If you are a veteran and you are thinking about buying a franchise, you are not alone. Thousands of franchises are owned by veterans, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) promotes franchise ownership as an alternative for former military servicemembers and officers who are thinking about going into business for themselves. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA):
“Even though veterans account for about 7% of the population, 14% of franchisees are vets . . . and 65% of franchisors have indicated that their rate of hiring veterans has increased in recent years.”
Of course, buying a franchise comes with financial risk. To help reduce the cost of ownership, many franchisors and other businesses and organizations offer benefits to veterans. Here is a list of some of the benefits that are available, as well as a list of resources for veterans who are thinking about buying a franchise:
The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran Program
Under the IFA’s VetFran program, participating franchisors offer discounts and other financial incentives to veterans who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces. Many suppliers offer waived or reduced fees to veterans through the program as well.
Currently, more than 600 franchisors participate in the VetFran program. The IFA rates participating franchisors with up to five-star ratings, with higher ratings reflecting the IFA’s view of the franchisor’s commitment to the ideals of VetFran. Of course, in addition to reviewing these ratings, veterans who are considering franchise opportunities under VetFran should conduct their own thorough due diligence as well.
U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Veteran Funding and Training Programs
The SBA offers a number of funding and training programs specifically for military veterans. These include the Veteran Fee Relief program which waives the upfront guaranty fees on SBA Express Loans, the Boots to Business entrepreneurial program, the Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) and the Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP).
Franchisor and Supplier Veteran Discounts
Many franchisors and suppliers offer veteran discounts outside of VetFran. Once again, while the up-front cost of franchise ownership is not the only factor to consider, when evaluating franchise opportunities it is certainly worthwhile for veterans to consider any financial incentives that may be available. Some franchisors will also give special consideration to franchise applicants’ veteran status.
Resources for Veterans Who are Thinking about Buying a Franchise
If you would like more information about the benefits and programs that are available to military veterans, you can use the following links to find more information. We also encourage you to read about our franchise business review programs:
- VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization: Franchising Opportunities
- SBA Veteran-Owned Businesses
- com Veteran Benefits Franchise Opportunity Guide
Speak With National Franchise Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein
If you have questions about buying a franchise or would like more information about veteran benefit programs in franchising, we want to hear from you. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with national franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein, please call 202-293-3947 or send us a message online today.