Generating income as a veteran can be tough, as employment is usually harder than it would be for the average American, leaving former service members with fewer options available to them.
Thankfully, small businesses have been growing in popularity as the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside, and a growing number of Americans have jumped on the hype train, abandoning their previous employers to set foot into the market on their own.
Apart from the financial help available to veterans, the government also offers certain benefits to veteran business owners, including access to several resources and support with running their company, all made possible with the Vets First Verification Program.
Once you register your business for assistance, you’ll be working with the Office for Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which will make your life a lot easier in terms of keeping your company afloat and allowing it to grow.
Even if you aren’t a veteran, having the co-founder of your company be one can help you with eligibility for government assistance.
That being said, both parties must be willing to become part of the program, with the final decision being on the one that owns the majority of the company, that also being the party that has control over the day-to-day management, strategic policies, etc.
Another thing to keep in mind is that one of the applicants needs at least some form of managerial experience in order to qualify the business for veteran benefits, as well as being a full-time employee at the company.
On the other hand, the qualifications for a veteran status include having served active duty at any branch of the US military for a certain amount of time without a dishonorable discharge.
This also applies to Reserve and National Guard troops that were called to federal active duty or sustained injury in the line of duty that prevented them from retaining employment.
Upon determining whether you’re eligible for the program or not, you’ll move forward with your application, and the faster you do it, the better your chances at securing benefits will be.
By collaborating with the OSDBU, you can get priority when bidding on contracts for federal and state government agencies, effectively putting you ahead of some other businesses in the area.
Some states may also offer tax benefits to veteran-owned businesses, and gaining access to those is much easier once you’re part of a government assistance program.
Finally, if your business is showing a lot of promise, the OSDBU can ensure that you receive all the funds you need to grow and expand it over time, reaching your business’s full potential much sooner than you’d normally be able to.
How to apply
The entire process starts with an application through the Vets First Verification Program which can be completed online on the official VetBiz website.
That’s not all though, as the OSDBU offers other forms of assistance as well, including guidance for the application process, which is done by a VA-certified Verification Assistance counselor.
If this isn’t enough, you can also enroll in seminars on the topic, which may give you a better understanding of how the application process works and what you should do to maximize your chances of receiving benefits.
By using all of these resources at your disposal, you can make sure that the application process goes by smoothly and without too many hurdles, allowing you to focus on growing your business from the ground up without having to worry about financial adversities that may pop up along the way.
The first thing to do is to contact your state’s VA Verification Counselor, and once you do, they’ll guide you through the process and give you the low-down on how things work.
Even if the OSDBU can’t help you with your business, it’s not the end of the world, and there are plenty of other resources for you to rely on.
The US Small Business Administration is a great place to start, and they can provide you with funding and guidance when it comes to starting your small business.
Help in this form is also offered by a number of local, state od federal-level NGOs that focus on helping veterans reintegrate into society and keep generating income even after losing employment.
Some universities will even hold courses on starting your own small business, and while some of these courses must be attended in person, others are online, making this a widely-accessible form of assistance for any American in need.
The life of a veteran is tough, and living without the ability to work a standard job can be demoralizing, to say the least.
Thankfully, self-employment is now more popular than ever before, and just about anyone can run a small business from their own home, with the least amount of effort necessary.
The US government offers a wide variety of resources to veterans, and by exploring your options you can make life a lot easier for yourself and your loved ones.