The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched an online tool to help small businesses create business plans.

The new Build Your Business Plan online tool guides small business owners through the process of creating a basic, downloadable business plan. Users can build a business plan in stages, save it and return to it later.

To use the tool, users first need to join of the SBA Community and then log in. A tab-based step-by-step guide allows small business owners to input information into a template for each section of the business plan, including market analysis, company description and financial projections.

The tool is secure and confidential and will keep the plan on record for up to six months, according to Caron Beesley, a community moderator at the SBA who recently wrote about the new tool. Users can save, download or email the plan at any time.