Resources for Military Veteran Entrepreneurs
Guest article written by Ellie Watkins from LadiesLoveDIY.com
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Valuable Resources Are Available to Military Veteran Entrepreneurs
Many people have started new businesses recently for various reasons. Some people lost their jobs and needed income, while others wanted additional income. Marine Corps veterans often retire from active duty at an early age but still want to be productive. According to the Small Business Administration, military veterans are more likely to be self-employed than people without military service.
Military service teaches leadership, responsibility, a great work ethic, creative problem solving, and many valuable skills that can be converted to income in the private sector. Veterans also have access to funding that is specifically set aside for ex-military entrepreneurs—and this guide can help point you in the right direction.
What Small Businesses Are a Good Fit for Military Veterans?
Skills learned in the military make specific small business ideas a good place to start for veterans wanting to start a company:
• Personal fitness
• Firearms training and sales
• Security systems or private security services
• Coaching or consulting
• Tech support
Many veterans invest in a franchise, often one that is related to their former military occupational
specialty. Home-based businesses are a viable option as well, especially for those who have
extensive technical skills.
Register your company as a veteran-owned business with the VA. Also register with VeteranOwnedBusiness.com. Your status can help you obtain state or federal contracts. In addition, veterans like to support other veterans, so being known as a company owned by veterans may increase your sales.
How Do You Start a Business?
Regardless of veteran status, anyone who starts a business should follow several steps:
• Decide what type of business you’d like to open
• Research that industry to get ideas and an estimation of equipment you’ll need
• Determine your company’s location
• Create a thorough business plan
• Find funding
• Register your business with local, state, and federal governments
• Develop your marketing strategy
Pay special attention to choosing your business structure as this will determine your liability and
how you’ll pay your taxes. LLCs offer business owners tax advantages, less paperwork, and tax
benefits, and you can easily register using a formation service. You can find the best LLC
services online by reading reviews—click here for more information.
Although the tasks necessary to starting a business are challenging to some people, Marine
veterans usually don’t have any trouble completing them. However, several programs are
specifically designed for veterans to help them with the entrepreneurial start-up process.
The free Boots to Business (and others) program includes education and training for aspiring veteran
entrepreneurs and eligible family members. Completion of this program qualifies you for
exclusive state grants.
What Funding Is Available to Veterans?
If you want or need additional training in your chosen field before opening a business, you can
use your GI Bill benefits if you meet the qualifications. You can receive financial assistance with
your tuition and other related schooling expenses.
Many government agencies and non-profit organizations offer grants and funding to veteran-
owned businesses, including:
• Hivers and Strivers
• SBA Veterans Advantage Loans
• StreetShares Foundation
• Warrior Rising