New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)

Exploring, Researching and Creating New Business Opportunities

What is NEIS?
The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) is a self-employment program that can help you put your business ideas into practice, to run a your own business. Most importantly, it will help you develop the necessary skills for business success. NEIS is The Department of Employment’s most successful labour market program.

NEIS also creates secondary employment. For every 10 NEIS businesses, on average, a further 8 new jobs are created.

For more information go to our website to see how the NEIS program works and watch a video of a participant running his small business.

NEIS provides:

  • Access to Free training in Business Management. Certificate Level IV in New Small Business
    (BSB42615) or Certificate Level III In Micro Business Operations (BSB30315)
  • Development of a Business Plan and Financial Modelling specific to your business
  • Financial assistance in the form of a NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks for eligible recipients of a Centrelink benefit only
  • Mentoring help and support for the first year of business operations

How NEIS works
NEIS is a two-step process.

Step 1 - Planning & Training

• You can apply firstly to NetGain by calling toll free on 1800 356 400
• You apply to do NEIS by requesting a referral from your jobactive provider to NetGain
• You will have an initial interview with a NEIS Representative at NetGain to assess your business
• You may be requested to conduct a feasibility study to ensure your business idea will be viable
• You may commence NEIS Training and complete the nationally accredited course: Certificate IV
in New Small Business (NEIS) BSB42615 or a Certificate III in Micro Business Operations (NEIS)
• You will complete your Business Plan and Financial Modelling during the training program
• You will receive a nationally recognised Business Management Certificate for successfully
completing the training

Step 2 - Starting your Business & Income Support

• Your Business Plan is assessed for viability by NetGain’s independent panel of business advisors
• The NEISAC (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme Advisory Committee) Panel assesses the likely
commercial viability of your plan and then decides whether or not you can progress onto NEIS
income support (for eligible Centrelink recipients only)
• If all members of the NEISAC Panel accept your Business Plan as commercially viable, then you
become eligible to receive income support for up to 39 weeks (subject to approved Centrelink
benefit recipients only) and mentoring services for up to 52 weeks
• You start your business

(Please Note that acceptance to participate in NEIS Training does NOT guarantee acceptance
onto income support) - where applicable

NEIS Training
Training is held locally in a positive, adult learning environment with experienced and professional
trainers. NEIS training is competency based. Although there are no examinations, all participants will
be required to demonstrate completion of training through assignments, group discussions, case
studies, role play and verbal interviews with the trainers. The outcome of your training is a fully
documented business plan and financial Tables. Essentially it is a research project directly related to
your business.

Duration of the NEIS course is six to eight (6-8) weeks, full time. 

The Certificate IV in New Small Business BSB42615 consists of 10 modules:

 BSBSMB 401 Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
 BSBSMB 402 Plan small business finances
 BSBSMB 403 Market the small business
 BSBSMB 404 Undertake small business planning
 BSBADM 409 Coordinate business resources
 BSBMKG401 Profile the Market
 BSBRES401 Analyse and present research information
 BSBSMB301 Investigate micro business opportunities
 BSBMKG419 Analyse Consumer Behaviour
 BSBFIA402 Report on financial activity

The Certificate III in Micro Business Operations BSB30315 consists of 10 modules.

 BSBCUS 301 Deliver and monitor a service to customers
 BSBFIA 301 Maintain financial records
 BSBSMB 301 Investigate micro business opportunities
 BSBSMB 302 Develop a micro business proposal
 BSBSMB 303 Organise finances for the micro business
 BSBSMB 304 Determine resource requirements for the micro business
 BSBSMB 305 Comply with regulatory, taxation and insurance requirements for the micro business
 BSBSMB 306 Plan a home-based business
 BSBSMB 403 Market the small business
 BSBWOR 301 Organise personal work priorities and development


Financial Assistance – NEIS Allowance (For the benefit of Centrelink recipients only)

If you successfully reach Step 2 of starting your business and become eligible for income support, you
may receive the NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks. Payments are made fortnightly in arrears and
are subject to participants fulfilling their contractual obligations.

