Veterans take advantage of business waiver

Staff Report

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced today that 473 veterans took advantage of the Office’s veteran business waiver in its first year.

The waiver, which took effect on July 1, 2015, exempts veterans from paying the registration fee for a new business created on July 1, 2015, or after. It also waives the annual report filing fee for the first four years — a potential savings of up to $200. Veterans in all but seven of West Virginia’s 55 counties have taken advantage of the waiver, with businesses created in a variety of business sectors.

“This waiver was created as a way to say thank you and make things easier on our veterans, and I couldn’t be happier to see how many have used it,” said Secretary Tennant. “Every little bit helps and this is the least that we can do. We hope to see continued interest in this program and encourage West Virginians to help us spread the word.”

The veteran business waiver initiative was proposed by Secretary Tennant during the 2015 Legislative Session and endorsed by the West Virginia Veterans Coalition.

Gretchen Griffin, veteran and co-owner of Jump for Joy WV, LLC, an inflatable bounce house rental service based in Jane Lew, said, “I’m very grateful for the Secretary of State’s efforts and success in getting the startup and annual filing fees waived for veteran-owned businesses. The money that this waiver allowed us to save on our business startup fees was applied towards advertising, which helped our business get a faster, more successful startup. The fee may sound like a small amount to some, but when you are starting up and investing your own money into a business, every penny counts. This veteran is very thankful that the SOS office recognizes that and recognizes that veterans make good entrepreneurs.”

The veteran business waiver is available now for any veteran opening a new business. The waiver does not apply to veteran-owned businesses created before July 1, 2015. The waiver is being executed with no expense to the taxpayer.

Veteran Business Waiver Quick Facts:

· Veterans receive a waiver of the registration fee and annual report fees for the first 4 years when opening businesses in West Virginia, saving veteran business owners up to $200.

· The cost of the waiver is absorbed into the Office’s existing budget.

· The Secretary of State’s office has several services available to veterans and members of our armed forces:

o Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act

o Online Absentee Ballot Tracking

o Vote in Honor of a Veteran

o Electronic Delivery of Ballots

o Late Voter Registration

o Online chat

Staff Report

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