- Understanding federal, state, and local business regulations is crucial in avoiding legal issues.
- Military skills such as leadership and discipline are valuable assets in starting a business.
- Engaging in networking and relationship-building activities can lead to new business opportunities.
Starting a business can be challenging regardless of your background or experience. However, veterans face unique challenges when it comes to starting a business due to their military service and lifestyle. From navigating the regulations to accessing capital, there are various obstacles that veterans must overcome. In this blog, you will learn about the critical things that veterans should know about starting a business.
Take advantage of resources and support programs available for veterans.
There are various resources and support programs available for veterans looking to start a business. Utilizing these resources can make the process of creating a business much more manageable and increase your chances of success. These resources include:
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA offers various programs and services specifically designed for veterans, such as counseling, training, and access to capital. A veteran SBA loan, in particular, can be an excellent option for financing your business. This loan offers favorable terms, such as lower interest rates and longer repayment periods.
Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC)
VBOCs provide assistance to veterans in various aspects of business ownership, including counseling, training, and resource referrals. They also offer support for applying for government contracts, which can be a significant source of revenue for veteran-owned businesses.
SCORE is a network of volunteer business mentors who offer free and confidential advice to entrepreneurs. They have a dedicated program for veterans called “Veterans Fast Launch Initiative,” which provides mentoring, training, and resources to help veterans start and grow their businesses.
Boots to Business
This program is offered by the Department of Defense in collaboration with the SBA. It provides entrepreneurship training and resources to transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses. The program is available on military installations worldwide.
By knowing about and utilizing these resources, veterans can receive valuable support and guidance in starting their businesses.
Understand the regulations involved in starting a business.
Starting a business involves understanding and complying with various regulations. Veterans who are considering starting a business should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. There are many laws and regulations that apply specifically to small businesses, but these three are the most important ones you should know about:
Small Business Size Regulations
The SBA has size regulations that determine whether a business is considered “small” or “large.” These regulations are crucial because they determine eligibility for various government programs and contracts. As a veteran, you may be able to take advantage of certain preferences when competing for government contracts as a small business.
State and Local Licensing Requirements
Depending on the type of business you want to start, there may be state or local licensing requirements that you need to fulfill. These requirements vary by location, so it’s essential to research and understand the laws in your area.
Federal Tax Obligations
Starting a business comes with tax obligations that must be understood and fulfilled. As a veteran, you may have access to tax benefits, such as deductions or credits, which can help reduce your tax burden. It’s crucial to consult with a tax professional to ensure you are compliant with all federal tax laws.
By understanding and complying with these regulations, veterans can avoid any legal issues that may arise in their business ventures.
Take advantage of your military experience.
The skills and experience that veterans gain during their time in the military can be valuable assets when starting a business. The discipline, leadership, and problem-solving skills that veterans possess are highly sought after in the business world. Veterans should leverage their experience and skills to their advantage when starting a business.
Networking and building relationships are critical.
Building relationships and networking are critical elements of starting a business, regardless of your background or experience. Veterans can leverage their existing networks and connections to help them get started, but they should also focus on building new relationships in their industry. Attending networking events and conferences, joining industry associations, and collaborating with other entrepreneurs can all help veterans build relationships that can lead to new opportunities and partnerships.
Starting a business as a veteran comes with its unique set of challenges. However, the wealth of resources and support programs, coupled with your military training and experience, can provide a strong foundation for entrepreneurship. Understanding the relevant regulations, leveraging your military skills, and prioritizing networking are all crucial steps in this journey. Remember, the path to business ownership may be challenging, but the rewards of owning a successful business can be immense.