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The New Enterprise Allowance was launched to help approximately people who receive benefits to start their own business. Anyone who has been unemployed for at least 26 weeks and claiming Jobseekers Allowance and has a viable business idea will be considered.

Successful applicants will be given advice and support from the outset, with a volunteer business mentor to guide them through the development of a business plan and help them to survive the initial months of trading. Jobcentre Plus will also be available to participants in the scheme. According to the Business Customer and Strategy national intermediary design team, help and support will be given by HM Revenue & Customs from the very start. This will ensure that legal obligations for paying the correct amount of tax and any relevant deadlines are clear.

For people who don’t qualify for the New Enterprise Allowance, the work programme and enterprise clubs are available from Jobcentre Plus. HMRC will be on hand through Jobcentre Plus to give advice and provide a selection of educational tools. These will include e-learning, webinars and face to face learning. The mentors who participate in the scheme will also receive training from HMRC.

As the number of unemployed looks set to increase, the New Enterprise Allowance could be a boost for enterprising people who are looking for a way to put their ideas into practice. Business advice is essential from the very first day of trading, ensuring that relevant legislation and filing dates are adhered to and avoiding huge penalties.

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