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We have developed the following Frequently Asked Questions to answer any questions you may have about the NEIS program.

What is NEIS?

New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) provides personalised support to help those wanting to become a self-employed business owner.

How does New Business Assistance help?

New Business Assistance can help by providing:
• Accredited small business training
• Personalised mentoring and support from a NEIS provider in the first year of the new business to help put the business idea into practice
• Income support for up to 39 weeks (NEIS Allowance) and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible)

Am I eligible for New Business Assistance?

You can participate in New Business Assistance if you:
• Are at least 18 years of age when commencing your business
• Are legally allowed to work in Australia
• Are not an overseas visitor on a working holiday or overseas student studying in Australia
• Have not participated in NEIS in the past 12 months
• Are not undischarged bankrupt

What business ideas can receive assistance?

Your NEIS provider will assess your business idea to ensure it meets the business eligibility criteria.
Your proposed business:
• Cannot be operating on a commercial basis
• Must have an independent structure
• Is lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
• Has been assessed as commercially viable by your NEIS provider
• Must be established, located and operated solely within Australia
• You must maintain a controlling interest whilst participating in the NEIS program

How do I access New Business Assistance?

ETC currently provides New Business Assistance with NEIS and Exploring Being My Own Boss in the NSW North Coast and NSW Greater Mid North Coast regions.
If you live outside of these locations, then you will need to contact another provider for these programs. You can find a list of providers on the jobactive find a provider page.
If you are within these locations, you can email ETC’s NEIS team directly etc.neis@etcltd.com.au or complete the Application Form.
Alternatively, you can contact your local jobactive, ParentsNext or Disability Employment provider for contact details.

What is NEIS training?

NEIS training helps you achieve a nationally recognised business qualification. NEIS training is a Centrelink approved activity.
During the training, you will develop a Business Plan which will need to be assessed by your NEIS provider.

Do I get business mentoring and support?

You will receive business mentoring from experienced mentors during the first 12 months of operating your new business.

Am I eligible to receive NEIS Allowance?

If you receive a Department of Human Services (DHS) or Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) income support payment you may be eligible to receive the NEIS Allowance for up to the first 39 weeks of business operation. This is subject to you meeting the obligations under your NEIS Participation Agreement.

Your new business must be your primary full-time activity. You can work part-time to supplement your business income. If your external income is greater than twice the basic rate of NEIS Allowance, it may affect the amount of your NEIS Allowance.

What is NEIS Rental Assistance?

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

To be eligible for NEIS rental assistance you must have been receiving DHS or DVA rental assistance before you start receiving NEIS Allowance.

What are my obligations when participating in new business assistance with NEIS?

You are required to:
• Undertake NEIS training
• Operate your business in accordance with your business plan
• Meet all the terms of your NEIS Participation Agreement

Is the NEIS program worth it?

Yes! If you are serious about starting your own business, need assistance to develop a business plan, and want business training, then participating in NEIS is worth it! Check out what our successful NEIS customers have to say on our blog.

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