Certify your Business as Veteran-Owned

One of the most important parts of running your own business is attracting new clients. And what’s one of the easiest ways to do this? Marketing.

A great tool many are unaware of is how beneficial it can be to certify your business as veteran-owned and compete for government contracting.

Competition for obtaining government contracts is tough, however, but you’re in luck if you have served in the United States military. Even if you’re not interested in government contracting, you can register your business as Veteran-owned and start welcoming more clients and money.

According to The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999, this is because by being in the military, especially if you’re a service-related disabled veteran, you might be eligible to receive “3 percent of prime federal government contracts and subcontracts.”

There are some reasons that make getting certified seem difficult, but if you speak with the right people and follow the right steps, you will be fine. One of the reasons is that there is no government or third-party office, aside from the VA, that will issue the certification. Do keep in mind, though, that even if you are not interested in doing business with the federal government, “70 percent of Americans would prefer to do business with a veteran-owned business than one that is not veteran-owned.” Meaning: if you want more business and clients, registering as veteran-owned might be the perfect marketing strategy for you and your business.

Steps to get your business certified as Veteran-owned:

1)      Your ownership in the company must be at least 51 percent.

2)      You must be present at the company, meaning you oversee management and the everyday operations.

3)      You must present your Department of Defense Form 214 (DD 214) to prove that you are of veteran status.

4)      For service-disability certification, you must present a letter from the VA verifying that you are service-disabled.

There is no minimum rating required to register, which means your business is eligible for the same benefits even if your service-disability rating is lower than someone else’s.

Do keep in mind that even if you truly are not interested in competing for government contracts, you do not have to register your business through the VA. There are corporations in the U.S. that have their own certification process for veteran-owned businesses, which means that your business will still be recognized through them and among their suppliers.

Whether you register your business through the VA or through a larger corporation, it is beneficial to you and your company to ultimately be recognized as veteran-owned. This is yet another way for the citizens of this country to give back to you for your service and dedication.

Photo thanks to sansharma under creative common license on Flickr.

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