SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program for Small Businesses

The SBA offers a number of different loan programs, for very specific purposes. The best known is the 7(a) Loan Program.

To be eligible for a 7a loan, a business must:

  • Operate for profit
  • Be considered a ‘small business’ under SBA guidelines
  • Do business in the United States or its possessions
  • Have reasonable invested equity
  • Use other resources, such as personal assets, before seeking financial assistance
  • Demonstrate a need for the loan
  • Use the funds for a sound business purpose
  • Not be delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the U.S. government
  • Franchises are eligible, as long as they have the right to profit, commensurate with ownership
  • Recreational facilities and clubs are eligible, as long as they are open to the general public, or membership is not denied or restricted to any particular groups
  • Certain types of businesses are ineligible, including (but not limited to) businesses that limit memberships, teach religious beliefs, or are involved in political or lobbying activities.


You May Use a 7(a) Loan for:

  • operational expenses, accounts payable, inventory
  • seasonal financing, contract performance, construction financing, exporting
  • revolving funds, under certain conditions
  • purchasing equipment, machinery, furniture, fixtures, supplies or materials
  • purchasing land and buildings
  • constructing a new building, or renovating an existing building
  • establishing a new business
  • help to acquire, operate or expand an existing business
  • refinancing an existing business debt, under certain conditions


An SBA video explains the various types of loans offered in more detail

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