Are you starting a small, medium or large business? Do you have a new business idea? Are you wanting to innovate in your existing industry?

In the business space Government grants are available in many shapes and sizes, including but not limited to those who wish to commercialise a product, expand their business, import and export goods or research and develop a novel idea.

One of many factors affecting business growth is adequate funding. To add to this is – what do I do with that funding?

Applying for a government grant to accelerate your business or idea not only provides you with a financial jump start, it forces you to focus and drive parts of your business or idea that matter or need the most attention.  Depending on criteria, industry and other factors of the business venture, start-ups can receive funds anywhere up to $2 million. 

Here’s 6 Government Grants hand picked by the VCO team 

1. The R&D Tax Incentive

What is the benefit?

  • Companies from all industry sectors conducting eligible Research and Development
  • 43.5% refundable tax offset (aggregated turnover less than $20 million)
  • 38.5% non-refundable offset for notional deductions incurred (aggregated turnover more than $20 million)

Are you eligible?

Companies get lost in the weeds trying to decipher whether their actually eligible to receive an R&D Tax Incentive Grant or not. Technical terms and knowing what they mean will ensure you have a clear picture. Apart from satisfying the basic criteria (like being an Australian Incorporated Company) there are two main categories that must be satisfied, each with extensive sub-categories in satisfying eligibility. These are..

  1. Core R&D Activities
    • Key questions that need to be addressed:
      • Systematic progressions of work
      • Outcome cannot be known or determined
      • The purpose of generating new knowledge
  2. Supporting R&D Activities 
    • Key questions that need to be addressed:
      • Are supporting R&D activities directly related to core R&D activities?

An important element that must not be overlooked is what core R&D activities are excluded from eligibility. This must be understood before taking the time to launch an application.

2.  Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Accelerating Commercialisation

This programme drives business growth and competitiveness by focusing on growth sectors. The aim is to support research and improvement of business as well as enhance commercialisation of novel products, goods and services. There are three overarching activities to this programme which all have a plethora of unique requirements and criteria.

  1. Commercialisation Guidance
  2. Accelerating Commercialisation Grant
  3. Portfolio Services 

It is recommended to seek Commercialisation Guidance first and then apply for Portfolio Services or an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant (which comes with Portfolio Services)

What is Commercialisation Guidance? 

In this activity you receive guidance and mentorship by independent professional advisers who will guide you along the pathway to commercialising your intellectual property. They will assist in matters like exploring and developing professional networks, operational matters and specialist advice.

What are Portfolio Services? 

It is a range of services to help applicants achieve their commercialisation goals. These include but are not limited to..

  • Database of information pertaining to supply chain and investment prospects;
  • Specialist guidance
  • Access to the Expert Network as well as networking opportunities through domestic and international roadshows

What is the Commercialisation Grant?

This is a grant to support eligible projects for up to 50% of expenditure ranging up to $1 million.

See how Vlassis & Co helped a startup in the tourism industry 

3. Growth Services Grant

This falls under the entrepreneurs programme umbrella via the Business Management element. The Business Growth Grant entails a range of services that assist in improving your businesses capabilities and strategy.

You will have access to specialist Business Advisers and facilitators in tailoring a growth plan to ensure you are eligible for receiving the Growth Services Grant.

Grants for up to half the cost of $20,000 (ex GST) in engaging a consultant while seeking advice on business improvements and capabilities is available.

For more information visit the Government Business website

4. Manufacturing Technologies Program SA

An initiative from the South Australian Government in an attempt to jump-start the states struggling manufacturing industry.

It is an attempt to motivate manufacturing companies to trial and adopt new technologies as well as have a better understanding of the manufacturing technology landscape.

Technology capabilities being focused on:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Advanced materials
  • Advanced robotics and automation
  • Photonics
  • Digital technology
  • Big Data analytics

The hope is to create awareness of emerging technologies that can set the state apart and deliver efficiencies for the industry and higher profits for South Australian manufacturers.

For more information visit State Development SA

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5. Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP)

This program allows for foreign investors in a VCLP to take advantage of exemptions to capital gains tax on venture capital investments in Australia. It is designed to increase foreign investment within the Australian venture capital scene.

Investment in Australian businesses with assets amounting to no more than $250 million is the overarching criteria with requirements of at least 50% of employees and assets to be situated in Australia.

As well as the exemption of capital gains tax, foreign investors are privy to carrying interest in the partnership on the capital account rather than revenue, resulting in further taxation benefits (contact your chartered accountant for further detail on this).

6. Small Business Digital Grants

The Small Business Digital Grants program assists businesses in accessing and adopting digital technologies and services to capitalize on online business opportunities.

The funding available for this program is up to $10,000 (ex GST).

To be eligible your business must (not limited to):

  • Have less than 20 employees
  • Have an ABN and be registered for GST

The digital technology or service must relate to one of following areas:

  • digital marketing and social media
  • digital content (web pages, mobile apps etc.)
  • receiving payments or selling online
  • specialised digital technology or software
  • digital planning and advice/training.

*Note: availability of grant is limited to region – contact us for more information*

7. Bonus Picks

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