CALL US: (02) 6362 0448   RTO No 90148


New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)


The Central NSW BEC covers the Bathurst, Blayney, Bland, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Mid-Western, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin Local Government Areas for the NEIS program.

What is NEIS?

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme is the Australian Government’s longest serving and the most successful "self-help" unemployment program assisting eligable jobseekers to turn viable business ideas into their own small business. NEIS is funded by the Department of Employment (DOE).

The Central NSW Business Enterprise Centre have been NEIS Managing Agents since 2003 assisting over 1000 people go from unemployed to self employed via the NEIS program.

The NEIS program provides:

  • Accredited Business Training in Micro Business Operations or New Small Business – to give you the skills to run your small business
  • Mentor advice and support for 12 months
  • Income Support for up to 39 weeks (NEIS Allowance) – paid at the same rate as jobsearch (Newstart Allowance)
  • Continued rent assistance for a period up to 26 weeks whilst on NEIS (if eligible)

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

To apply for NEIS program please download NEIS application form 1 and 2.

NEIS application Form 1

NEIS application Form 2

Send both applications to:
NEIS Manager
Business Enterprise Centre 

34 Sale Street
Orange NSW 2800

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

What does NEIS provide?

NEIS provides you with:

  • Training in small business management to give you the best chance of business success
  • Income support (paid at the same rate as Centrelink newstart allowance) for the first 9 months (39 weeks) of your new NEIS business
  • Assistance & one-on-one support in preparing your business plan
  • Ongoing training and professional development on how to manage your own business
  • A business mentor to assist you in growing the business for 12 months

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for NEIS you must be:

  • Currently registered with Centrelink as activly looking for full-time employment and in receipt of an approved Centrelink benefits with a jobseeker ID (JSID)
  • Minimum of 18 years of age and less than the aged pension whilst on NEIS program;
  • Receiving an "eligible Centrelink allowance" with a view of becoming self sufficient within 9 months on NEIS;
  • Willing to participate in the pre-NEIS business skills training program;
  • Available to work in the business full-time for the period of NEIS assistance (35hrs per week);
  • Not a current undischarged bankrupt;
  • Not have received NEIS allowance in the previous three years or previously for the same business;
  • Not be already operating the business on a commercial basis;

How do I apply?

The application process involves:

  • Attend "Small Business Is It For YOU?" information session (free) contact NEIS Manager on 1300becbiz (1300 232 249) or
  • completing the relevent NEIS Application Form.

Who has been assisted?

Since the program commenced in 1983, over 200,000 unemployed Australians have been assisted to set up their own small business through NEIS throughout Australia. The BEC have been NEIS Managing Agents since 2003 and have assisted over 1000 businesses start on the NEIS program throughout the Central west of NSW in that time

Why choose NEIS assistance through Central NSW BEC?

  • Focus on individuals needs
  • Expertise in assisting business in general since 1989 and NEIS businesses since 2003
  • Assisted over 1000 NEIS participants in starting their own small business with 82% success rate of not returning to Centrelink benefits
  • Strong business networks
  • Ongoing support to clients during and after NEIS assistance through the BEC
  • Networking for all our clients
  • Referral to our supporters, e.g. accountants, solicitors, etc
  • Trainers with practical small business experience
  • Mentors with small business backgrounds and expertise.

The types of business can I start on NEIS?

For NEIS Eligibility, a business must:

  • Be a new business (not a takeover or purchase) and never traded commercially
  • Be independent, & located within Australia
  • Not compete directly with an existing business unless you can show that there is an unsatisfied demand
  • Be legal and reputable (please check your business idea with the NEIS Manager to ensure it meets program guidelines)
  • Be assessed as financially viable - The whole aim of NEIS is to reduce reliance on Centrelink befitis so your business plan must demonstrate that your business profit after nine months is equil to or greater than your current Centrelink benefit. 

PARTNERSHIPS: If you wish to be in a partnership you can still be eligible for the NEIS program. If your business partner is also NEIS eligable you can both receive the NEIS allowance whilst on NEIS. You can also have a business partner not on Centrelink benefits but additional guidelines will apply. Please discuss this with our NEIS Mananger.


  • Make an appointment to discuss your proposed NEIS business with our NEIS Manager - call the BEC on 1300becbiz (1300 232 249).
  • There are no grants to start your NEIS business so if finance is required to start the business, you need to show proof of loan before going onto NEIS
  • Obtain 3 quotes for business insurance (e.g. Public Liability / Product Liability).
  • Provide a copy of your current Resume / CV with your application. This should include a copy of any qualifications required to run the business.
  • You must include any licences necessary to operate the business: e.g. a trade licence, etc. (Phone ABLIS on 132 323 to find our your requirements).
  • If you have previously been bankrupt, you must include written confirmation of discharge of your bankruptcy.

You need to answer all questions on the application form. Only those which are completed will be assessed.

  • NEIS places are limited and only businesses that meed the NEIS Guidelines will be considered for this program.
  • You have to continue meeting your Centrelink requirements until you have been accepted onto the Pre-NEIS Training and have started the course.
  • If your application is successful, you will commence the Pre-NEIS Training in Micro Business Operations or Small Business Management. Please note: This is a full-time course, you must attend 85% of the course, if you are sick a doctor’s certificate will be required.
  • During the Pre-NEIS Training you will go on an "Centrelink Approved Activity" and you do not have to look for work during this time.
  • Please note that your Centrelink Forms must still be submitted as required by Centrelink with ‘NEIS Course’ specified as an Approved Activity.
  • As part of the Pre-NEIS Training your trainers will assist you develop a Business Plan for your proposed NEIS business. 
  • Your Plan will be presented for assessment at the end of the pre-NEIS training process and must meet AQF requiremnts to receive an accredited certificate in either Micro Business Operations or Small Business Management.

If your attendance & business plan meet NEIS Guidelines, you will proceed on to the NEIS program at the end of the Pre-NEIS Training for 12 months and receive:

    • Income support (NEIS Allowance) for 39 weeks (9 months) paid at the equivalent rate as your Jobsearch/Newstart allowance.
    • Mentor support for 12 months.
    • Continued Rent Assistance for a period of up to 26 weeks (only for those who are in receipt of rent assistance before commencement of the Pre-NEIS Training course). PLEASE NOTE: NEIS does not cover Commercial Rent.
  • NEIS is not "means tested" so you can earn as much money in your NEIS business as you can without your NEIS allowance being affected.
  • You can also hold a part-time or casual job whilst on NEIS, but you can only earn twice the NEIS allowance per quarter before your NEIS allowance is effected.
  • You must be able to work full-time in the business.
    • Full-time is 35 hours per week (including administration).

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.