Who can take part 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 fully eligible for jobactive or are a Disability Employment Services participant in the Employment Assistance Phase
  • are participating in jobactive as a Volunteer and commence in NEIS Assistance before the end of their period of service.

You must also:

  • be at least 18 years of age at the time you start NEIS
  • be receiving an eligible income support payment such as Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance (Other)
  • not convert to the Age Pension before or during participation in NEIS
  • be available to participate in NEIS training (if relevant) and work full time in the proposed NEIS business
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • not have, at any time, received NEIS Assistance for a similar business activity
  • not have received NEIS Assistance in the previous three years.

If you are a recipient of Disability Support Pension, Carers Payment, Parenting Payment (Single) and some Department of Veterans’ Affairs pensions, you can 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 be independent
  • is lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny
  • has been assessed as commercially viable by the NEIS provider
  • is not based on the purchase or takeover of an existing business
  • 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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