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Have you selflessly served your country but, now that you’re back home and settling into civilian life once again, you’d like to enter the world of business ownership and join the other 27 million new small business owners and operators in the U.S. today?
Maybe you have a product or service that you just know the world is going to love, but you need a little capital to get your business idea off the ground. Or perhaps you’re struggling with trying to find a job, so you want to go out on your own. Either way, you are not alone.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy reports that almost 2.5 million businesses have veterans as majority owners. All together, they earn more than $1.2 trillion in sales. Yes, trillion. Furthermore, 9 percent of all firms are fully veteran-owned, as are 12.2 percent of all small businesses, accounting for another $1.1 trillion in annual revenue being added to the U.S. economy yearly.
As far as which industries seem to be most attractive to vets when it comes to business ownership, 16 percent find themselves starting a company that offers some type of technical service. Another 15.5 percent open a business in construction of one form or another. According to the SBA, other industries preferred by those who have served in the military include real estate and retail trade, with 8.9 and 8.1 percent veteran ownership, respectively.
Regardless of what type of business you would like to start as a veteran, there are a number of different funding options available that can help you turn your idea into an actual company.
Whereas some business loans are designed specifically for women-owned businesses or minority-owned businesses, others were created solely for businesses formed by veterans. For instance, there are many different types of SBA and Veterans Affairs (VA) business loans that offer funding. Some of these are intended to help veterans start or run a business, and others were created to help veterans and reservists who have had their already established business negatively impacted when called to active duty.
Though not necessarily funding-based, there are also some franchises that extend additional financial benefits to veterans, which can reduce the amount of capital that military members need to start a new business. Some of the top ones include Anytime Fitness, Subway, Supercuts, and 7-Eleven, all of which offer reduced (if not completely forgiven) franchise fees to those who have served.
In some cases, you may qualify for a business-related scholarship as a vet, through agencies like VetFran. And if you’re looking for an angel investor who is pro-military, Hivers & Strivers may be able to connect you with those who are willing to financially support your veteran-owned business.
Other forms of funding include merchant cash advances and other alternative lending options. These are typically provided by online lenders as opposed to traditional banks, which often means that you can obtain the funds you need with less hassle and in less time.
Again, there are many different types of business loans for veterans, as well as other funding options. It’s just a matter of choosing the right one for you.
Unfortunately, veteran business owners often face the same type of funding obstacles as other small business owners. Not only are traditional loans often more difficult to secure, they also typically include a lengthy and often complex loan process that requires a lot of paperwork. Because some business owners cannot wait for the money, or simply prefer not to fill out form after form with the risk of not being approved, alternative lending options are often preferred.
When securing a business loan as a veteran, utilizing alternative lenders like BFS Capital can help you obtain the money you need to start, operate, or update your business without requiring a lot of documentation or having you wait for extended periods of time. Most funding options obtained through BFS can be approved within just a couple of days, even if you’re seeking a military loan with bad credit.
Veteran loans can be used much the same way as any other small business loan. For instance, if you need capital to purchase property, physically build your business, or buy new equipment, you can often use your business loan to do it.
Some other loans are designed to help you cover the less expensive, typical expenses of running your business. For this reason, certain small business loans for veterans can be used to update your equipment, add on to your existing business to accommodate a growing customer base, to renovate or remodel, for increased marketing efforts, or any other needs that appear along the way.
Other veteran loans can be used to get you through your slow seasons, to help you stay afloat if your customers aren’t paying their bills, or if you suddenly find yourself face-to-face with unforeseen expenses (like a storm damaging your roof or your entire industry taking a financial hit). In this case, a merchant cash advance or some other type of merchant funding may be just what you need to help you make it through the situation with your business still intact, enabling you to have the funds necessary to purchase inventory, buy supplies, or pay your staff.
It’s also important to remember that if you’re using a VA small business loan to build or grow your business, there may be certain restrictions in regard to who can apply and what you can use the funds for. That’s why you’ll want to check the VA business loan qualifications closely. Not all VA small business loans will serve your exact purpose, so you want to make sure you apply for and receive the correct one.
BFS Capital fully supports our military by providing a number of veteran-owned business loan options. We even have loans for veterans with bad credit, which means that you can build or grow your own company even if you don’t have a stellar financial past.
Call us today or apply online to see what we can do for you in terms of funding your veteran-owned business.
Simply answer a few questions about your time in business, monthly sales and business type, and your application will be submitted for review.
Once you fill out your application, one of our funding advisors will contact you.
When approved, you’ll have the money in your hands, for any business use, in as few as 2 business days¹.