Transitioning from Service to Startup

You’ve reached a turning point in your military career. You’re transitioning from active duty to civilian and are considering business ownership as your next move. Regardless of where you are in the entrepreneurial process – toying with a few business concepts or ready to execute your business plan – the SBA and its partner network are ready to support you.

The process begins with Boots to Business, a free entrepreneurship training course offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), and continues with free business counseling, mentorship, and even guidance on accessing capital for your business. Ready for a smooth transition into business ownership? Here are a few ways you can get started:

  1. Sign up for the Boots to Business course. Boots to Business is open to transitioning service members (including National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses on military installations worldwide. The course provides you with an overview of business ownership, including topics like market research, business financing, legal considerations, and additional resources to tap into throughout your entrepreneurial journey. Visit for a list of upcoming classes – then contact the transition office on your military installation to register for your desired course date.
  2. Already completed your transition, but still want to take the course? Boots to Business Reboot brings the course off military installations and into your community. Get in touch with your local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for details on upcoming course dates.
  3. Connect with your local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). With locations across the nation, VBOCs can provide you with business advice/recommendations, and also connect you with other business counselors, training programs, and referrals in the SBA network.
  4. Get involved in the entrepreneurial community by attending networking events to meet other veteran entrepreneurs. Also consider online communities, which can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Reddit. These private groups allow you to connect with other veteran entrepreneurs across the globe.

To learn more about the SBA’s veterans programs, visit

OSD CEO & Executive Director Glenn Banton is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs (ACVBA) providing an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the SBA administrator, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development, Congress, the President and other U.S. policymakers on programs affecting veteran-owned small business from all segments of American society.