Starting or running your own business

You may be able to get New Enterprise Allowance to help you:

  • start your own business
  • develop your business, if you’re already self-employed

Starting your own business

You could get mentoring and an allowance to help you start your own business through New Enterprise Allowance.

You may be eligible if you’re over 18 and either:

  • you or your partner get Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • you get Income Support and you’re a lone parent, sick or disabled

What you’ll get

You’ll get a mentor who’ll give you advice and support to help you set up your business and start to trade.

Once you’ve made a business plan that your mentor has approved, you:

  • may get a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks
  • can apply for a loan to help with start-up costs

How to get New Enterprise Allowance

Talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach. They’ll check your business idea and help you if you’re eligible.

Developing your business

If you’re self-employed and getting Universal Credit, you may be able to:

  • get a mentor who’ll give you advice and support to help you develop your business
  • apply for a start-up loan if your business is less than 2 years old

To find out if you’re eligible for New Enterprise Allowance, contact your work coach by signing in to your Universal Credit account.

If you’re disabled or you have a health condition

You may be able to get extra support through an Access to Work grant.


Check how the new Brexit rules affect you

  1. Step 1 Check if being self-employed is right for you

  2. Step 2 Choose the name you want to trade under

    1. Check the rules for sole trader business names

    You can register a trade mark if you want to stop people from trading under your business name.

    1. Apply to register a trade mark
  3. Step 3 Check what records you'll need to keep

  4. Step 4 Register for tax

    To pay tax, you'll need to register for Self Assessment.

    1. Apply for a National Insurance number if you do not have one
    2. Register for Self Assessment

    You might need to register in a different way if:

    You may also need to register for VAT.

    1. Check if you need to register for VAT