The initial requirements for setting up a new NDIS business are much the same as for any business.

These include having a business plan and marketing strategies, access to capital, securing premises and obtaining insurance. It also involves legal matters such as deciding on a trading structure, business name registration and ABN, various taxation issues, and making sure you have appropriate licences and permits in place.

But an NDIS business also comes with some specific requirements. Here are a few of the key considerations.

1. NDIS registration – to register or not to registerNDIS bsuiness setup

As a provider, you don’t necessarily have to register with the NDIS Commission. While registering comes with a wider range of options for services and funding, there are also extra obligations.

Unregistered providers

Unregistered providers can generally be used by NDIS participants who have a self-managed plan or plan-managed supports. This limits the business in scope to the available services and participants’ funding.

The types of supports and services unregistered providers can offer include home care, gardening, transport, consumables, home modifications, job-search assistance and physical therapies. They can't offer some services, such as specialist disability accommodation or certain specialist behavioural supports.

Starting out as an unregistered provider can be a good idea - it gives you the opportunity to test out the market before diving all the way in.

Registered providers

Registered providers have more options for services, supports and funding, and can provide services to all participants. As a rule, NDIS participants with agency (NDIA) managed plans or highly specialist needs can only use registered providers.

As a registered provider however, you will need to undergo a suitability assessment and a quality, verification or certification audit – so it’s important to be well-prepared for those events.

2. Code of Conduct compliance and workforce screeningkey considerations for NDIS business setup

Both registered and unregistered providers must meet the minimum NDIS obligations and requirements, which include the NDIS Code of Conduct, complaints management and worker screenings.

Registered and unregistered providers, and their workers, must agree to comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct.

The code covers such matters as respecting participants’ right to self-determination and privacy, prevention of sexual misconduct, agreement to provide supports and services in a safe manner, and to act with integrity and transparency.

All providers must have a complaints management system to address complaints that concern the quality and safety of supports and services they provide.

Both registered and unregistered providers should also ensure their employees have clearance to undertake NDIS work, or ask them to obtain an NDIS Worker Screening Check.

3. Marketing and finding participants

Marketing can be different than for the average business. You need to build credibility early on – business is often brought in through referrals and word-of-mouth.

It's important to find out who the referrers are in your area, and make yourself known to them. Early childhood, early intervention and local area coordination partners often provide direct recommendations to NDIS participants, so we recommend building relationships with them as well.

5. Setting up Service Agreements

Other than for specialist disability accommodation, written agreements are not compulsory. However, they are recommended by the NDIS as they help clarify expectations of both provider and participants regarding delivery of supports.

5. Developing efficient business systemsNDIS business help

Good business systems are essential for survival!

Without sound systems and processes in place (rostering and accounting systems for example) you risk time delays, cost inefficiencies, not getting paid on time and wasting resources.

This is an area that tends to get neglected by some NDIS businesses – especially some of the smaller not-for-profits. 


RSM can help you navigate the requirements for setting up a new NDIS business, and advise on the best types of systems and procedures to adopt in your enterprise. Please get in touch with us to find out how. 


NDIS Commission: Unregistered provider

NDIS Commission: Registered provider obligations and requirements 

NDIS Commission: Service agreements