Nearly 3 million businesses in the United States are owned by veterans, and they bring in more than $1.22 trillion in sales annually. If you are a veteran who wants to get in on the business side of things, it helps to know where to start, including how to decide on a business and where to get veteran loans.

Starting Your Business

Before you can start a business, you’ll need to come up with an idea. Consider not only what you know and what you are good at but what you’re passionate about. After all, being good at something means nothing if you’re bored every day that you’re operating your company. Once you decide where to put your talents, you’ll need to write a business plan that includes an executive summary, company overview, market analysis, business organization, product development plan, and financial plan and projections, as well as an appendix. Finally, you’ll need to register your business name, choose a legal structure, and apply for an employer identification number for tax purposes.

Funding Your Business

Of course, after you set up the main aspects of your company, you’ll need to put the business plan to good use by taking it with you to meetings with potential investors. Veteran loans are one of the many options you have when it comes to funding your startup business. Consider some of the following options:

  • Equity Financing – This is useful for entrepreneurs who need a large amount of capital to get started. Equity financing means you’ll give up part of your business ownership to investors or venture capital firms, but you could receive a hefty amount of financing.
  • Debt Financing – Debt financing is the most common type of loans that businesses use. These loans allow you to receive a lump sum to spend on your business, such as inventory or hiring employees. You’ll then repay the loan, plus interest, in monthly installments over the span of a few years. There are several types of loans, including medium-term loans, SBA loans, or business lines of credit. You can even finance just equipment, sell your invoices, or get a cash advance on credit card payments.

If you are a veteran who wants to start your own business, be sure to do your research before signing up for veteran loans. Sometimes, unscrupulous types will take advantage of veterans, so always research potential lenders to ensure they are licensed, certified, and have a strong reputation.