If you’re doing business in Australia, there are a range of grants and schemes you may not even realise you’re eligible for. These programs have a range of purposes, from providing upfront funding to connecting companies with experienced consultants.
Many companies are put off from pursuing such schemes, believing that the application process will be too complex or require considerable time and resources. If you are one of these companies, it may be worth reaching out to a team of business advisors to help identify what programs you are eligible for and help put together your applications. After all, it would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity that could completely revolutionise your business because of a little paperwork!
Continue reading to learn more about the types of grants and schemes offered to Australian businesses and where to seek help.
Grants and programs
The Australian Government has made it very simple for businesses to find relevant grants and programs with their online finder tool. Simply answer a few questions about your location, industry, business structure, and objectives to receive tailored suggestions.
Alternatively, business advisors can help you identify the direction you want your business to head in and what programs are available to help get you there.
Some of the most widely accessed grants and schemes include:
The Export Market Development Grant, or EMDG grant, is designed to help Australian businesses promote their goods and services internationally. Eligible small and medium sized businesses can apply for three different grant tiers, depending on their level of export experience:
● For companies that are first time exporters
● 2 years with a maximum of $40,000 per financial year
● For companies expanding their export activities
● 3 years with a maximum of $80,000 per financial year
● For companies expanding their export activities or looking to make a strategic shift in their promotional operations
● 3 years with a maximum of $150,000 per financial year
Only certain promotional activities are eligible to be claimed under the EMDG grant. These include:
● Sending a company representative to an overseas country
● Hiring a consultant to guide or lead promotional activities
● Trips within Australia
● Funding foreign buyer visits
● Providing free samples
● Producing advertising material
● Intellectual property rights
In addition, not all small and medium sized businesses will be eligible for the grant. To be deemed eligible, your company must:
● Have a turnover of less than $20 million for the last financial year
● Be an Australian person as per the Export Market Development Grants Rules 2021
● Have an Australian Business Number
For further information about eligibility, eligible activities, and how the grant works, contact a business advisor that specialises in the EMDG grant.
Research and Development Tax Incentive
The Research and Development Tax Incentive is another very popular scheme designed to help eligible Australian businesses looking to expand on research and development activities.
Unlike the EMDG grant, the R&D Tax Incentive operates as a tax-offset program. This means you will submit all the relevant information regarding your research and development activities with your tax return, rather than receiving an upfront payment.
Applying for this incentive is an annual process and it’s up to you to determine whether or not your company and R&D activities are eligible. Because of this, the Australian Government recommends companies consider hiring an R&D tax incentive specialist or business advisor to help prepare their application.
To be eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive, your company must:
● Be incorporated under Australian law OR
● Be incorporated under a foreign law but an Australian resident for income tax purposes OR
● Be incorporated under foreign law and are both:
○ A resident of a country with which Australia has a double tax agreement that includes a definition of a ‘permanent establishment’
○ Carrying on business in Australia through a permanent establishment as defined in the double tax agreement.
It is not only the structure of your company that will determine whether you are eligible for this incentive. Your annual R&D expenditure is also a deciding factor. Be aware, too, that there are separate tiers of the incentive and the offset you apply for will vary depending on your annual turnover.
Not sure if you’re eligible? Speak to experienced business advisors. The last thing you want to do is invest considerable resources into research and development activities, only to find you are later unable to claim the incentive.
In addition, you must ensure that your activities meet the definition of research and development as outlined in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
The EMDG grant and Research and Development Tax Incentive are only two examples of the many schemes and grants available to Australian businesses. If your business is struggling and requires a little extra financial help or if you are looking to expand your operations and require a leg-up to get you going, speak to business advisors today about the programs you may be eligible for.