Info for Veteran Entrepreneurs & Business Owners


Attention Veterans:

Are you starting a new business or are already operating one? Senate Bill 1049 waives the formation fees for new Veteran-Owned entities and waives the franchise tax for 5 years on incorporated businesses in Texas such as Limited Liability Companies (LLC). This is a great way to start your business without the costs associated with getting started.

To qualify, the business entity must be:

  • Formed on or after January 1, 2016 and before January 1, 2020
  • The business entity must be 100% veteran owned

Forming Your Business:

According to the Texas Secretary of State's "Business Information for Veterans" website, there are three things you need to obtain and complete:

  1. Obtain a Letter of Verification of Veteran's Honorable Discharge from the Texas Veterans Commission. You will need:
    •  a Statement Letter requesting verification of discharge status (See link above for template)
    • the DD-214, Member 4 copy or Service 2 copy showing "Character of Service" as Honorable, and
    • Legal documentation if the name is different from the DD-214 (typically due to marriage or divorce)
    • Send documents to or mail them to TVC, Attn: VEP, P.O. Box 12277; Austin, TX 78711
  2. Complete Form 05-904 - Certification of New Veteran-Owned Business (PDF) from the Comptroller of Public Accounts using the confirmation code on the Letter of Verification from the Texas Veterans Commission from step 1.
  3. Complete a Certificate of Formation. The form will be based on the type of business entity you are looking to start. For more information on determining the correct type of formation for your business, view the "Do I Need an LLC?" link.

**IMPORTANT NOTE - When filing as a Veteran-Owned Business following the steps above, your application MUST be submitted via fax or by mail. The online SOSDirect system is not set up to accept these applications and cannot waive the fees. 

Veteran-Owned Business Entities formed on or after January 1, 2016 who did not follow this process to file their business may obtain a refund - follow steps 1 and 2 above and submit them to the Secretary of State under a separate cover letter with your name and contact information and the entity name and file number. Once received, if documents meet the requirements for qualification as a Veteran-Owned Business, a refund will be issued for the filing fees and the associated entity will be identified in the secretary of state records as a Veteran-Owned Business.

Veteran-owned Business Certifications:

Forming your business through the Secretary of State does not designate your business as a Veteran-owned Small Business (VBE) or Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Concern (SDVOSBC), typically recognized for government contracting. These certifications can be obtained through the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For assistance with certifications, contact the UTSA Small Business Development Center or Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)