Entrepreneurship & Self-Employment

Phase 4: Permanent Changes of Station

In addition to preparing your family and belongings for a PCS move, you should make employment-related arrangements. Determine a plan of action to maintain your employment readiness, whether that is to relocate your business; transfer your license; complete, pause, or transfer your schooling/education; or ensure a seamless transition in your remote position. Plan ahead and learn how to plug-in to your new community throughout a PCS move.

Phase 4: Permanent Changes of Station


Milestone 1: Stress-proof your move across state lines

Whether you want to relocate while maintaining a remote position, move a business across state lines, or continue your education at a new duty station, PCSs can be stressful! Plan ahead, seek support, and prioritize your self-care to help alleviate potential stress.

Strategies to Combat Moving Stress

  1. Start early. Once you know a move is on the horizon, begin planning! Research your new location, begin building your new network, and give yourself as much time as possible to complete essential tasks. Resource: Plan My Move
  2. Prioritize self-care. Continue with your self-care and stress-relieving activities. Keep your gear and supplies handy so you can keep up with healthy practices such as running, yoga, and journaling.
  3. Seek support. Lean on friends, colleagues, and other individual’s offers of help during your move preparation. Talk to a relocation specialty consultant from Military OneSource to help you plan your move.
  4. Get organized. Clear out clutter, keep important documents and valuables in a safe place, and know what tasks need to be completed before you move. You may find a checklist helpful!
  5. Get closure. Make time to say goodbye to special people and visit places you’ve enjoyed in your community.

*If you want additional support with move-related stress, know that professionals are available to help you. Seek non-medical counseling from Military OneSource or a Military and Family Life Counselor.

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Evaluating whether to move with your military service member

Military families may choose to live apart for many reasons, with many reporting benefits such as enhanced career opportunities and their own or their children’s education. This voluntary separation is often referred to as being a geographical bachelor(ette) or geo-baching. Whether geo-baching is right for you may depend on factors such as the costs of maintaining two households and travel expenses, the anticipated duration of the separation, emotional challenges of being apart, and the struggles of added household and child care responsibilities.

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Exploring whether business ventures will successfully move across state lines

As a military spouse you know PCS moves are highly likely. To successfully move your business, strive to limit the amount of time you will be inoperable, proactively build a new client base, and plan for the costs associated with moving your business. Ensure you understand the steps and the legal requirements that are necessary to successfully move your business across state lines.

9 Steps to Successfully Move your Business Across State Lines

  1. Determine the feasibility of doing business at your gaining location. This includes conducting market research to understand the demand for your goods or services. (Resource: SBA Market Research Online Course)
  2. Understand your monthly cost of doing business (CODB). Know your number, then start saving. Create a savings account with enough money saved to hold you over during a PCS move. This may include 3 months or more of monthly CODB.
  3. Find a suitable space (if applicable). Arrange for travel to your new location or seek the support of a trusted local individual to help you identify the right location and space. 
  4. Research taxation matters in the new state. Seek professional support and a mentor to assist you (e.g., attorney, accountant, bookkeeper).
  5. Communicate and coordinate the move with your staff (if applicable). 
  6. Send a message to your customers. Note any anticipated delays in business matters via email, social media, or other type of communication.
  7. Obtain a business license in your new location. This will vary depending on the type of business you own. Sole proprietorships and partnerships may be easily moved and registered in another state. A C corporation, S corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) may require more formal actions for the relocation process. (Resource: SBA Apply for License and Permits)
  8. Pack your business-related items. Determine if any of your business-related items can be counted as professional gear (pro-gear) and, therefore, not included in your household goods weight allowance measurement. (Resource: Locate your Local Transportation Office at https://installations.militaryonesource.mil/)
  9. Make the move. Allow yourself as much time as is needed to reestablish your business in your new location. This is where the CODB savings can benefit you!

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Determining licensure and certification reciprocity

If your profession requires a license or certification, know that many states offer license reciprocity, temporary licenses and extended license requirement timelines to make it possible for military spouses to continue in their careers. You may also be eligible for reimbursement for qualified relicensing or recertification fees incurred following a PCS move.

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Up Next: Milestone 2: Concerns about family needs