Veterans learn a number of valuable skills during their time in service: discipline, problem-solving, and leadership. While these skills will come in handy if a veteran decides to start their own business, they may need some additional business education programs or financial support. Fortunately, both the state of Georgia and national organizations are ready to support veterans in their business ventures, whether they’re starting a new business or developing an existing company. Here’s a look at some of the business-related benefits available for veterans.
The Georgia Department of Veterans Service provides a tax exemption to eligible veterans who start their own businesses. It’s called the Business Certificate Exemption. The exemption is a 10-year reprieve from any occupation tax, administrative fees, or regulatory fees imposed by local governments for peddling, conducting business, or practicing a profession. It can be extremely valuable to veteran business owners. To be eligible, the veteran must 1) have been discharged under honorable conditions, and 2) have a service-connected disability rating of 10% or more (25% for peacetime veterans).
To apply for the tax exemption, the veterans will need to complete VS Form 40-025 (a Veterans Business Certificate of Exemption Form). They must submit the form, proper identification, DD-214, and benefits letter to their county Probate Court. Some counties may also request a VS Form 40-026 (Veteran’s Certificate of State License Form). The Court Clerk will provide the veteran with a notarized Judicial Letter to register their business with the Office of the Secretary of State.
It’s one thing to have a great idea for a business. But it can be quite difficult to execute that idea and form your own company. Fortunately, veterans have several resources for business education. Georgia’s Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Veterans Business Development all work with veterans to help them understand the fundamentals of starting a business.
The Office of Veterans Business Development is the Small Business Administration’s liaison within the veteran business community. OVBD helps maximize the availability and usability of small business programs for veterans and their dependents. It provides a number of programs to help aspiring and existing veteran entrepreneurs with training, counseling, mentorship, procuring grants, and business oversight. There are business classes specifically for veterans, military spouses, women veterans, service-disable veterans, as well as reserve and National Guard members.
Securing Funding and Contracts
Once a veteran understands the fundamentals of starting a business, the next step is securing funding and applying for contracts. The Small Business Association’s Lender Match program will pair veteran entrepreneurs with lenders. More than 800 lenders across the US participate in the Lender Match program. They offer SBA-approved loans as well as conventional loans. While Lender Match is not just for veterans, the SBA does offer special consideration for veteran business owners who are in need of funding and other resources.
Concerning contracts, the Department of Veterans Affairs works with the US government to help veteran-owned businesses secure government contracts. Through the Vets First Verification Program, the VA and Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization will help veteran-owned small businesses bid on government contracts. It also provides business owners with access, support, and other business-related resources. By registering with the OSDBU, veteran business owners may receive: priority on government contract bids, tax relief, access to funds, education and training, and support in building business partnerships.
Have Questions? Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates
If you’re a veteran looking for business resources and opportunities, please reach out to our team of knowledgeable attorneys. We’re happy to discuss the legalities of your business and any potential veterans benefits. You can call (770) 933-9009 or use our online contact form. Thank you, veterans, for your service!