the business. LLCs provide a flexible ownership structure.

18. CEO/Founder

The CEO/Founder holds the dual role of being the visionary behind the business and the top executive responsible for overall management and decision-making.

19. Co-Owner

The Co-Owner title is used when there are multiple owners who share equal responsibilities and ownership in the business.

Final Words

In the world of business ownership, the title you hold signifies your role, responsibilities, and level of involvement within the company. Whether you’re a visionary founder, a hands-on owner-operator, or a corporate CEO, each title represents a unique journey and a distinct approach to entrepreneurship. These titles reflect the rich tapestry of business ownership, spanning small startups to large corporations, and a diverse range of industries. No matter the title you bear, the essence of entrepreneurship lies in your dedication, passion, and commitment to the success of your business. The world of business ownership is as varied as the entrepreneurs who shape it, and each title tells a compelling story of enterprise and vision.

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Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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