Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs)

McGuireWoods has one of the nation’s leading Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) practices. The SBIC program, created by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), licenses privately owned and managed investment funds that are regulated by the SBA and use their own capital, plus SBA-guaranteed leverage, to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses.


McGuireWoods has unrivaled experience in the successful structuring, licensing and operation of SBIC funds. Our team of experienced, interdisciplinary attorneys advises clients on the complete lifecycle of an SBIC fund, from fund formation, fundraising and licensing to portfolio investment, management and wind-up. We combine business insight with our knowledge of sector- and industry-specific trends to provide our clients advice in the debenture, impact and early stage leverage programs.

Fund Formation, Licensing and Operation

Our depth of knowledge of the SBA’s practices and trends allows us to anticipate and avoid obstacles to successful licensure. This success starts at the formation stage to ensure regulatory compliance and minimize future liabilities. Our services include:

  • fund formation and structuring;
  • drafting fund offering and governing documents;
  • negotiations with investors, including issues related to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit;
  • completing SBIC license applications for leveraged and unleveraged applicants, including the management assessment Questionnaire, formal license application, SBA comment letters and presentations to SBA’s Investment Committee; and
  • leverage commitment and leverage draw applications.

Portfolio Investment Management

Our attorneys regularly represent SBIC funds and portfolio companies in navigating the regulatory framework of the SBIC program and appropriately documenting all aspects of SBIC fund debt and equity investments, from due diligence and investment to ongoing compliance through the SBIC fund’s exit. Please see our Private Equity and Venture Capital experience.

SBIC Investor Representation

McGuireWoods routinely represents investors in SBIC funds, in addition to fund managers, so we have a unique understanding of all sides of these transactions. We facilitate negotiations with investors and fund managers to streamline the fundraising process. We have experience with a variety of investment professionals including:

  • institutional investors;
  • family offices;
  • banks and financial institutions;
  • public pension funds;
  • college and university endowments;
  • public, corporate and charitable endowments;
  • trusts; and
  • insurance companies.