Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Plan Outline

What goes in a business plan? This is an excellent question. And, it is one that many new and potential small business owners should ask, but oftentimes don't ask. The body of the business plan can be divided into four distinct sections: 1) the description of the business, 2) the marketing plan, 3) the financial management plan and 4) the management plan. Addenda to the business plan should include the executive summary, supporting documents and financial projections.

Business Plan Outline

Cover Sheet
Statement of Purpose
Table of Contents

I. The Business

A. Description of Business
B. Marketing
C. Competition
D. Pricing & Sales
E. Advertising & Public Relations
F. Management
G. Financial Management

II. Financial Data

A. Loan applications
B. Capital equipment and supply list
C. Balance sheet
D. Breakeven analysis
E. Pro-forma income projections (Profit & Loss Statements)
  • Three-year summary
  • Detail by month, first year
  • Detail by quarters, second and third years
  • Assumptions upon which projections were based
F. Pro-forma cash flow
  • Follow guidelines for letter E.

III. Supporting Documents

  • Tax returns of principals for last three years
  • Personal financial statement (all banks have these forms)
  • In the case of a franchised business, a copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor
  • Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
  • Copy of licenses and other legal documents
  • Copy of resumes of all principals
  • Copies of letters of intent from suppliers

Appendix 1: Marketing

Appendix 2: Financial Statements

Appendix 3: Information Resources


Information courtesy of the Small Business Administration.