Here are some business and tax rules unique to veterans.
Veterans Day, November 11, is a federal holiday that has come to be a day for honoring veterans in all wars. National Veterans Small Business Week runs from November 4 through 8, 2019, as a celebration of veteran-owned businesses.
Statistics on veteran-owned businesses
There are no exact figures on the number of veteran-owned businesses today. There were more than 2.5 million such businesses when the SBA’s Office of Advocacy compiled statistics several years ago. According to VeteranOwnedBusiness.com, veteran-owned businesses make up a significant portion of the small business community and contribute greatly to the U.S. economy. Some stats to note:
- Veteran-owned firms had sales/receipts of $1.220 trillion, 5.793 million employees, and annual payroll of $210 billion. Employer firms were responsible for 92.3% of the receipts
- California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia had the largest numbers of veteran-owned businesses.
- The owners were predominantly over the age of 55 (75.1%), reflecting the ages of veterans overall, and they tended to be better educated than other business owners
Special programs for veteran entrepreneurs
The federal government offers some special help for veteran entrepreneurs:
- Guidance. The Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), which oversees Veterans Business Outreach Centers across the country, is devoted to promoting veteran entrepreneurship.
- Training programs. There are various entrepreneurship training programs for veterans. Some are geared to those with service-related disabilities.
- Government contracting. The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern program (SDVOSBC) gives procuring agencies the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. Sole source awards will be delivered if certain conditions are met
- Fee relief on SBA loans. There are upfront guaranty fees on SBA Express Loans are waived for members of the veteran and small business community, including military spouses.
- Special disaster loan programs. If a veteran-owned business suffers an economic injury due to a federally-declared disaster, there are special SBA loans up to $2 million to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard.
Work opportunity tax credit
Whether or not your business is veteran-owned, if you’re hiring now, consider hiring a veteran. A veteran has skills and training to be a great employee. And hiring one may entitle you to a federal tax credit. You can view a prior blog on this subject that includes 10 things to know about the work opportunity credit for hiring veterans. Be aware that the credit is set to run only for those hired by the end of 2019, although Congress may extend this tax break.
Join in the conversation about veteran-owned businesses on Twitter using #VetBiz Success.