Dear Reps. Brownley and Walorski:
On behalf of the International Franchise Association (IFA), the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide, I write you in strong support of your legislation, the Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2021. This legislation would support and expand veteran ownership of franchises during a challenging time for business owners everywhere, and I commend you for your leadership on behalf of those who have bravely served our country.
Franchising encompasses opportunity, job creation and community engagement. The franchise business model creates economic opportunities for individuals of any age, background, or level of experience. Veterans, in particular, are especially qualified to own and operate a franchise due to a unique set of skills learned through military service – making them ideal candidates for successfully owning and operating a franchise business. With its rapid training opportunities, defined structure and systems, and need for operations excellence, franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become leaders and productive participants in the U.S. economy. Approximately fourteen percent of franchises are owned by veterans, compared to nine percent of all small firms are owned by veterans, making clear that veterans and franchising constitute a dynamic partnership.
While veterans readily possess the leadership, technical skills, and familiarity with operating in a standardized network that makes them well suited for franchising, many veterans separate from service without the up-front costs necessary to becoming a franchisee in some systems. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2021 would help these aspiring entrepreneurs; it would provide a qualified veteran with a 25% tax credit on the initial franchise fee. This would greatly lighten the financial burden of starting their own business. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2021 will help make franchise ownership a financially accessible dream for American veterans.
IFA has long supported this legislation and veteran entrepreneurship opportunities. VetFran, an IFA initiative, was founded as a resource for veterans returning from overseas deployment; its mission is to assist veterans in making the transition back to civilian life easier through opportunities in franchising. Today, VetFran helps aspiring veteran franchisees and veterans seeking employment with financial discounts, mentorship, and training.
Again, thank you for introducing this important legislation and IFA looks forward to working with you toward passage of the Veterans Entrepreneurs Act of 2021.
Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Public Affairs