Ask Entrepreneur - Branding

Can I Use My City in My Business Name?

I want to open a ballet studio and use "City of Miami" or "Miami" as part of the business name. Is that illegal? Do I need special permission of some kind?
Nina Kaufman

How Can I Build My Reputation?

I am a 24-year-old entrepreneur currently running a startup that helps small businesses and nonprofits to market their brands using social media. I am focusing on working with as many clients as possible to help build my reputation in the social media world. In social media, reputation is everything, so I am trying to think of other ways (besides my strong experience and client list) to present my "scope of work" to clients in a more professional way: business cards, logo, marketing material, client lists, website and so on. My question is: Is all this really necessary? Are prospective small-business clients going to expect these things when I pitch my services, or are they going to be content with seeing me selling my services to them without all of the material?
Karen Leland

Can One Failed Business Affect My Future?

I worked at a small company for three years but it went out of business in May. A lot of former customers have a negative image of the former business. As an independent contractor, I am hesitant to mention my association with the company in fear of being judged for what I had no authority over. How do I avoid the negative image and the aftermath from interfering with my future?
Brad Sugars