Small Business Investment Companies


To establish privately owned and managed Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), which are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and to issue debt to licensed SBICs that may provide private equity capital and long term loan funds to small businesses and provide advisory services to small businesses in which they invest.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Small Business Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
F - Guaranteed/Insured Loans
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2019 From the inception of the SBIC program in 1958, SBICs have invested over $103 billion in approximately 184,135 financings to small businesses. In Fiscal Year 2019, 299 licensed and operating SBICs invested $5.86 billion in 1,191 small businesses.
Fiscal Year 2022 In FY 2022, the SBIC Program had over $38 billion in private capital, outstanding SBA-guaranteed debenture leverage, and SBA leverage commitments—the highest amount of combined capital under management in the program’s history. For more information about SBA accomplishments, access the SBA Congressional Budget Justification and Annual Performance Report:
Small Business Investment Act of 1958, Title III (15 U.S.C. 681 et seq.), Public Law 85-699, as amended
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Any chartered small business investment company having private capital of not less than $5 million, having qualified management, giving evidence of sound operation, and establishing the need for SBIC financing in the geographic area in which the applicant proposes to operate. For more information, please go to:
Beneficiary Eligibility
Individual businesses (single proprietorship, partnership or corporation) which satisfy the established criteria of a small business. For more information, please go to:
A small business investment company must be chartered as a corporation, limited partnership (with individuals, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company as general partner), or limited liability company. Determination is made as to need in area, general business reputation and character of proposed owners and management and probability of successful operations. All loans to, or investments in, small concerns shall be of such sound value as reasonable to assure repayment. For more information, please go to:
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. SBIC applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in a pre-screening process. For more information, please go to:
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Request information and appropriate forms from SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation. Complete application requirements and submit with required application fee to SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation. For more information, please go to:
Award Procedure
Applicant is notified by issuance of a license from SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Applying for an SBIC license is generally a three phase process and may take up to two years. In the second phase of the process, applicants are given 18 months to raise the private capital needed to be viable and submit required information for licensing. For more information on the licensing process, please go to:
Proponents may reapply at any time.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Investment funds licensed as SBICs must demonstrate ability to generate enough revenue to pay their SBIC debt obligations on a timely basis and typically have four basic characteristics: 1) Experienced management team with team members having complementary skills and a history of working with each other; 2) Proven investment strategy with track records contain enough successful, income-generating investments to prove an ability to service SBA-guaranteed debt; 3) Track record of success with at least two team members' 10-year track records clearly showing success with investments analogous to the ones proposed for the applicant SBIC; 4) Appealing fund structure that aligns the incentives of the SBIC's managers and investors.
How may assistance be used?
SBICs provide management and financial assistance on a continuing basis to eligible small business concerns in which they invest. Financial assistance is provided by making long-term loans to these small concerns, and/or by the purchase of debt or equity type securities issued by these firms. Emphasis is on providing assistance to the pioneering, innovating-type concerns developing new products, processes, and markets. Specialized investment companies (SSBICs) organized/licensed under former Section 301(d) of the authorizing statute must restrict eligibility to small concerns owned and operated by individuals whose participation in the free enterprise system has been hampered by social or economic disadvantages. Debentures are issued by leveraged SBICs and guaranteed by SBA for a term generally not to exceed ten years. SBICs may not self-deal, finance "big business," or invest over 10 percent of combined capital in any single small concern.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Information available at
Annual audit by a certified public accountant and periodic on-site examinations by SBA personnel. For more information, please go to
Current financial records, minutes of meetings of stockholders, general partners, directors, executive committees, and time spent and charges made for management consulting services performed must be maintained until such time as an SBIC license is surrendered.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing. Matching Requirements: Additional information available at SBA's website at Matching requirements are mandatory. MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Additional information available at SBA's website at
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Appendix IV of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Small Business Administration.
Headquarters Office
SBIC Director of Program Development
409 3rd Street, SW
6th Floor
Washington, DC, DC 20416 US
Phone: 202-205-7546
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Guaranteed/Insured Loans) FY 22$3,881,890,000.00; FY 23 est $5,000,000,000.00; FY 24 est $6,000,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Information on the SBIC Program is available at Additional information available on SBA's website at
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
13 CFR, Part 107.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2020 For a current directory of licensed SBICs, please go to
Fiscal Year 2022 The SBA provides funding to qualified investment management firms with investment expertise in certain sectors, industries, and investment strategies. The SBIC program was created to address concerns regarding a deficiency in the capital markets for long-term funding for growth-oriented small businesses.


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