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  • 200 Business cards
  • 8 write-erase boards
  • 8 write-erase markers
  • 8 voting cards
  • 2 card stands
  • 1 sand timer
  • 1 score card
  • Rulebook

Object of the Game

Score the most points over a number of rounds by coming up with and/or voting for the best names for the unlikely mergers between two randomly chosen businesses.


  1. Give each player a colored write-erase board, a write-erase marker, and a voting card.

  2. Place the two card stands and the sand timer in the middle of the playing area.

  3. Place the box of Business cards within reach of all players.

  4. Choose a scorekeeper and give that player the score card.

Game Play

Funny Business is played in rounds, each consisting of two phases: Naming and Voting. In each round, one player is the "Boss".

For the first round, the player who has held the strangest job starts off as Boss and the role passes to the left for subsequent rounds.


  1. The Boss randomly draws two Business cards from anywhere in the deck and places one in each of the two card stands so that they are clearly visible to all players.

  2. Another player turns over the sand timer.

    Then everyone (including the Boss) has 45 seconds to think of one name for the merged business and secretly write it on their write-erase boards.

  3. When the timer runs out, all players turn their write-erase boards face down and pass them to the Boss.

Naming Notes

  • Each Business card features a type of business at the top, along with a far-from-exhaustive list of related words to help you brainstorm.

    You may use words from the list in your name or simply look at them for inspiration.

  • There are no limits as to what you can write, other than your name should fit on your card and it should be easy to read.

    Your name can be punny, straightforward, simple, elaborate, wacky, outrageous, whatever... Be creative!

  • Remember - you may only write down ONE name!


  1. The Boss randomly arranges the write-erase boards and reads aloud each business name to the group.

    (The Boss should first announce the color of the border around the board to help identify each name ).

    After reading the names, the Boss places the boards face up on the playing surface, clearly visible to all players.

  2. All players (including the Boss) vote for their favorite name by \ secretly turning their voting cards to the color that matches the write-erase board that they like best. Everyone except the Boss may vote for their own names - but only if they are truly deserving!

  3. When all players have voted, the Boss asks everyone to reveal their voting cards and tallies the votes.

    Points are awarded accordingly:

    • The player whose name received the most votes: 2 points.
    • Any player who voted for the winning name: 1 point.
    • The Boss earns double of any points s/he scored in the round.

    In case of a tie, the name that the Boss voted for wins the round.

  4. All players give their points for the round to the scorekeeper, who records them on the scorecard.

Voting Notes

  • If two players wrote EXACTLY the same name, put one of the duplicates aside and read the other one along with the rest of the names.

    Both players who wrote the name receive points if it wins.

  • If two players wrote names that are similar, but not exactly the same, read both along with the others and play as normal.

  • If more than two players wrote exactly the same name, take a moment to marvel at the synchronicity in the room, and then restart the round with a fresh pair of Business cards.

Start a New Round

After points have been recorded, the Boss removes the two Business cards from play and randomly redistributes the write-erase boards

(Players should not write on the same write-erase board throughout the game). The next round starts with the player to the left becoming the Boss and drawing two new Business cards from the deck.

End of the Game

Play a number of rounds according to the number of players: The player with the most points at the end of the last round wins.

In case of a tie, draw two Business cards and have only the tied players write a name. Everyone except the tied players vote. There is no Boss.

4, 5, 88


Instead of writing business names, write the slogan for the merged business, or the name of a product that the business would sell.

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