Quarterly Reporting: After the first quarter of business operation, your continuing income support is
subject to submitting on time:
 A Quarterly Report
 A NEIS Income Statement satisfying an income test
 Meeting other NEIS contractual requirements

NetGain is a Not for Profit, Community based organisation and is proud to deliver NEIS.
NetGain staff are experienced professionals and are committed to maintaining high standards of
service. NetGain delivers NEIS in Seymour, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Albury, Wodonga, Geelong,
Ballarat and surrounding areas.

Mentoring and On-Going Support

NetGain provides Mentor support to all successful NEIS participants. Mentors provide business
advice and assistance to participants during the first year of business operation to maximise the
potential success of their business.


Am I eligible for NEIS?
If you are unsure about any aspects of the eligibility please call us on 1800 356 400

To join the NEIS Program and start your own business you must:

• Be registered with Centrelink as seeking employment OR

• Be receiving a qualifying form of income support (further explanation below)
• Be at least 18 years of age at the time of signing a NEIS Participation Agreement
• Not be an undischarged bankrupt
• Be available and willing to participate in NEIS Business Management training
• Intend to work full time in the NEIS business
• Agree to hold and maintain a controlling interest in the business during the NEIS agreement period
• Not have received NEIS Allowance in the previous three years or previously for the same or similar business activity
• Have appropriate qualifications/permits/licences to operate your business
• Be fully insured at the commencement date of your business, which is determined at the
completion of the course


. You are NOT receiving a Centrelink benefit/allowance
. You wish to start up your own small business
. Are over the age of 65
. Are not in full time employment
. Are not in full time education.


For your business idea to be acceptable, it must:
• Be new and never have operated on a commercial basis
• Not involve the purchase or take-over of an existing business
• Be independent, reputable and legal
• Be assessed as commercially viable by a NEIS Advisory Committee
• Not be a subsidiary, franchise, agent for another enterprise or part of a multi-level marketing
• Not compete directly with existing businesses unless it can be demonstrated that there is an
unsatisfied demand for product or service, or the goods or services are to be provided in a new
or different way
• Not be a supplier of labour, products or services to one business in an exclusive contractual


Centrelink Allowances/Benefits eligible for NEIS

Job seekers in receipt of a variety of Centrelink Allowances may be eligible for NEIS. A few of them
are listed below. Please note, this list is not exhaustive.

• Newstart Allowance (NSA)
• Disability Support Pension
• Carer Allowance

• Sole Parent Pension
• Partner Allowance
• Parenting Allowance (with taxable component)
• Age Pension
(You may wish to confirm your eligibility with Centrelink)

Common Questions & Answers

Are Home-based Businesses Eligible for NEIS?

Yes. In fact many NEIS Businesses are home-based.

Is NEIS Assistance Available to Group Businesses?

Yes. Two or more individuals can form a partnership, company or co-operative enterprise. Joint
businesses with non-NEIS eligible partners are permissible if NEIS participants hold and maintain a
controlling interest in the business for the duration of the NEIS Agreement.

How can Job Seekers Apply for NEIS?
NEIS Application Forms are available from NetGain’s website.

Further information on NEIS can be obtained from your local Jobactive provider, Centrelink or you can
go to the Department of Employment website. Approach your nearest Centrelink Office and Jobactive
provider to determine your NEIS eligibility. Remember that acceptance to participate in NEIS Training
does NOT guarantee acceptance on to income support.


If I am not receiving a Centrelink payment am I still eligible for NEIS?
Please call us to discuss your eligibility.



Contact: NetGain – Free call (from landline only) 1800 356 400

Geelong Office: Suite 2/63 Thomson St, Belmont Vic. 3216
Geelong Ph: (03) 5243 0774 Fax: (03) 5243 1847

Seymour Office: 22-24 Station Street, Seymour Vic. 3660
Ph: (03) 5799 1616 Fax: (03) 5799 1553
Email: Website:



NetGain for NEIS
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