The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)

NEIS is a program which assists unemployed people in turning a viable business idea into their own small business.


What NEIS provides

  • VETAB Accredited training in small Business Management so you can establish and run your own small business
  • Mentor advice and support for 12 months
  • Income support for up to 39 weeks (NEIS Allowance)
  • Rental assistance for a period of up to 26 weeks (if eligible)
  • Basic family and additional family payment for dependent children from Centrelink (please contact Centrelink for advice)

Please note that NEIS does not provide start-up capital for your business.

To be eligible for NEIS you must;

  • be at least 18 years of age and less than the Aged Pension age during the period of NEIS assistance.
  • be receiving an eligible Centrelink allowance or pension
  • be available to participate in the NEIS Small Business skills training
  • be available to work in the business full-time for the period of NEIS assistance
  • not have an undischarged bankruptcy
  • not have received NEIS allowance in the previous two years or previously for the same business
  • not be already operating the business

Who has been assisted?

Since 1993, over 40,000 unemployed people have been assisted to set up their own small business through NEIS.


The types of business to be approved

For NEIS Eligibility, a business must:

  • Be new and never have operated commercially
  • Be independent
  • Not compete with an existing business unless you can show that there is an unsatisfied demand
  • Be legal and reputable
  • Be financially viable - your business plan must indicate that your business will earn at least as much as the NEIS Allowance after a year of business operation

If you wish to be in a partnership, you can still be eligible for the NEIS program. Please discuss this with us.