The Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) is the voice of small business in the federal government. We have three core responsibilities:

First, Advocacy works with federal agencies to ensure that new rules and regulations are not unfairly harmful or burdensome to small businesses. Our team of attorneys engages with rulemakers all throughout the process, ensuring that your voices are heard in Washington.

Second, Advocacy conducts research on the state of American small businesses. Our team of economists works with the most recent government data to produce products to better inform policymakers across the country about the current state of the small business economy.

Third, Advocacy reaches out to small businesses to bring your concerns directly to Washington, so that our legal and economic teams understand what issues to prioritize.

What makes Advocacy different from the Small Business Administration?

Despite the name, Advocacy is independent of the Small Business Administration (SBA). We do not take part in SBA’s work on loans, disaster relief, or procurement. Instead, we represent your interests in the federal regulatory process and produce data for policymakers to craft smarter laws.

If you are worried about a rule or regulation that may impact your business, contact our staff. If you have questions on loans, disaster relief, or getting involved in government procurement, submit an inquiry on SBA’s contact page.

What is a regulation?

Generally, when Congress passes a law, it directs a federal agency to create regulations to interpret, explain, or show how the law is used in everyday situations to understand its purpose.

A federal “regulation,” or “rule,” is a detailed requirement or direction written by a federal agency that provides instructions on how to follow the law. Regulations explain in detail what the law requires, what that it prohibits, and any penalty for failing to comply.

Interested citizens can explore new proposed regulations on, which also allows Americans to give their thoughts on proposed regulations. Advocacy tracks regulations we believe are relevant to small business, which you can find in the Regulatory Alerts section of our site. If you are interested in writing a comment letter, we have prepared resources to aid you.

What is the Regulatory Flexibility Act?

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) was passed in 1980 to require federal agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory proposals on small businesses, analyze those proposals for equally effective alternatives, and make their analyses of alternatives public.

The goal of the RFA was to ensure that small businesses would not be harmed by “one-size-fits-all” regulation, while also allowing agencies to accomplish the goals of their rulemaking process.

Advocacy was tasked as the watchdog of the RFA, ensuring agencies comply with the law. We talk with agencies through their analyses, making sure they do not neglect small businesses that could be impacted by their new regulations.

How does Advocacy help my small business in the regulatory process?

Advocacy’s attorneys and advocates gather your concerns and take them directly to regulators in several different ways.

Advocacy regional advocates travel the country to talk with small businesses like yours, relaying concerns about rules to our Washington team.

Advocacy attorneys review new federal rules, allowing them to express your concerns to regulators as they are developed. Advocacy also supervises a series of procedures related to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. These procedures require federal agencies to consider small business impacts when writing rules.

Advocacy economists prepare economic analyses to determine the likely financial impacts of proposed regulations.

I have a question about a regulation. Who do I contact?

Advocacy has a team of regional advocates across the country who can help you with your issues. In addition, you can talk to Advocacy attorneys, who may be working on the regulation you are concerned about.

What sorts of things does Advocacy research?

Advocacy researches all aspects of the small business ecosystem. Our most popular product is Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business, which uses the most recent government data to provide a snapshot of small businesses across the country.

We also produce fact sheets, infographics, and longer economics briefs on issues ranging from demographics to lending to international trade.

Where do small business statistics come from?

We use up-to-date government data for all our products. You can find a list of data resources on our website. Advocacy also cites each dataset we use in any given piece of research.

Where can I find out more about the small business economy where I live?

Advocacy’s State Profile series consists of multiple different products that can help you see the state of the small business economy in your community. We issue profiles for all fifty states every year.

In addition, Advocacy frequently produces other profiles in this series. Recently, Advocacy has produced profiles for major metropolitan areas, and when the data is available, Advocacy produces profiles for congressional districts.