Start Your Own Business

Find information on starting a veteran-owned business. These tips from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you create a business plan and learn about financing. Get access to federal services and best practices to help you plan and grow your business. Use the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Learn about the required qualifications for special contracting opportunities with the government. Begin by registering your business with the Vets First Verification Program. You can find VA-certified business counselors in your state to help you learn how to apply.

Minority-Owned and Small Disadvantaged Businesses.

For minority or women-owned businesses, there are government resources that can help you:

Learn about starting and growing a minority-owned business. The Minority-Owned Business Development Agency can teach you how to win government contracts. At your regional MBDA Business Center, you can also find tools, view research, and contact experts for more guidance.

Get federal contracts through the HUBZone program if you own a small business in an underrepresented urban or rural area. Or, you may qualify for help getting government contracts as a small disadvantaged business through the 8(a) program. The SBA has several requirements to be eligible for each program.

Get information about business training and counseling from the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO). OWBO also helps women-owned small businesses with financial advice.

Find out about special programs that can help your company do business with a federal agency. See which federal agencies have an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) that can help.

Self-Employment and Working from Home.

You are self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession either by yourself or with a partner.

Find out the basics of self-employment to help you succeed in the small business world:

Starting and Financing a Small Business – Explore opportunities and get tips to help you succeed. Tax Information – Learn about filing requirements for the self-employed, reporting responsibilities, and more. Health Insurance – Explore coverage options for the self-employed. Social Security Information for the Self-Employed covers how to report your earnings when you file your taxes.

Work from Home.

Are you thinking about basing your business out of your home? The Small Business Administration’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business includes the licenses and permits you need to run a home-based business.

Home Office Deduction.

If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office tax deduction.

Work-at-Home Scams.

Learn what to watch out for to avoid work-at-home scams. In one common scam, you may be tricked into paying to start your own internet business. These scammers will keep asking you to send money for more services related to this fake business opportunity. To file a complaint about a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Federal Government Telework Guidelines.

Note: The federal government never charges a fee for information about, or applications for, government jobs. You can search and apply for federal government jobs for free at USAJOBS.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses.

If you want to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL), contact your state motor vehicle agency. More information about commercial driver’s licenses may be available from your state or regional Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) office or local commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driving school.

Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 to ensure that drivers of commercial motor vehicles are qualified to operate those vehicles. States have the right to issue a driver’s license, but they must meet minimum national standards when issuing a commercial driver’s license. The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program places requirements on the commercial motor vehicle driver, the employing motor carrier, and the states.

States are required to issue a commercial driver’s license to drivers with specific license classifications based on the type of vehicle. Drivers who operate special types of commercial motor vehicles need to pass additional tests. While the FMCSA sets the federal standards that states must meet, it is your state that determines the: