Some of those who start a new company may not have much, or any, previous business experience. It can prove to be a steep learning curve, with all sorts of new jargon and industry language to learn on top of the actual running of the business itself.

How a new company is structured can leave many new business owners feeling confused. There are so many different roles with various abbreviations, it can be hard to know which are necessary or what some of them even are. We're here to demystify the corporate hierarchy of startups and give you an idea of how to structure your company. Keep reading to find out more.

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is the head of the company and arguably the most important role in the entire hierarchy. As they sit at the top of the pyramid, the CEO is responsible for everyone else in the company and must be adept at motivating and communicating with other members of the team.

Chief Financial Officer

The CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, is often regarded as the next most important position after the CEO and can be seen as the second in command. The CFO is responsible for all the financial business conducted by the business, including profit coming in and business expenditures. This is a role that requires impeccable organizational and financial management skills. Check out this new CFO checklist to give you an idea of what's involved in this vital position.

Chief Operating Officer

This is another senior position that is vital for the success of a startup company. The Chief Operating Officer, or COO, is responsible for overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of the company. they will need to be a fantastic people person and have excellent project management skills, as they will often be juggling several projects at once.

Chief Marketing Officer

Marketing is an essential part of any business, large or small. It is how companies advertise their products, attract customers, and generate profits. For new businesses and startups, a solid marketing strategy is vital for establishing brand trust and reputation and make or break the potential success of a company.

The Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for the development and implementation of the company's overall marketing strategy. They must have expert knowledge of both marketing in general and current social media technologies and trends.

Chief Technology Officer

This is a position that some businesses may not require, but for companies involved in tech and software a Chief Technology Officer, or CTO, is vital. The role is so important that the CTO may often sit directly under the CEO in terms of hierarchy. CTOs are responsible for overseeing the technological work done by the company and ensuring it is cutting-edge and performing properly.


When it comes to starting a new company, how the business should be structured can leave some entrepreneurs scratching their heads. In realty, it's simpler than you would expect. Follow this guide and ensure you're clued up on the corporate hierarchy of a startup.