Transitioning from military life to the civilian world can be a challenging process, but one that offers great rewards for veterans who are ambitious, determined, and ready to take control of their own destiny. One path that many veterans choose to follow is entrepreneurship. By setting up your own business and becoming a certified veteran-owned business, you can enjoy a wealth of benefits and opportunities that will help you succeed in your new venture.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up your own business, becoming a certified veteran-owned business, and provide you with a top 10 list of certifying organizations. We will also discuss the steps to become certified for each of these organizations, provide their URL addresses, and recommend the paperwork you'll need to have ready when applying for certification.
Steps to become certified:
Steps to participate:
Becoming a certified veteran-owned business can provide numerous advantages, such as access to government contracts, set-asides, and preferential treatment in procurement processes. By selecting the appropriate certifying organization for your business and following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to leveraging your military experience and entrepreneurial spirit to create a thriving venture.
Remember that each organization may have slightly different requirements, and staying organized and prepared will make the certification process much smoother. As a veteran, you've already demonstrated your dedication, determination, and ability to overcome challenges. By applying these same qualities to your business, you'll undoubtedly find success in the civilian world.
Determining the top 5 most difficult organizations to become certified with is subjective and may vary depending on individual circumstances. However, based on the complexity of requirements, the time taken to process applications, and the strictness of the review process, the following organizations may be considered more difficult to become certified with:
While these organizations may have more stringent requirements and a more rigorous review process, obtaining certification through them can provide significant credibility and access to exclusive opportunities for your business. By carefully preparing the required documentation and being thorough in your application, you can navigate these certification processes more effectively.
Determining the top 5 least difficult organizations to become certified with is also subjective and may vary depending on individual circumstances. However, based on the simplicity of requirements, the time taken to process applications, and the less stringent review process, the following organizations may be considered less difficult to become certified with:
While the certification processes for these organizations may be less complex, it's important to research the credibility and recognition of each organization within your industry to ensure that the certification provides the desired benefits for your business. Regardless of the certifying organization you choose, preparing the necessary documentation and being thorough in your application will increase your chances of a successful outcome.
While these organizations may not specifically provide certifications for veteran-owned businesses, they are highly recommended for small businesses just getting started, as they can help with business development, networking, and accessing resources tailored to the unique needs of veteran entrepreneurs.
For larger and more mature businesses, these organizations can provide access to significant opportunities and resources, helping to expand their reach, diversify their client base, and enhance their reputation as a certified veteran-owned business.
These five organizations are among the largest and most widely recognized certifying organizations for veteran-owned businesses. Obtaining certification from one or more of these organizations can provide a range of benefits, such as access to government contracts, set-asides, and preferential treatment in procurement processes.
To avoid denial or rejection, it is essential to carefully review the specific requirements and criteria of each organization before applying. Ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and supported by the necessary documentation. Additionally, be prepared to demonstrate your veteran status, ownership, and control of the business, as well as the business's financial stability and viability.
By obtaining certification from several organizations, veteran-owned businesses can maximize their opportunities for growth, networking, and access to resources. This can help enhance their reputation, increase their visibility, and ultimately contribute to their overall success. Please also refer to our post on the top 25 reasons why government buyers purchase from diversified businesses.
Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certification URL: https://www.wbenc.org/ WBENC certification verifies that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, and managed by one or more women.
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Certification URL: https://nmsdc.org/ NMSDC certification validates that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, and managed by ethnic minority individuals.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Certification URL: https://nglcc.org/ NGLCC certification is given to businesses that are at least 51% owned, controlled, and managed by LGBT individuals.
National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) Certification URL: https://nvbdc.org/ NVBDC certification verifies that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, and managed by a veteran or service-disabled veteran.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - 8(a) Business Development Program URL: https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/8a-business-development-program The SBA's 8(a) certification is for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, which may include businesses owned by minority groups, women, or veterans.
While Fortune-500 companies may not explicitly reject contractors based solely on their certifications, they often have supplier diversity goals and may prioritize working with certified businesses. These companies may also be required to comply with federal regulations regarding diversity in their procurement processes.
To increase the chances of securing contracts with Fortune-500 companies, businesses can seek certification from one or more of these organizations. This can help demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion and open up opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with large corporations. For more details on diversity, checkout our post on how Supplier Diversity Programs have Evolved in Businesses and Enterprises and the Top Reasons government buyers purchase from compliant small businesses.
In conclusion, becoming a certified veteran-owned business is a crucial step for veterans transitioning into entrepreneurship. Obtaining certification from one or more of the top organizations discussed in this guide can open doors to numerous opportunities, resources, and support services tailored specifically for your business. As you embark on this journey, carefully consider the certifications that best align with your business goals, size, and industry. By doing so, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the certification process and enhance your business's credibility, visibility, and access to valuable opportunities. Ultimately, achieving certification can significantly contribute to the growth and success of your veteran-owned business, allowing you to leverage your unique skills and experiences as a veteran entrepreneur.