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Can I Use the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) to Start My Own Business?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I use the MGIB towards starting my own business?

A: This question is coming up more frequently also. Is it a sign of the times that more poeple are trying to tap any potential source of money? The short answer is yes and no – let me explain.

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) can be used to take classes that would increase your knowledge in starting and running a business, but you can’t get money directly from your MGIB for specifically funding a business.

You can use your GI Bill to take approved courses offered by:

  • Any Small Business Development Center (SBDC), administered by the SBA (Small Business Administration) or through,
  • The National Veterans Business Development Corporation (also known as “The Veterans Corporation), a federally chartered non-profit organization.

Course provided by both organizations offer entrepreneurship training to help you start or enhance a small business. They’re generally offered three hours a week. Since this is usually less than half-time training, you would generally receive payment of tuition and fees only, not to exceed the half-time rate, or the quarter-time rate if you’re training at one quarter time or less.

Of course, the other option is to use your MGIB benefit to go to college and get either a BA in Business Administration or Business Management.

There is of course, no regulation governing how to spend your MGIB payments, so if you wanted to save that money and apply it towards starting a business you could, however, with having to go to school to get the money, you would end up trading dollars as you have to pay tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses somehow, unless you have a rich uncle that would pay for school and you could bank the MGIB money.

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