NEIS New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

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NEIS Application Form   NEIS Business Idea Application

What is NEIS?

NEIS is an Australian Government initiative to assist eligible job seekers who are interested in starting and running a small business.  NEIS commenced in 1985 and is currently the longest running and most successful self employment program in the country.

NEIS can provide you with accredited small business training, business advice and mentoring, as well as ongoing income support for up to 39 weeks.

What Does NEIS provide me with?

Turning your good idea into dollars

Once you decide to do our course in small business management, SETS will provide you with a specialised small business management trainer on a one-to-one basis.

Your business facilitator will help you put your business idea into practice. They will provide you with individualised assistance to help you achieve your goals, and will maintain regular contact with you to provide extra help if you experience any business problems or need other additional support.  On the completion of your small business training you will be the recipient of a Nationally Accredited Certificate in Small Business Management.   The qualification issued for small business students is one of the following:

Navigating your way to success

We believe your business mentoring and support is an essential component of your business success.  Our business mentors are people with proven business acumen and experience in marketing, finance, accounting or other relevant business skills.  It is here we put what your business trainer has taught you into practice.

‘We helped you develop your business, now we are going to help you grow your business’

As one of our NEIS participants you will receive NEIS business mentoring for the first year of operation of your business, including assistance and advice about organisational, financial and marketing issues to help develop your business successfully.  This support will not end at the completion of your NEIS assistance, our door is always open for our clients.  We will continue to support you and your business as it grows and your needs grow.

Your NEIS mentor will meet with you face-to-face, electronically and in person as often as you want during the first year of operation.  This will help you maximise the success of your business. If you need extra assistance outside what DEEWR suggests on the NEIS program, you will receive it.  If you need support at any time with your business you will receive it.

We are always happy to provide our NEIS business owners additional mentoring and support to ensure you have the best chance of getting your business off the ground.

What do I get?

Once you have completed training and we have helped you commence your business you will receive NEIS Allowance for 39 weeks of business operation. NEIS Allowance is equivalent to the single, 22 or over, no children rate of Newstart Allowance, and is paid fortnightly in arrears, subject to you fulfilling your obligations under your NEIS Participant Agreement.

Your NEIS Allowance will not be affected by income from your NEIS business.  This differs from other allowance types provided by Centrelink which are means tested.

You can receive external income while participating in NEIS—that is, income from outside your business, such as from investments or other work, whilst you operate your NEIS business.

We must remember your primary objective is your NEIS business.  As long as  your external income is NOT greater than twice the basic rate of NEIS Allowance in a given financial quarter your NEIS allowance will not be affected.

Note: Recipients of Disability Support Pension, Carers Payment, Parenting Payment (Single) and some Department of Veterans’ Affairs pensions can choose to remain on these payments while participating in NEIS.

You may also be eligible to receive NEIS Rental Assistance, which is a fixed rate payment made to you for a period of 26 weeks from the date you first receive NEIS Allowance.

Am I Eligible?

You must

  • Be at least 18 years old when you begin receiving NEIS Assistance
  • Be available to participate in NEIS training and work full-time in your proposed NEIS business
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • Not have received NEIS Assistance for a similar business activity, and
  • Not have received NEIS Assistance in the previous three years or fewer hours for those with an assessed partial capacity to work, reduced work participation requirements or who volunteer for employment services.

Your NEIS business must be

  • not currently operating on a commercial basis
  • independent, capable of withstanding public scrutiny, and lawful
  • not based on the purchase or takeover of an existing business
  • established, located and operated solely within Australia.

Sometimes the government makes certain groups eligible for NEIS outside normal guidelines.

What do I do NOW?

To apply to participate in NEIS New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, you should contact your local NCBM office on 1800 180 881, they will help you develop your idea and work with you to ensure NEIS is an appropriate avenue for you.