According to the recent data published by Census, it has been proven that military veterans own 2.52 million businesses from the 27.9 million businesses in the US. (NerdWallet) Starting from restaurant chains to private insurance companies in the US, military veterans own a great share in the companies and firms across the entire country.
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As a veteran, if you start a business, several programs assist you in this; for example, to run a business, you will need funding. For this, verification of your identity is important. The Department of Defense Manpower Data Center has all the data and information required to complete the due diligence.
Once you retire from the military, you are eligible to apply for jobs or even start your business. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to small businesses started by veterans. There is a zero upfront fee for this loan. Business counseling and training are also provided by SBA. SBA offers special consideration programs to help the veterans; these include:
- SBA veteran advantage is available to businesses with veterans or military spouses, owning 51% of the business.
- SBA Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 reduces the upfront fee to zero for the loan amount up to $350,000.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL) provides loans for up to $2 million.
Now that you know about the financial assistance you can get as a veteran to start a business, let’s look at the other core aspects that you must follow to execute your action plan.
Business Idea & Your Skills
The first thing that you need to do is think about the business idea. If you already have an idea, then you can focus on planning how to execute it step-by-step. However, if you do not have one, first, understand and list down your skills in which you are proficient and confident. You also need to jot down the resources you have. You can use the SWOT analysis for listing down your skillset.
Second, list the areas of your interest, like the restaurant business, financial market, and others. You also need to ascertain your target audience, such as which community you want to serve or how you want to do something better for society. Accordingly, think of the best options you have.
Writing a business plan
If you don’t have enough funds and want to rope in partners or investors, you need to write down a business plan. To create a proper business plan, you can look for business plan templates to know the format and have major guidelines. You can also search for sample business plans for your industry. You can easily find it if you search well. Key sections of a business plan are Executive Summary, Company Overview, Products and Services, Market analysis, Strategy Details, Management Team, Financial Plan, and projections.
Registering the Business
After you have written a business plan, you need to register your business as per the US Government guidelines. There are different types of businesses like a sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corporation, and others. The registration process will vary according to the type of business structure you want to set up.
For registering your business, you need a proper name that is unique and does not imply any governmental department. Besides, you need to obtain the permits and licenses for operating your business within the US. You must get all the documents right to avoid having to face any legal problems later on. Lastly, get the EIN or the license number required for filing taxes.
In the above article, we have focused on the key steps that you need to follow to start a veteran-owned small business. Make sure to follow all the rules so that your business can meet the compliance and regulatory standards.