Who can participate in NEIS?

Details on eligibility for the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) and NEIS business ideas.

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Who is eligible for NEIS?

You can participate in NEIS if you:

  • are at least 18 years of age at the time of commencing in NEIS Assistance;
  • Are not prohibited by law from working in Australia;
  • are available to participate in NEIS Training (if relevant) and work Full-Time in your proposed NEIS Business; 
  • have not received NEIS Assistance in the previous three years;
  • are not an undischarged bankrupt.

If you are a recipient of some Department of Human Services’ or Department of Veterans’ Affairs' pensions, you may be able to choose to remain on these payments while participating in NEIS.

What sort of business is allowed?

If you are eligible, your NEIS provider will assess the business idea to make sure it meets the business eligibility criteria. This means your proposed NEIS business:

  • cannot already be operating on a commercial basis
  • will have an independent business structure
  • is lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
  • has been assessed as commercially viable by the NEIS provider
  • will not compete directly with existing businesses unless it can be demonstrated that there is an unsatisfied demand for the product or service, or the product or service is to be provided in a new way
  • 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 for the duration of your time in NEIS
  • will not be a not-for-profit business unless otherwise agreed to by the Department of Employment.

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