Download – How to Comply with the RFA (PDF, 4.7 MB)

View – RFA Data Resources for Federal Agencies

Economic freedom is the foundation for individual success and prosperity. This freedom is evident in the entrepreneurial small business sector, which creates most of the new jobs and a large share of the innovations in the American economy. When government takes small businesses into consideration in developing regulations, it saves time and money and supports the growth of the nation’s most productive sector.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and related laws and executive orders require federal agencies to consider the effects of regulations on small entities. Executive Order 13,272, signed on August 13, 2002, directs the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to provide federal agencies with training and information on how to comply with the RFA. This manual is a sourcebook for agencies to comply with the Act.

The Office of Advocacy continues to provide training to agency personnel in RFA compliance and welcomes additional opportunities to assist in new phases of training. This compliance guide, prepared with input from regulatory agencies, is designed to be used by agency rule writers and policy analysts as a step-by-step manual for complying with the RFA. A careful review of the requirements is recommended before policy analysts begin to draft regulations, and then again at each stage of the process.

Thanks to all who contributed by reviewing and commenting on this guide. Further suggestions for improvements are welcome. For more information about the RFA, E.O. 13,272, and subsequent developments, visit the Advocacy website at, or call us at (202) 205-6533.

To those charged to carry out the nation’s regulatory flexibility requirements, the Office of Advocacy offers its strong support and encouragement. You have a crucial role in keeping the nation on track for economic growth by ensuring the strength of the resilient small business sector.