Utah State Policies & Resources
Utah Department of Workforce Services
Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR)
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:
The USOR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) plays a critical role in the agency process for self-employment. This includes ensuring the client fully understands the ramifications of self-employment; USOR’s role and process; and that the business venture is consistent with his/her strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities. Prior to developing an Individualized plan for employment (IPE), including a self-employment plan, policy requires that the Counselor and client: 1) establish a vocational goal through a comprehensive assessment, 2) review all employment options and, 3) if receiving public benefits, complete an assessment of the impact of self-employment on these benefits.
All self-employment ventures must be micro-enterprises. A micro-enterprise is a small single owner-operator business with no employees that requires seed capital of less than $35,000. Tiers are used to determine the amount of funding and the approval process.
Tier 1 self-employment generally includes ventures that require no more than $7,000.00 seed capital and a total USOR contribution of no more than $5,000.00. Additionally, there should be low overhead costs, limited marketing needs, and the business can be quickly started and profitable, usually within one year of start-up. Tier 1 ventures require a minimal business plan (but still demonstrate the viability of the business) and can be approved by the Supervisor of the VRC.
Tier 2 self-employment has more in-depth considerations and typically requires more than $7,000 in funding and a USOR contribution of more than $5,000. They also often require more extensive or additional support and potentially need a line of credit to operate. Tier 2 also requires an in-depth business or marketing plan that must be approved by the District Director.
Once the Tiers have been identified, the business plan reviewed and approved at the appropriate level, and costs have been approved, the Counselor and client will write the IPE/amendments.
USOR uses internal documents to provide initial information to the individual regarding self-employment, to share more detailed information as the process continues, and to gather information regarding the feasibility of the business and the skills of the individual to operate the business (Self-Employment Packet A and Self-Employment Packet B).
Once the individual is earning the targeted profitability as detailed in the IPE, the Counselor can initiate the 90-day closure process. Supported self-employment is not mentioned; however it is authorized by the agency.
The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.