If you have a good business idea, working for yourself can be very rewarding, but it can take a lot of hard work and dedication. If you want to become self-employed, find out about the free help and support available, and whether you qualify for the New Enterprise Allowance.
Getting started with your business idea
There are lots of good reasons for wanting to work for yourself, like:
having a great idea or passion that could be turned into profits
wanting to work from home to fit in better with family commitments
wanting to take more control of your life and be your own boss
If you get it right, being self-employed can be exciting, rewarding and challenging.
Information and support for new businesses
If you want to become self-employed, there is plenty of free information, advice and practical support available for you. You can get help with topics like:
how to plan a business
how to raise finance
how to make sure you have enough to live on while you get your business off the ground
Support is available for both new and existing businesses, and can help you meet all the legal and financial requirements of being self-employed.
Business Link, Business Gateway and Business support Wales
You can find information, advice and support to help you start, maintain and develop your business from the following places:
England - Business Link
Scotland - Business Gateway
Wales - Business support Wales
What other help is available
General help and advice is available from Business Link, Business Gateway and Business support Wales. Additional support is also available for jobseekers through Jobcentre Plus.
New Enterprise Allowance
The New Enterprise Allowance will give people getting Jobseeker’s Allowance access to business mentoring and a financial package worth up to £2,000. This includes a weekly allowance and access to a small loan.
The New Enterprise Allowance may be available if both the following apply:
you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance
you have been unemployed for 26 weeks or more
The New Enterprise Allowance is now being rolled out and will be available across Great Britain in August.
Help may also be available through Enterprise Clubs. Enterprise Clubs will provide unemployed people interested in self-employment with a place to:
meet and exchange skills
encourage each other to work through their business ideas
Talk to your Jobcentre Plus personal adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance or Enterprise Clubs.
Further help and advice
If you're considering being your own boss for the first time, Jobcentre Plus has produced some useful hints and tips to help you decide. You can download the Jobcentre Plus 'Thinking of being your own boss?' factsheet below.