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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Laws/Regulations

Through the SBA, the Offices of Advocacy, Ombudsman and Hearings and Appeals represent small businesses concerns. Learn what is being done to assist small business on issues concerning legislation, regulation and disputes. In addition, within our law library, you’ll find SBA reports, statistics, records, studies, and information on the latest laws and regulations affecting small businesses. Topics include:

  • Small Business Advocacy
  • National Ombudsman
  • Law Library
  • Hearings and Appeals

Small Business Advocacy

America’s small businesses – some 25 million strong – are the strength of our nation’s economy. They account for 50 percent of the country’s private non-farm gross national product, create between 60 and 80 percent of the net new jobs and are 13 to 14 times more innovative per employee as large firms are.

Despite their importance to the economy, small businesses are heavily burdened by the costs of government regulation and excessive paperwork. Advocacy research shows that firms with fewer than 20 employees annually spend 45 percent more per employee than larger firms do to comply with federal regulations.

In 1976, the U.S. Congress created the Office of Advocacy within the U.S Small Business Administration to protect, strengthen and effectively represent the nation’s small businesses within the federal government’s legislative and rule-making processes. The Office of Advocacy works to reduce the burdens that federal policies impose on small firms and maximize the benefits small businesses receive from the government. Advocacy’s mission, simply stated, is to encourage policies that support the development and growth of American small business.

  • Office of Advocacy
  • Regulatory Alerts
  • Advocacy Library
  • Economic Research
  • State Economic Profiles
  • Regulatory Review

National Ombudsman

To assist small businesses with unfair and excessive federal regulatory enforcement, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, retaliation or other unfair regulatory enforcement action by a federal agency.

The National Ombudsman receives complaints and comments from small business concerns and acts as a “trouble shooter” between them and federal agencies. Small business comments are forwarded to federal agencies for a high level review and federal agencies are requested to consider the fairness of their action.

  • Federal Agency Contacts
  • File a Comment
  • FAQs
  • Regulatory Fairness Boards
  • Reports to Congress
  • Calendar of Events
  • Ombudsman

Law Library

  • Forms
  • Records
  • Laws and Regs
  • SOPs

Hearings and Appeals

The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), is an independent office of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Small Business Administration established the Office of Hearings and Appeals in 1983 to provide an independent, quasi-judicial appeal of certain SBA program decisions.

OHA formally adjudicates disputes arising in numerous jurisdictional areas. These include appeals from SBA formal size determinations; appeals from Contracting Officer designations of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for procurements government-wide; appeals from certain SBA determinations relating to development companies; and appeals from Agency and Private Certifier small disadvantaged business determinations, all of which, by regulation, may be decided either by an Administrative Judge or an Administrative Law Judge. OHA’s jurisdiction also include 8(a) BD program eligibility, suspension, and termination appeals; and salary offset appeals all of which, by statute, must be decided by an Administrative Law Judge.

The Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA) Office is also a component of OHA. This office processes appeals from initial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Acts (PA) determinations; and provides FOI/PA technical guidance to other SBA offices.

  • Appeals
  • Decisions
  • Hearings and Appeals
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)


See also…

Starting a Business

Business and Finance Law