SBA Loan Size Limits

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in order to encourage, support and protect small businesses.  With lender support the SBA grants business owners with much needed capital. Loan limits vary, depending on the type of business applying for the loan, what the business intends to use the money for, and the program that the business is applying under.  There are a few SBA loan programs:

7(a) Loan Program

The 7(a) loan program includes the widest variety of lenders and borrowers. Under this program, businesses can receive small business loans for up to $2 million. The SBA guarantees the participating lender for up to $1.5 million.

If the small business intends to use the money for real estate and equipment, the maximum loan term is 25 years. If a loan is to be used to fund the working capital of a business, the maximum loan term is 7 years. 

For 7(a) loans granted under the Community Adjustment and Investment Program (CAIP), businesses that are negatively affected by NAFTA can receive $70,000 in SBA guarantees for every one job created.

CDC/504 Loan Program

The community development company (CDC for short) offers four different types of loans. 

  • Businesses that exist in order to create or retain jobs in a community can receive up to $1.5 million in loans.  Specifically every one job created or retained warrants $50,000 in loans.
  • Businesses that exist in order to meet a public policy goal can receive up to $2 million.  A public policy is strictly defined by the SBA so be sure to review their definitions and standards.
  • Businesses that are considered “small manufacturers” can receive up to $4 million in loan.  A small manufacturer requires a certain amount of employees and business requirements.  

Microloan Program

Microloans are offered for loan amounts up to $35,000 and are meant to foster the growth or creation of young small businesses. The average loan amount offered under this program is $13,000 and the maximum loan term is 6 years.

Disaster Assistance Loan Program

This program offers two types of loans, each with different loan terms and needs.

  • Home owners and renters can receive up to $40,000 in personal property loans in order to repair damage to possessions. This money can be used to repair anything other than the actual structure of the home and the real estate.
  • Home owners (not renters) can receive up to $200,000 in real property loans in order to bring a primary residence back the condition that it was in before it was damaged.      

Special Purpose Loans

Special purpose loans address the needs of special populations of businesses.  Loan limits vary among the field of populations.

  •  Export Working Capital loans are granted to businesses who profit through exporting goods but who need money in order to grow their capital at home. These loans can be up to $2 million.
  •  Export Express loans are granted to small businesses that need to enter a new export market or expand the export market that they are already in. These loans can be up to $250,000.
  • For international businesses, the SBA offers International Trade Loans up to $2 million. These loans are basically the same as those granted under the 7(a) loan program except the SBA guarantees lenders for loan amounts up to $1.75 million. 


For businesses that need to meet short-term goals, the SBA grants small business loans up to the maximum limit of any other SBA loan.  The one exception under this program is a specific type of CAPline loan called a Small Asset-Based Line, which has a limit of $200,000.