Veterans' Business Resources

Did you know…

  • Despite less than 1% of the American population volunteering for military service, veterans owned roughly 5.9% of American small businesses last year?
  • Just fewer than 30% of all veterans transition from military service into business ownership?
  • There are a wealth of government administered services available to military veterans and their families to aid in the creation of their businesses and the businesses long-term success?
Are you a veteran, an active duty serviceman set to transition, or a military spouse?
Keep reading to learn about dedicated business resources for the military community.


business success toolkit

If you are an active duty Serviceperson interested in starting business and preparing to transition into civilian life, please notify the Transition Service Manager (TSM) on military installation responsible for administering the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

You may be eligible to participate in the Boots to Business program.

Really think about what kind of business you want to start. I always ask my clients, “If you only had a pen, a pad, and a corner to work in — what could you sell?

Even if you can’t PERFORM the task in that corner, you can MARKET it from there.

  • Make a list of things your good at or that people have said you’re good at. 
  • Identify the personal role or industry type.
  • Perform a Google Search to see how many of those businesses are near you. 

PRO TIP: If you don’t know the role title or industry name do a reverse lookup. Enter the description of the duties performed or the service performed, and ask Google for the role title or industry type associated with it.

Here are some things you’ll need to know when starting a business:

    • Remember “Your business must be A.B.I.I.L. (sounds like able) to thrive”:
      Get to know this one well. It represents the core areas of your business — and perhaps the places where you’ll dedicate the most money (which doesn’t have to be a ton) to outsourcing support.  These are accounting, banking, insurance, information technology, and legal 
      •  Choose your business structure.
        There are many different kinds of business structures. The four most commonly created businesses are Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation (S, C, or Nonprofit) and a Limited Liability Company.  However, depending on where you live in the country, you may also be eligible to establish a Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C), a B Corp, or a Cooperative. Determining the best one for you will depend on the kind of business you want to start where you plan to do business, your primary consumer based, and whether or not you plan to be self-employed or hire people.

        This is where a business attorney is most helpful. Your accountant may even be able to recommend one. You can also check out your nearest Veterans’ Business Outreach Center for support.






    • Apply for your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN):
      This number is similar to your personal social security number. It helps to differentiate your business from others with similar names or likeness, and provides the Internal Revenue Service with tax applicability when you file your annual reports and pay personnel. Though most businesses do not experience identify theft, it’s still a good idea to be mindful about how, where, and why you share this number. When in doubt, seek counsel from the members of your ABIIL team. 


Your consumer base will inform a lot of your business structure.  Below, I’ve categorized the different consumer types and some starting points for each.

Regardless of your consumer base, anyone (currently non-active and) considering starting a veteran-owned business should apply these steps. 

    • If you haven’t done so, secure your ABIIL team members and file for your FEIN.





    • File for your local county and/or municipal business licenses.

      In many states, you will need this even if you are operating from your home.



The federal government requires that a certain percentage of their business services be provided by small businesses. However, a small percentages of these business qualify for “set-aside” consideration. This means that if the business is capable of doing the jobs These suppliers include minorities, women, In addition to everything listed above, if you’re interested in working with state, county, and municipal entities, you’ll want to also look into taking some/all of these additional steps.

  • Visit your state’s Small Business Development Office website and find the manager of Diversity Suppliers. This individual will be responsible for state-designated certifications for “diverse” businesses; including but not limited to minority-owned, woman-owned, disabled-owner, and veterans.
  • In addition to your state’s business division, consider investigating your state’s Department of Transportation. Many state-based DOTs have set-aside contracts for “diverse” suppliers.
PRO TIP: If you’re interested in contracting with a state other than your own, search for the same contact types but in that other state.  Chances are you’ll need to complete an in-state certification and apply as a foreign (out of state) business with their Division of Corporations before the certificate can be executed and your set-aside eligibility can begin.

Last, but not least, if you’re thinking of contracting with the federal government, here are some things you need to know.

    • Apply for a DUNS Number.
      The Data Universal Numbering System is managed by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).  These numbers are location-specific, so if you have more than one business site, each will need its own number.


    • Register for SAM:
      The System for Award Management is the universal database that the federal government uses to verify  eligible contractors and award them business contracts.


    • Determine your company’s NAICS Code:
      Your North American Industry Classification System code assigns a business industry operation to your company.  For instance, if your business is Management Consulting outside of Defense or Science/Engineering, your code is most likely 541618. When seeking opportunities, listings with this code should most readily align with your company’s capabilities. If they don’t consider adding subsection codes or changing your primary code to better match what you do.


    • Verify your CAGE Code:
      As part of your SAM registration, you’ll receive a CAGE code. Upon completion, will reach out to verify the information and approve your code.
      Be sure to add “” to your safelist once you’ve started your registration. 



  • Search for SubContractor opportunities:
    When contracting, there are two main categories: (1) Contractor Prime and (2) SubContractor. Getting a Prime contract requires a proven track record of success.  The SubContracting Network (SubNet) is a great way to support Contractor Primes, gain experience, and position yourself to become a Contractor Prime.

If you have questions, feel free to email
Thank you for your service and please know that I’m always happy to help.

  • Bear in mind that I am not a full-time business consultant (anymore), but simply have a passion for helping our service members thrive.
  • If your comment is pertaining to a link that is no longer working, please note that these are third-party websites to which I do not have access for editing.
  • If you have an updated link, you can email it to me and I will fix this page.