Plenty of veterans get bit by the entrepreneur bug when they return home after service. It’s a great opportunity to put the skills learned in the military to good use. As a veteran, there are a few advantages to be aware of when starting a business.
The government allocates a certain number of contracts every year just for veteran-owned businesses. In order to qualify for these contracts, you’ll need more than just a DD-214. There are a few hoops to jump through, but it can pay off big time.
Register with the VA
The first step is to register with the VA at VetBiz. When you create your account, you’ll need a few Military Service Records to prove that you are in fact a service-disabled veteran. You’ll also need to show that you own at least 51% the company.
Once you set up the account, the VA starts a long verification process. You’ll need to have tax returns, bank statements, and other financial records ready to go. They do not just look at your status as a veteran, they also look to see if your company is able to handle the workload of a government contract.
Register with GSA
The General Services Administration is the next registration process you’ll need to complete. This is pretty similar to registering with the VA, so keep those same forms handy. Once registration is complete, you can sign up for GSA training classes offered to service-disabled veteran business owners.
Register with the State
Some states offer contracts and other benefits for service-disabled veteran business owners, but others don’t. To help you figure out what your state offers, the good people at the National Veteran-Owned Association put together a map showing what benefits are available.
This map also gives links and instructions to register for your state.
Getting government contracts is a huge benefit every service-disabled veteran business owner should take advantage of. Private companies and clients typically like to do business with veteran-owned businesses when they can, and having these certifications will help you gain their business.