Starting a small business

Have you ever wanted to work for yourself? Starting a new business is a big challenge, but it can be very rewarding too. There are many government resources to help you start a business, from checklists and templates to formal training programs. You may also be eligible for personalised support from an Entrepreneurship Facilitator, or funding from a government program. Find out more about starting your business below.


I want to start my own business

Starting a small business is an exciting opportunity, but it is not easy. It requires good financial management practices such as sufficient capital, not using business funds for personal use, managing costs and anticipating rising costs. Statistics show that only one third of small businesses succeed through the first three years of operation – but there is support available to you to maximise your chances of success.

First steps

The best place to start is our Support for self-employment page. This page contains information about all the help available to help you start your own business, including:

  • Information about your obligations and tax responsibilities;
  • SelfStart, an online hub to support you through the early stages;
  • Mentoring and business support; and
  • New Business Assistance with NEIS, which can provide accredited small business training and mentoring and support, and NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks.

The Australian Government’s website is a comprehensive resource for anyone thinking of starting a business. This website covers all aspects of starting a business from start to end, covering topics such as:

The webiste provides a business plan template, the Advisor Finder - to locate government-funded business advisory services located in your area, and general tools and resources.

National Small Business Support Line

If you have an existing business, the National Small Business Support Line is available to small business owners. The Support Line acts as a first point of contact for owners wanting to improve their business sustainability and help better manage their business. Call 13 28 46  (select option 1)


You may want to consider undertaking small business training before or after you start a business. Visit the myskills website for the most up-to-date information on training courses for school leavers, students, apprentices, and employers.

The Government’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also offers a free online education programme designed to help small businesses learn more about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

The Government’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) offers a free online education programme designed to help small businesses learn more about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

New Business Assistance with NEIS

If you have an idea for starting your own small business, you may be eligible for New Business Assistance with NEIS.

New Business Assistance with NEIS provides individualised support to help you become a self-employed business owner. New Business Assistance can help by providing:

  • Accredited small business training;
  • Personalised mentoring and support from a NEIS provider in the first year of the new business to help the individual put their business idea into practice; and
  • NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).

There are 8,600 NEIS places available nationally each financial year, delivered by a network of 21 providers.

For more information, you can directly approach a NEIS provider located in your area. You can find your local NEIS provider on the Find a Provider page on the jobactive website. You can also:

Entrepreneurship Facilitators

Entrepreneurship Facilitators provide practical assistance to support and encourage individuals to start a business. Entrepreneurship Facilitators provide a range of free services, including:

  • Promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship by providing information and advice about entrepreneurship and starting and running a business;
  • Providing tailored mentoring and assistance to individuals, including interactive engagements such as workshops and networking events; and
  • Linking and referring individuals to appropriate services that will help them start and run their own business, including New Business Assistance with NEIS.