Since November 2021 I have worked with over 356 people in various ways to assist them starting out in their Sole Trader disability busines.

Here are some on the most frequently asked questions I have been asked.

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Questions we have answered

  1. How do I invoice a client for my shifts as a support worker/nurse?
  2. What is a sleepover shift
  3. How do I find clients?
  4. Do I need to be registered with NDIS to work with clients as a Sole Trader?
  5. How do I get paid for my services?
  6. Do I need policies and procedures if I am NOT NDIS registered?
  7. What Software is good for documentation
  8. What can I claim on my tax as a Sole Trader?
  9. How much do I charge for Travel?
  10. What do I charge a client for my hours?
  11. What do I need to get started as a Sole Trader?
  12. What is the best Insurance company for my Sole Trader business

A. The price arrangement explains how to invoice the client/participant. In brief the way it works is Day: 6am – 8pm, Evening: 8pm – 12 midnight, Night: Midnight – 6am

A. A sleepover shift is 8 hours overnight where the staff member may sleep when not required to work. The shift includes 2 hours of active support within the 8 hour period, if there is more than 2 hours active support time then the hourly rates becomes active overnight rate.

Its important to find out if there is the possibility of more than 2 hours of activity required so this can be allowed for when writing the service agreement. This is a flat rate and is often from 10pm to 6 am – item number : 01_010_0107_1_1 page 42 of Price Arrangement. The Price Arrangement is the best guide to understand how to invoice. You can access the latest price arrangement here : NDIS Price Arrangement

Some people will not start until 11pm and will finish at 5am and some will do longer. It is usually the flat rate, however each participant/their relative/support coordinator will have this discussion with you and they will take into account the participants funding.

A. There is a lot to finding clients. I teach this in Train the Brain Program and the webinars. Simply put you are to be active in your community. Initially do not go to far from where you live, to make it easy to get to shifts. Identify your ideal client, the type of work you are happy to do and enjoy doing, then you will have an idea of where your clients are. Networking is important, having a website, Facebook page are all useful. You are welcome to join our affiliate program if you would like more exposure. Affiliate Program

Marketing is important and remember that word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising. How you interact with others, For nurses connecting with hospitals can be a great way to get referrals, Interacting in groups.

Flyers are great to put out weekly in your community eventually someone will connect, it pays to be consistent.

A. Short answer, it depends on the services you are providing but basically no you don’t unless the clients you work have their funds managed by NDIA. If you are a support worker, nurse, allied health professional, cleaner, garden then you are able to work with Plan Managed and Self Managed clients without becoming a registered NDIS service provider.

At the end of the day it is up to you. There is a lengthy process and it is expensive to become an registered NDIS service provider, you can find out more here: Become a Registered NDIS Provider. There are audits, depending on your services over 20 policies and procedures to be written suited to your services and business.

A. Invoicing for your services is done in a number of ways, direct to the client if they are self managed, to the plan managed for those who are Plan Managed and through the Myplace portal for those who are NDIA Managed. To access the Myplace portal for the NDIA fund managed clients/participants you will have to a registered NDIS service provider

Best Practice is to put the line item number and the description for the service on your invoices and payment due in 7 days. If you use a software program for invoicing you are able to keep track of your invoices and set up templates for each service, which makes it easier to track.

Discuss with the support coordinator, participant or the person advocate with how their plans are managed before you start and put that in your service agreement.

To understand the levels with regards to how to charge in regards to NDIS price arrangement, please see this link: NDIS Price Guidance levels 1, 2, 3 each of the referring to the different types of care the person requires, which connects to the maximum that can be charged by sole trader, companies can charge the participant, however the rate of pay the worker receives is based on the schads award

A. Short answer, you only require a few policies and procedures, however it is Best Practice to have your Code of Conduct, Incident reporting, Documentation, Transport, Cancelation, Complaints, Conflict of Interest, OHS, Risk assessments, Care Plan just to name a few in forms, policies and procedures that suit your individual business relating to your specific services in addition to your Service agreement, progress notes app/form and more.

Remember at the end of the day this is your business and you are the one responsible for the right forms to be completed at the right time such as a risk assessment on each client, a care plan to help you to know which goals you are working on with your client/participant.

A. Depending on your business the following are good:

  • Power diary
  • eTrack
  • Shift care
  • Sandwai

A. That is a questions for an accountant. Every business is different and the tax free threshold, tax percentage and superannuation are all questions for an accountant to help you get the right answers for your business and how much money you have already earnt, what you have already spent and so on.

When you business is making money you will be required at some point to lodge BAS and your accountant can help you with that.

A. Currently the rate you can charge for travel with the participant in your car is $0.85/kms. If you are doing a long trip then please discuss this first with the participant/their representative/support coordinator to find the best way to make the most of the funds and the trip.

Generally speaking you do NOT invoice for travel to and from the shift/ participants home.

When planning your shifts think about where each client is and your travel and length of the shift.

A. There are multiple layers to working out how much to charge for your services.

Allied Health professionals tend to charge the maximum NDIS rate as listed in the Price Catalogue

Support Coordinators tend to bill the maximum rate

When it comes to support worker and nursing often the participants funding doesn’t cover all the support they would like, so some people will ask for a lower rate than what is listed in the Price Catalogue.

Its important to understand that experience is also important and for you to work within your scope of practice.

You can check the current rates on the NDIS website the link is here: Pricing arrangements

A. To start as a sole trader the first thing to be clear on is WHY? Why do you want to be a sole trader, the answer to this questions, is what will keep you going when you are stressed and feeling overwhelmed.

We have a checklist available that you can download that helps you get everything in place before you start.

Be prepared to plan ahead and also think about your financial situation also, a Sole trader who gets sick is not being paid, something to have in your business plan.

You can access the checklist here: Sole Trader Checklist

A. It really depends on the services you are providing which company will cover you. Places to start are:

  • Aon
  • Bizcover

Think about work cover also and income protection insurance, along with public liability- business insurance and comprehensive car insurance.

If you have more questions or are feeling confused, why not book in for a FREE Strategy call with Jacqui: FREE 30 minute strategy Session