FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - in relation to Chisholm’s NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme)
How long are we on the NEIS approved training activity?
Although you are on approved activity for a total of 13 weeks, normally the training component covers approximately the first 7 weeks of this period.
Why is the approved activity set at 13 weeks?
The 13 week period has been set by the Federal Government and is considered sufficient time in normal circumstances to go through the training, complete and submit your Business Plan, have it approved and commence your NEIS business.
What happens if we go over the 13 weeks?
If you are on New Start, you then revert back to the conditions of your Mutual Obligation contract which you have with your Job Network Member and Centrelink. Participants on other types of benefits would revert back to their individual agreements with Centrelink. Understandably there may be circumstances which may make it difficult to have all the information required for your Business Plan completed in 13 weeks, such as difficulties in securing an appropriate leased property and location for your business. In such situations you would need to discuss this with your Job Network Provider and/or Centrelink.
What do I learn in the training period?
You learn what is involved in operating a Small Business, how to investigate your business concept and better understand your proposed customer. You will also achieve an understanding of the financial implications of your actions, complete all aspects of a Business Plan and in general become a business person.
Would the training take place in a classroom? And if so, what are the attendance requirements?
We attempt to provide the best learning environment for the group as a whole, depending on the location and the group size. Normally we teach within one of our campuses, in a classroom situation. The hours normally cover the period 9.00am - 3.00pm, with appropriate breaks for lunch etc.
Are we in the classroom 5 days a week during the 7 week period?
No, time off is given to allow you to do research and develop conclusions from that research, in some weeks this may mean you are only in the classroom for say 3 days or even less on occasions We tailor the program to enable you to learn and use the information almost immediately.
NEIS Program (New Employment Incentive Scheme)
Are we required to attend during school holidays?
We do attempt to run courses at the various sites that avoid school holiday periods, but it is impossible to achieve this on all occasions, so you must be prepared to make arrangements if you have young school age children. The good news is that we do not operate on Statutory Public Holidays.
What types of businesses generally succeed?
In my opinion, it is not the type of business that determines success, but the determination, passion and commitment of the business owner.
What is the normal start up capital required for a NEIS business?
This is difficult to determine, it depends on the type of business. In my experience however, I find that NEIS participants tend to over-estimate the capital required to commence a business. The majority of NEIS participants have limited funds, and in some cases may need to commence their business in a different manner, because of the lack of funds.
How long do I have to be on Centrelink payments before I can apply for NEIS?
There is no waiting period, in fact you can submit a NEIS application form to us prior to becoming eligible to receive your Centrelink payment, but you must be in receipt of a benefit, have a Jobseeker Identification Number and be registered with a JobNetwork Member before you are eligible be accepted for NEIS training.
What are the mandatory requirements for going on the NEIS program?
The mandatory requirements are stipulated in the application form and include such things as complying with Federal and State Government legislation and taking out adequate business insurance before you commence your business.
I am currently receiving a Health Benefit’s card will I continue to receive that once I am on the NEIS income support?
Yes, but it may need to be changed prior to you commencing your NEIS business and of course it is income tested so it will be modified or cancelled should your income exceed the threshold income level.
I am currently receiving Rental Assistance does that continue when I commence on NEIS?
If prior to submitting your Business Plan, you provide us with documented information from Centrelink that you are currently receiving Rental Assistance we will forward that information to DEEWR. It is then DEEWR’s obligation to provide you with the same level of rental assistance for the first six months of your business, at the end of that period Rental Assistance will cease.
My partner and I have young children, we would both like to attend the course but that is not possible because of our family commitment does that prevent my partner from becoming a NEIS partner?
No, in a NEIS partnership only 50% of the partnership is required to attend the course, however we do encourage the other partner to attend where possible as we believe “two heads are better than one” and the more the other partner knows about the running & operating of the business, from our experience, the more successful the business is likely to be.
NEIS Program (New Employment Incentive Scheme)
In the circumstances just described is it possible for my partner and I to “switch’ during the week, so that I come in for 2 days & my partner comes in for 3 days?
No, unfortunately the partner who is selected for the course is the one who must attend full time.
What happens after I lodge my NEIS application form?
Your application form will be reviewed and if you comply with the basic DEEWR guidelines for NEIS, you will normally be called to attend a face to face interview. This interview takes approximately 30mins.and at this time we will discuss any areas you may not have been able to complete. However it is desirable that you complete the application form to the best of your ability, prior to the interview.
I am a sole parent, how does participating in NEIS affect my children’s payments?
Your payments should not be affected until such time as your business shows a profit and then income will be treated just the same as if your income was acquired through part time work.
Can I remain on a Sole Parenting Payment?
Yes, you can stay on your Parenting payment single, but you must be aware that your business income will be income tested and taken into consideration when Centrelink calculate your payment. However, should you choose the NEIS payment through DEEWR, your business income is not tested. You can change from PPS to NEIS at any stage within the 12 months, but once you change over, you cannot then change back.
I am on a Disability Support Pension how would I be affected?
Like the person on PPS, you can stay on your existing benefit but income from the business will be taken into consideration and your payment from Centrelink may be reduced, based on your level of business income. However you to have the option of changing to NEIS at any time within the 12month period in which case income derived from the business will not reduce your payment from DEEWR, but again, once you change over, you cannot then change back.
If I were to get a “Part Time” job how would that affect my payment from DEEWR?
If you were to get a casual “Part Time” job, not connected to your business, you can earn up to twice your income support level, in other words, what you receive per fortnight from DEEWR you can earn as gross income per week, this income is calculated over a designated 13 week period, known as the BAS quarter. Should your averaged income exceed that allowed limit you will not be eligible for a NEIS payment for the next BAS quarter. Should your external income for the following BAS quarter be less than the allowable limit, then your NEIS payments will re-commence.
What if I find a “Full Time” job whilst on the NEIS program?
You must notify us, then you have to choose whether or not to continue on NEIS, remember you are required to work a minimum of 35 hrs a week in your NEIS business, so it is possible to do both. Should your averaged external income from your “Full Time” job and any other external income, exceed the allowed limit you will not be eligible for a NEIS payment for the next BAS quarter.
I registered a Business Name 5 years ago does this prevent me from being eligible for NEIS?
No, registering a Business Name does not imply that you have commenced a commercial operation.
NEIS Program (New Employment Incentive Scheme)
What if I have previously required an ABN, does this prevent me from applying for NEIS?
No, however you may be required to provide evidence as to why and for what reason you had previously acquired an ABN.
I have been selling products to friends and at a local market for a few years does this prevent me from applying for NEIS?
If your activity does not constitute a “Commercial Business” as defined by DEEWR, then you are considered to be operating in a “hobby capacity” and may still be eligible to apply for NEIS.
I participated in the NEIS programme 4years ago is it possible for me to apply again?
Yes, if your intended business is substantially different as determined by DEEWR and a period of 2 years has elapsed since your previous NEIS ceased, you may re-apply.