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Resources for Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

Guest article written by Ellie Watkins from

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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 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

• VetFran

• Warrior Rising

Some lenders offer discounted interest rates on small business loans made to veterans. Although researching all the possible sources takes time, it can save money.

What Is a Business Plan?

To apply for any entrepreneurial loan, you’ll need to prepare a thorough business plan. This plan should show investors what your company will do and what it can expect from you and your business. Among the included information, you should list:

• Company description, along with a description of goods or services you’ll offer

• Market research

• Projected expenses and income with a timeline

• Advertising and marketing plans

• A competitive analysis

• How you’ll use loan proceeds

A business plan helps you secure funding, but it can also make your business more profitable.

What About Fees?

Don't immediately get sucked into paying for the various fees that may go along with registering a business. While some serves like LegalZoom can help walk you through the entire process of starting an LLC, or other business formation type, they may not always be there to help identify benefits, discounts, and waivers for veterans.

If you're in Texas, for example, the Texas Veterans Commission can provide a veteran verification letter to be used in Texas when registering for an LLC, potentially waiving the $300 fee.

Do some Googling in your local area to see what veteran services may be available to you. It may take some time, but save some money!

Are You Inspired?

Veterans can take advantage of many programs to help them start a business. Researching your industry sector and veteran-owned business resources can save money and make your company more successful.

For veteran-owned woodworking crafts, plans, and techniques, visit Szabo Woodworks today!

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