Business Loans for Veterans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and other organizations provide grants and loans to veterans and others who have served our country.

Business Loans for Veterans

Unfortunately, most veterans do not have the opportunity to establish credit.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and other organizations provide grants and loans to veterans and others who have served our country.

Each year, upon returning to civilian life after military service, thousands of veterans across the United States launch their own businesses. If you are a seasoned entrepreneur, there are numerous government resources available to assist you in making the shift to business ownership and funding programs to assist you in locating a loan or grant that is tailored to your individual situation and firm.

While these programs and loans are frequently referred to as “veteran business loans,” they are normally accessible for:

  • Military veterans (honorably discharged or service-disabled)
  • Active-duty military service member 
  • Active reservist 
  • Members of the National Guard
  • Current spouse of any veteran, active duty service member, National Guard member or reservist

Here’s all you need to know about veteran entrepreneur programs and funding.


Types of Veteran Business Loans

Veteran small business owners are eligible for the same types of loans as other business owners, but certain types of loans have unique benefits for veterans. These are some of the most advantageous business funding choices for veterans.

SBA Express Loan Program

While SBA loans are available to all business owners, veterans who run small businesses have distinct advantages. Veterans can apply for the SBA Express Loan without paying an upfront guarantee fee, allowing them to obtain finance at low-interest rates with fewer barriers. In addition, the SBA Express program helps small businesses acquire capital faster by speeding up the loan evaluation process.

The SBA does not make direct loans to small business borrowers; instead, it guarantees a significant percentage of business loans to qualified companies. SBA loans come in various forms, including 7(a) loans, CDC/504 loans, and microloans.

Disaster Loan Program for Military Reservists with Economic Injuries (MREIDL)

Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available from the SBA if you are a military reservist (MREIDL). These low-interest loans are accessible to firms who require additional funds to keep operational due to the call to active duty of a key employee. MREIDLs are available in quantities up to $1,000,000, with loans exceeding $50,000 requiring collateral.

You can utilize this loan to pay someone to monitor your business while you are on active duty as a small business owner. In addition, if you hire reservists, you’ll have a safety net if one of your employees is summoned to active duty.

Equity Financing

When you use equity financing, you give investors a piece of your company in exchange for money. You share a portion of your company’s profits with the investor rather than repaying the money plus interest (s). Many individuals and angel investors are especially interested in assisting veteran-owned enterprises. While you will relinquish some control, these investors will be more interested in your company strategy than your credit score.

Online Business Loans

Many types of alternative funding are more readily available to organizations that have trouble obtaining standard business loans. For example, short-term financing options such as merchant cash advances, working capital loans, invoice financing, and invoice factoring can help you improve your cash flow or expand your business without the stringent conditions that come with traditional business loans.

Furthermore, equipment financing allows business owners to obtain the equipment they require without incurring a big upfront cost. Microloans could be another possibility, as microloan providers may have a vested interest in assisting veterans.

Business Line of Credit or Credit Card

A business line of credit or business credit card, unlike a term loan, might be an excellent financing alternative if you need flexibility. You only have to pay back the amount you actually use (plus interest) on a line of credit, and the same principles apply to corporate credit cards. If you know you’ll need business capital but aren’t sure how much you’ll need or don’t want to commit to a certain loan amount.

Business Grants for Veterans

There are national and local grants available for veterans and active serving service people in addition to business loans. The following is a list of some of the most popular grants for veterans.

The VetFran Business Grant Fund

The VetFran Program is a valuable resource for anyone interested in starting a franchise. This organization assists veterans in becoming franchisees and works directly with franchisors to educate them about veterans’ talent to franchisees. In addition, veterans who have been awarded franchises under the IFA VetFran program are eligible for grants of up to $10,000.

Hivers and Strivers

Hivers and Strivers is a venture capital firm that invests in companies founded by graduates of any of the United States’ military colleges. Because many of the Hivers and Strivers group’s investors are veterans, they are more likely to appreciate the significance of your military experience in starting and running a new firm. In addition, having an investor who is invested in you and your company rather than just looking for a quick profit might help you thrive and expand your company.

StreetShares Small Business Award

The StreetShares Foundation is a non-profit that promotes military entrepreneurship by providing mentoring, resources, and other services. The StreetShares Small Business Award, a funding program for veteran entrepreneurs, is a crucial program for the organization. This grant can assist veterans and their families in making starting a business financially possible.

Veteran-Owned Businesses: Government Programs and Organizations

Many federal agencies and non-profit organizations have a vested interest in seeing veteran entrepreneurs flourish. Some of these organizations provide grants or loans to veterans, while others offer resources to assist veterans in obtaining funding. These are some of the programs available:

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains a website with many services and information for veterans who want to establish, grow, or fund a business. In addition to commercial tools, this site contains useful information about doing business with federal agencies (or government contract work) and the VA and training programs offered by the VA for veterans.

Boots to Business

The Boots to Business program is a Small Business Administration effort that provides training and information to help veterans transition from active duty to civilian life through the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). If you’re thinking about starting a business, this program can help you get the necessary skills to succeed. You are qualified for this program if you are an active duty service member, a veteran of any era, or a military spouse.

SBA Resources for Veteran-Owned Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) includes various tools for veterans, including resources for women veterans and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. Through the Office of Veterans Business Development, the SBA offers training programs and online resources to help entrepreneurs start or grow their firms.

In addition, the SBA operates Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) in several locations across the country. You may get business advice and learn about local grants and funding initiatives for veterans at these local sites. The SBA can help you locate the nearest VBOC.

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