SBA guidance

Learn about SBA guidance documentation and find quick guidance links.


About SBA guidance

SBA's guidance documents provide important background on applicable policies, help clarify standards and expectations for various agency audiences, and offer suggested best practices related to SBA's mission.

Guidance documents represent SBA's current thinking on a topic. Unless otherwise provided in statute, regulation, or contract/agreement, guidance documents lack the force and effect of law. 

When SBA develops a significant guidance document, the public will be afforded the opportunity to provide comments on the draft document. If you would like to comment on a specific guidance document, contact Please be sure to include the title and number of the document you are commenting on.

This page was created in compliance with Executive Order 13891, which calls for agencies to provide a searchable public index of all relevant guidance documents.

SBA public guidance documents

The following types of guidance documents are made available to the public but are typically prepared for lenders, SBA employees, and various agency partners:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): SOPs are permanent directives that set forth the policies and procedures relating to SBA’s programs and activities.
  • Policy notices: Policy notices are used to convey a change in policy. Policy notices may be temporary or permanent. 
  • Procedural notices: Procedural notices are used to convey a change in process or procedures. Procedural notices may be temporary or permanent.
  • Other guidance: These consist of other guidance such as SBA Program Guides, certain Federal Register publications, and SBIC TechNotes.
  • Business loan program improvements: 7(a) and 504 highlights

Guidance issued in cooperation with other agencies

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Last updated April 4, 2024