New Business Assistance with NEIS can help you turn your business idea into a viable business. Over the last 35 years, NEIS has helped over 185,000 people become their own boss by starting their own business. NEIS offers free accredited small business training, business plan development, business mentoring and, if eligible, NEIS Allowance.

Information about COVID-19

NEIS participants can access the Coronavirus supplement while participating in the NEIS program.

Until 31 March 2021, income support recipients starting NEIS can choose to stay on their current income support payment or transfer to NEIS Allowance.

Existing NEIS Allowance recipients can choose to apply for income support through Services Australia and access the Coronavirus Supplement, instead of receiving NEIS Allowance.

From 1 April 2021, NEIS participants in receipt of JobSeeker Payment and certain other payments will be progressively transferred to NEIS Allowance.

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How NEIS can help

New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) can help you to start and develop your small business by providing:

  • Accredited small business training
  • Help to develop a business plan
  • Personalised mentoring from a NEIS provider
  • NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible)
NEIS_New Business Assistance with NEIS

How to participate

New Business Assistance with NEIS is delivered by a national network of NEIS providers. To access NEIS services, contact your local NEIS provider to discuss your eligibility.

To find your local NEIS provider:

  1. Use Find a Provider on
  2. Enter your postcode.
  3. Filter the provider type to ‘New Business Assistance with NEIS’.
NEIS_More information

Expanded eligibility

As part of the 2020–21 Budget, the Government announced changes to expand NEIS, including:

  • From 15 October 2020, people can access NEIS and start their own business if they are working 25 hours per week or less. This will enable people with part-time work, study or caring responsibilities to participate in the program on a part-time basis
  • From 7 December 2020, existing micro-business owners impacted by COVID-19 can access NEIS if they need help to keep their business running or refocus their operations to meet new areas of demand.
NEIS_Expanded Eligibility

Eligibility criteria

To participate in New Business Assistance with NEIS you need to meet a range of eligibility criteria.

You'll need to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age when you start your NEIS business
  • Be allowed to legally work in Australia
  • Be available to work the required hours in your proposed NEIS business
  • Have not received NEIS Assistance in the past year
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt.

Your NEIS provider will assess your business idea to ensure it meets the business eligibility criteria.

This means your proposed NEIS business:

  • Will have an independent business structure
  • Is lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
  • Has been assessed as commercially viable
  • Will be established, located and operated solely within Australia
  • Will be structured so you have and will maintain a controlling interest over the NEIS business while participating in New Business Assistance with NEIS
  • Is either:
    • Not operating on a commercial basis, or
    • Is an existing micro-business affected by COVID-19.

Further support