Boots to Business Waiver available July 1 from the Secretary of State’s Office

From Press Release

  Charleston, W.Va. –Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant begins a new era for veterans and business owners in West Virginia tomorrow. Effective July 1, veterans wanting to start a new business in West Virginia will get a break in the up-front, administrative costs to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

The new Boots to Business waiver will exempt veterans from paying the registration fee for a new business and the annual report filing fee for the first four years – a potential savings of up to $200. The Secretary of State’s Office is absorbing the cost of waiving the fees at no additional expense to the taxpayer.

“This initiative supports West Virginia veterans and West Virginia jobs at the same time,” said Secretary Tennant. “We have made serving our veterans a priority, there’s no doubt here in the Secretary of State’s Office, because we know that our democracy is built on the sacrifices our military members and their families have made.”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) says veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than those with no military experience.

The Secretary of State’s Office works with the SBA to prepare veterans to become entrepreneurs through the SBA’s Boots to Business: Reboot training sessions held throughout the state.

            “The military has consistently created leaders throughout the history of this country,” Secretary Tennant said. “These highly-skilled individuals are already leaders in their communities and I am confident will also become leaders in the business industry. I believe wholeheartedly that investing in our veterans and their dreams through the Boots to Business waiver is a worthwhile investment.” 

The Boots to Business initiative was proposed by Secretary Tennant during the 2015 Legislative Session and endorsed by the West Virginia Veterans Coalition. It passed the House and Senate unanimously.

James McCormick, a representative of that coalition who started a business when he completed his military service said, “This will encourage other veteran-owned businesses to come to West Virginia. It will carry the most weight outside the state.”

“By eliminating these fees for a short period of time, we can give the people who have served our country a chance for, hopefully, a new beginning and assist them in being able to grow their businesses to a productive entity for the betterment of West Virginia,” Senator Daniel Hall (R – Wyoming), who was lead sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, said.

Allowing veterans a few years of relief of business fees will not only stimulate the economy by providing an incentive for new job creation, but also help combat the veteran suicide rate by encouraging those that have served us the possibility and the dignity of creating jobs,” Delegate Joshua Nelson (R – Boone), who was lead sponsor of the House version of the bill, said. “With 22 veterans committing suicide every single day, we must do more to combat that unacceptable statistic.”

Veterans can begin filing and taking advantage of the new Boots to Business waiver beginning July 1, 2015.