Flexi-wage for self-employment

If you want to start your own business, we may be able to provide a subsidy to help with costs while you get started.


If you don't have a business plan, we can talk with you about how to create one. We need to make sure that your business is viable before we can approve the payment.

  • Who can get it

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

    • on a main benefit, eg:
      • Jobseeker Support
      • Sole Parent Support
      • Supported Living Payment
    • either:
      • starting up a new business, or
      • needing help to become self-sufficient in an existing business.

    We'll also take into account your work situation and how hard it is for you to find a job.

    Who can't get it

    You won't be able to get Flexi-wage for self-employment if you're:

    • re-starting a business that you've owned before
    • currently bankrupt.
  • What you can get

    How much you get, and how long you get it for, depends on your:

    • weekly living expenses
    • needs
    • skills
    • expected cash flow of the business.
  • How to apply

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009


    • ask you about your business
    • talk with you about:
      • your business plan, if you already have one
      • how to create a business plan, if you don't have one yet
      • a Business Training and Advice Grant and how this may be able to help.

    You'll need to send your business plan to us and we'll send it away to be independently assessed to make sure it's viable.

  • What happens next

    We'll let you know the outcome, and if it's approved we'll send you a contract.

    You need to complete the contract and email it back to us along with proof of your bank account number, eg a bank statement or deposit slip.

    You'll be paid once the contract has been processed.

  • If you get the subsidy


    • contact you regularly to see how things are going
    • send you claim forms for the period of the contract.

    You need to complete and email a claim form to us every month.

    Mid-project financial report

    You'll also need to provide a mid-project financial report within the first 3-5 months. The report needs to outline things like:

    • productivity levels, eg 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.


    • let you know when we need this and who to send it to
    • send the report to an independent vetting agent
    • review the subsidy rate and duration
    • let you know the outcome.