The Home Office is launching a £544,000 media campaign to coincide with the roll out of ID cards to residents in Manchester.
Residents in Greater Manchester will get the cards later this year, and they will be rolled out across the North West in the New Year.
The Home Office said it is launching a public information campaign to "alert businesses, primarily in the North West but also nationwide, on the need to prepare for their introduction."
The media costs for the "business information campaign" are likely to be in the region of £544,000 covering the period from September to December.
The government says the national identity cards will help businesses with "know your employee" and "know your customer" checks. The cards may be presented to businesses after launch as proof of identity, and the Home Office said, "Businesses need to ensure that their staff are ready to recognise the card, and know how to check the security features".