State Policies

Indiana State Policies & Resources


Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA)
Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS)
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (VR)
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:

In Indiana, a participant may choose to explore and pursue an employment outcome of self-employment or starting a small business. They may choose to plan a business that results in full or part-time work, and once the small business or self-employment is up
and running it should be their primary source of earned income. The business must be anticipated to yield income that is comparable to other businesses doing similar work by people with similar training, experience, and skills. Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) provides technical assistance and consultation services to help the individual to explore and plan their small business operation. This includes services to determine a participant’s readiness and appropriateness for self-employment, a feasibility and market analysis, and assistance with the development of a comprehensive written business plan. Indiana VR also encourages participants to work with SCORE or other local community business supports to develop a mentoring relationship that can continue after the VR case is successfully closed.

It is expected that the participant is a full or part owner and is directly engaged in the ongoing management and daily operation of the business. The business must be independently owned and operated and forecasted to have a reasonable potential for becoming self-sustaining within a reasonable time frame. The comprehensive business plan must address all aspects of the business by identifying the start-up costs and sources of funding (including any third-party sources sought or secured), demonstrate sufficient resources to leverage start-up capital, outline ongoing operation costs, and show the likelihood of profitability within a reasonable time frame. No VR services or assistance can be provided for the business startup expenses until the VR program reviews and approves this comprehensive written business plan.

VR will provide written notification to notify the participant if the plan is approved. If not approved, the participant may revise the plan and resubmit it. VR will fund only the initial start-up costs that are approved in the business plan, and which are defined as “those costs that are necessary to establish a business, initiate its business operations, and sustain such operations throughout a start-up period until the business is stable and self-supporting” (460 IAC 14-13-1). The agency cannot be the sole source of financing these costs. Additionally, VR cannot pay for ongoing operating costs, tool and equipment replacement, upgrading, business relocation or business expansion.

AUTHORITY: 460 IAC 14-11-2(1), 460 IAC 14-132

View/Download Indiana Administrative Code


The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.

Indiana Start-Up Resources (PDF)

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