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Frequently Asked Questions

Workforce Australia’s Self-Employment Assistance provides support to people interested in starting their own business or who need help to refocus an existing micro-business.



Want to know more about Self-Employment Assistance? Below are some commonly asked questions.

If you have a question that isn’t on the list, you can contact us with your question, and we will be in touch.

Questions About Applying

Am I Eligible for Self-Employment Assistance?

To be eligible for Self-Employment Assistance, you must:

  • Be at least 15 years of age (noting that a person must be 18 years of age to access Small Business Coaching).
  • Be allowed to legally work in Australia.
  • Be available to participate in the program and work the required hours in your proposed business.
  • Not be engaged in education and/or employment for more than 25 hours per week.
  • Not be an overseas visitor on a working holiday or an overseas student studying in Australia.
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt.
Is my business eligible for Self-Employment Assistance?

To be eligible for Self-Employment Assistance, your Business or Business Idea must be either:

  • A new business, or;
  • A business which is operated by an Eligible Business Owner;
  • Have an independent business structure;
  • Be lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny;
  • Be, or is, established, located, and operated solely within Australia; and
  • Be, or is, structured so that the Participant has and will maintain a controlling interest over the business throughout the duration of the Participant’s time accessing the Services.
How do I enrol in Self-Employment Assistance?

You can enrol into Self-Employment Assistance by lodging an online application with us here.

We will check your eligibility and may contact you for further information before confirming your enrolment and pathway.

However, before lodging your application, we would suggest you read through the fact sheet here for some basic information.

Can I enter Self-Employment Assistance in a partnership?

Yes, you can access Self-Employment Assistance as a partner in your business. You will be required to submit a partnership agreement before starting the program. You will need to have equal or greater share and control over the business if partnering with a non-Self-Employment Assistance business partner.

You can have an equal controlling interest if partnering with another applicant.

How it works

What is Self-Employment Assistance?

Self-Employment Assistance provides support to people interested in starting their own business or who need help to refocus an existing micro-business.

This initiative aims to promote self-employment through a range of activities and is designed to encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses.

This program will be tailored to the needs of participants to ensure that people, including those with barriers to self-employment, can access support to start and run a business.

Is there a cost?

No, the training and mentoring are fully subsided by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations as part of the Self-Employment Assistance program.

How many hours do I have to spend on my business?

You will need to work on your business full-time, for 35 hours or more per week. This does not apply to job seekers under restricted work capacity.

Can I work as well as being on Self-Employment Assistance?

Yes, you may work 15-25 hours per week externally from your Self-Employment Assistance business. However, you will require pre-approval for the external work before commencing on to Small Business Coaching.

Working externally for more than 25 hours per week will make you ineligible for Self-Employment Assistance.

Is my Self-Employment Assistance income taxable?

Yes, you will need to consider this when completing your financial projections for the Self-Employment Assistance application.


How does the training work?

Our training is online and self-paced, delivered through a series of learning modules and additional resources to help you through the business journey.

Once your application is approved, you will be provided with login details to our training platform. You will also have a business trainer check in with you on a weekly bases in case you have any questions.

Over the course of your training, you will complete a business plan and financial plan, which also forms part of your BSB30220 Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business qualification requirements.

How long do I have to complete the training?

You will have four weeks to complete the self-paced training.

At the end of the four weeks, you will be expected to complete your business plan, financials and case study assessments.

Once you are ready to start your business (usually by the eighth week), you will commence onto the Small Business Coaching for 12 months where you will be mentored by a business advisor. After the initial six months of running your business, you will submit your last assessment to obtain your qualification.

It will take approximately at least eight months to complete the full qualification.

What equipment do I need?

Our self-paced online training is delivered via modules, which can be accessed via a pc, tablet or phone. Although, we highly recommend that you use a desktop computer or laptop as it is easier to view and complete the modules.

A reliable internet connection is also essential.

Do I get a qualification at the end of training?

This training forms part of the BSB30220 Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business qualification requirements. You will need to complete four assessments to be issued with a Certificate.

These assessments include a Business Plan and Business Financial Projections (which are required in order to be accepted into the Business Coaching), as well as a Third-Party report and Case Study financial projections. These assessments should not take too long to complete as they are based on the experience of running your own business.

Is there any homework?

Yes, you will need to conduct some market research outside of the online training.

Financial Support

Can I get a grant to start my business?

Unfortunately, no, we do not offer any grants. However, eligible participants may receive the Self-Employment Allowance Payment.

If you require funding to start your business, our business advisors can help you discover ways to generate capital, assist with grant applications, or direct you towards external loan providers.

Am I eligible for the Self-Employment Allowance payment?

The Self-Employment Allowance is designed to provide income support whilst you get your business up and running. It is paid at the same rate as the single, no children rate of the JobSeeker Payment, and is unaffected by the income you earn from your business.

If you are eligible and accepted onto Small Business Coaching, you will be paid the Self-Employment Allowance for up to 9 months whilst participating on the program. If you are currently on Rent Assistance, you will also continue to receive that for up to six months on Small Business Coaching.

To be eligible for the Self-Employment Allowance, you must already be receiving one of the following eligible Income Support Payments from Services Australia:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment Single
  • Parenting Payment Partnered
  • Carers Payment
  • Disability Support Pension

If you are not currently receiving a payment from Services Australia, you can find out if you are eligible here. If you are not eligible for the Self-Employment Allowance, you will still be able to receive Self-Employment Assistance for free.


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Business Foundations respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; past, present and emerging.