Flexi-wage for self-employment

Flexi-wage is one of the ways we're supporting more New Zealanders into work. We can help you start your own business and help with costs while you get started.

Who can get it

To get Flexi-wage for self-employment there's criteria that you need to meet, and criteria your intended business needs to meet.

Criteria you need to meet:

You may be able to get Flexi-wage for self-employment if you're:

  • out of work, and
  • 18 years or older and not able to get NZ Super, and
  • having difficulty getting or keeping a job (for example you might have barriers to finding a job because you need education and training, or your current job may be at risk), and
  • getting a benefit and haven't worked for a long time and
  • ordinarily resident in New Zealand and you're either:
    • have applied to be recognised as a refugee or protected person and are waiting on the outcome, or
    • have applied for a residence class visa and are compelled to stay in New Zealand because of unforeseen circumstances.
    • a New Zealand citizen, or
    • a resident with a residence class visa, or
    • recognised as a refugee or protected person, or
    • have a temporary visa that allows you to work in New Zealand and either:

Criteria your business needs to meet:

You need to be:

  • interested in starting a new business, or
  • in the early stages of developing a business and you're not able to be self-sufficient.

You also need a business plan. If you don't have one we can talk with you about your business idea and how to create a plan.

We need to make sure that your business idea is viable before we can consider any assistance. We may be able to put you in touch with a business expert to help progress your ideas. Business.govt.nz also has information about how to create a business plan:

How to write a business plan - Business.govt.nz

Who can't get it

You can't get Flexi-wage for self-employment if you're:

  • re-starting a business that you've owned before, or
  • already running an established business that is struggling financially, or
  • currently bankrupt.

What you can get

You can get up to $600 a week for up to 28 weeks, totalling $16,800.

You can use this money towards the costs of setting your business up, for example paying for equipment, or to pay your living costs while your business is still in its early stages.

Other help available:

How to find out more

If you want to find out more about Flexi-Wage for self-employment, complete this form and we'll get in touch with you.

We'll aim to contact you within 5 working days.

What happens next

We'll contact you to talk about your business idea, your needs and what type of help we may be able to offer. If you have a business plan, you'll need to share this with us.

We'll talk with you about:

We'll send your business plan to be independently assessed, to make sure the business is potentially viable. We'll let you know the outcome, and if it's approved we'll send you a Flexi-wage Self-Employment contract . You'll need to complete the contract and email it back to us along with evidence of your bank account number.

Once the contract has been processed your payments will start.

If you get the subsidy


  • contact you regularly to see how things are going
  • send you four-weekly claim forms for the Flexi-wage subsidy over the period of the contract.

We'll make sure you know how to make a claim every four weeks.

Mid-project financial report

You'll need to provide a mid-project financial report within the first 12-20 weeks. The report needs to outline things like:

  • productivity levels (for example, the amount of work or items manufactured)
  • actual cash flow
  • a comparison of performance against the original business plan
  • cash flow expectations for at least the next 6 months.

We'll let you know when we need this and who to send it to. The report will be reviewed by an independent person, and we'll let you know the outcome of this review.