Online Courses for Starting Your Business

Each year, more than 10 million people consider starting a business. Of them, only three million people take the plunge and start a business. It’s one of the most exciting endeavors that any person can undertake.

About These Courses

Several free online courses are offered by the SBA to help prospective and existing entrepreneurs understand the basics about writing a business plan. These self-paced courses are easy to use and understand. They will take about 30 minutes to complete. You can, however, exit a course at any time. Because most of the courses offer audio explanations, it is recommended that your computer speakers be turned on.

Before entering a course, you will be prompted to complete an online registration form. The registration process is simple, asks only a couple of questions and will take less than a minute to complete.

Available Free Courses

  1. How to Start and Grow an Online Business
  2. How to Prepare a Business Plan
  3. Franchising Basics
  4. Technology 101: A Small Business Guide
  5. Native American Business Primer


SBA podcasts offer expert insight and guidance about starting your own business. Whether you’re sitting down to write your business plan, wondering about your legal obligations, or researching your financing options, you’ll find the information you need right here.

Managing a Business

Strong management skills are built over time through continued education and experience. To help you understand the basics about managing a business, SBA offers several free online courses. This self paced instruction includes many entrepreneurial topics, including taking your business global, using technology, preparing a business plan, entering into a franchise, planning for disasters, and preventing crime.

Financing a Business

Financing is an integral part to getting your business off the ground and growing it over time. That’s why SBA has provided several free online courses to help you become familiar with your financing options, including an introduction to accounting, a guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs, and an overview on how to prepare a loan package.


If you’re interested in doing business with the government, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of government contracting and working with government agencies. To help you gain this valuable knowledge, SBA provides several free online training courses. The instruction is self-paced, easy to use and understand, with each course taking about 30 minutes to complete

Other Featured Training

In addition to available online courses about basic topics, SBA provides training on specialized subjects such as disaster assistance, making yours a “green” business, and exporting your products. Plus, you can take advantage of today’s social media technology to learn more via web chats, podcasts and streaming video.

Find A Local SBA Office

Looking for small business counseling and training close to home? SBA can help! SBA provides small business counseling and training through District Offices across the country. Business guidance and support is crucial to increasing your odds of long-term success. Find counseling, training and business development specialists providing free and low-cost services in your area.

SBA District Offices

SBA’s District Offices are responsible for providing businesses with the tools for enhancing and growing their businesses. SBA’s District Offices also oversee the delivery of SBA’s programs throughout the states such as:

  • Free counseling, advice and information on starting a business through SCORE.
  • Financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders.
  • Free consulting services through the network of Small Business Development Centers. SBDCs also conduct training events throughout the district – some require a nominal registration fee.
  • Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals through the Minority Enterprise Development Program.
  • Women’s Business Ownership Representatives are available to advise women business owners.

Check out your local District Office today!