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By Roy Rasmussen Updated on August 24, 2023

SBA Classes for Businesses: How They Can Help You (Plus They’re Free)

The Small Business Administration offers classes for entrepreneurs. Learn how SBA classes for businesses can help you. 

We’ll explain what these classes are and what you can learn from them. Then we’ll cover who’s eligible to take SBA training, how much it costs and how you sign up. We’ll also point you toward other resources the SBA has available to help entrepreneurs.

What Are SBA Classes?

The federal agency provides free entrepreneur classes delivered through the SBA’s online learning platform. Classes are presented in the form of short video tutorials and associated worksheets covering subjects of interest to small business owners who are starting or expanding a business.

SBA classes for business are divided into objectives corresponding to the materials which make up the course. For example, a course with 21 videos and 1 worksheet would have 22 objectives. To help participants track learning progress, each time a participant completes an objective, their score goes up and continues to increase until they complete the full number of objectives for a given course.

We see a hand clicking on a mouse and another hand on the keyboard of a computer. The screen shows the SBA logo and the words “Online Learning.”

What Can You Learn from SBA Training Classes?

SBA online classes cover topics relevant to small business owners. Topics are geared toward entry-level entrepreneurs, although courses include some topics of interest to business owners with an intermediate level of experience.

Course offerings cover topics such as:

Special learning opportunities are available for women business owners, military veterans and executives of high-potential small businesses in underserved cities.

The SBA’s Ascent program provides women entrepreneurs with courses covering topics such as:

The SBA’s program for veterans, Boots to Business, includes a 2-day, in-person introduction to entrepreneurship courses as well as follow-on support through online training offered in partnership with Mississippi State University.

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative provides executives of high-potential companies in underserved cities with customized training. Training includes more than 100 hours of professional specialized training and peer-to-peer counseling. Areas covered include:

  • Mentoring for chief executive officers
  • Planning growth strategies
  • Business financing and accessing capital
  • Government contracting

Additional training opportunities are available from SBA partners such as the small business mentor network SCORE, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers.

Who Can Take SBA Classes?

Most SBA training offerings are available to the general public through the SBA’s website. The SBA’s Boots to Business in-person training is available at participating military installations to service members and dependents of service members who are retiring or transitioning from the military. 

The Emerging Leaders Initiative is available to small business owners and executives whose companies have annual revenue of at least $250,000, have been in business at least 3 years and have at least 1 employee besides the owner.

How Long Do the Classes Take to Complete?

SBA courses are self-paced, so you can take as long to complete them as you need. Most videos are short to view. For example, the SBA’s course on how to write a business plan includes 21 short videos totaling 41 minutes. Completing the worksheets which accompany the videos takes additional time.

How Much Do SBA Online Classes Cost?

The SBA’s online classes for the general public are free. Some specialized and supplemental training opportunities such as in-person training with SBA partners may cost a small fee.

How Do You Sign Up for a Class?

You don’t have to register to view SBA course videos online. However, when you start a course, you may be asked to complete an optional form providing some demographic information which the SBA uses to determine how to allocate resources for developing course content.

If you’re working through an SBA center or partner, you can take SBA classes through the assistance of your local SBA counselor.

A businessman has reached the summit of a mountain and plants a flag in celebration. The background is a cityscape.

Do You Receive Certification for Taking Free Entrepreneur Classes?

After completing an SBA course, you have the opportunity to print a certificate of completion. You also will be asked to complete an optional course evaluation to help the SBA improve its program.

Tap SBA Resources to Help Your Business Succeed

SBA classes provide free online video training to new and intermediate entrepreneurs. Some programs include in-person training opportunities. 

Courses cover topics such as how to write a business plan, how to manage legal requirements for running a business and how to buy a business. Specialized programs are available for women, veterans and executives of high-potential businesses in underserved areas.

Anyone can take most SBA online classes, although certain training opportunities such as those for veterans and executives require meeting specific qualifications. Most online training opportunities are free. Additional in-person training opportunities are available through programs such as the SBA-affiliated SCORE mentoring networking.

The SBA also provides financing resources and information about accessing financing. Fast Capital 360 can help put you in touch with approved SBA lenders. To find out if you qualify for SBA loans or other financing resources, take a few minutes to fill out our free, no-obligation prequalifying form and see your loan options.

Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.
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