After 30 years I am still regularly encouraged but disappointed by many business owners I meet. After assessing their business for eligibility to grants from the 1000 currently available and worth $50 Billion they become aware of how much funding they have missed. Their response:
“I wish I had met you years ago and was already claiming these grants.”
Working on a contingency fee there is absolutely no risk to them to use our services and experience and with a 99% success rate the potential return is high.
Grants are a complex and specialised area. Business owners engage specialists like accountants, lawyers, patent attorneys, financial planners and tax experts but do not think about grants.
How does a business identify the various grants they may be eligible to claim and them make a successful application?
Search the internet. For example, www.business.gov.au is the governments grant website. There is a lot of useful information on the grants available but it does not show you how to make a successful claim. Warning: Never pay anyone for information on grants.
Engage a grants consultant. They usually only suggest the entitlement grants as there is no risk to them of not being paid for their services. The problem is that information declared in these grants can jeopardise your eligibility for the competitive grants.
Engage a grants specialist. They will assess your business for eligibility to the all available grants. This should be a free service. From their assessment they should advise the grant applications that could be completed in-house, and those that are more complex or competitive and require professional assistance.
Very few grants are guaranteed, however, the Research and Development Tax Incentive, Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) and Business Evaluation Program are entitlement grants. By meeting the grant requirements your application will be accepted.
Research and Development Tax Incentive
The Research and Development Tax Incentive pays companies of up to 43.5% of eligible R&D spend on creating innovative technologies. Companies with tax losses receive the incentive as a tax free cash benefit, which can assist financing the development process when most needed. Eligible projects must be conducted primarily in Australia and involve both innovation and technical risk.
Successful claims include creating new products, software development, improvements to manufacturing equipment, security devices, online trading platforms and environmental products. Claims must be lodged within 10 months of the end of each financial year and prior to lodging the company tax return.
Export Market Development Grants
The EMDG scheme provides exporters and potential exporters with a 50% reimbursement of eligible expenses with the grant capped at $150,000 per claim.
Exports include any sale of a product, service, know-how, IP or trademark that will secure foreign-sourced income. This includes sales to overseas customers or to tourists.
No export sales are necessary for the first two claims with the first claim covering two financial years.
Eligible expenses include international fares, overseas representatives, agents and subsidiary costs, patents and trademarks, samples, website development and hosting, advertising, entertainment, trade shows and Australian consultants.
Business Evaluation Program
If your business operates in one of the growth sectors (advanced manufacturing, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, mining equipment, technology and services, food and agribusiness, oil gas and energy resources and enabling businesses) with turnover or expenditure between $1.5m and $100m and been operating for at least 3 years you could be entitled to a free business evaluation. Following the evaluation you will receive a report with recommendations on how to improve business efficiencies and profitability together with a matched grant of $20,000 to implement the recommendations.
The majority of other grants are competitive so your application must rank higher than the others submitted. When preparing your application focus on the benefit you will create to the Australian economy, both directly and indirectly. This includes increased employment, profits, company tax, exports, import replacements, reduction in government spending, increased knowledge, efficiencies, increase competitiveness, engaging other business services or benefits to ancillary businesses.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level with support from grants?
Written by Bruce Patten: With more than 30 years’ experience claiming government grants, Bruce is regarded as the grants expert. He has a passion for helping new business get off the ground and has a long list of successful clients who have received the government funding they needed for research, development, management, commercialisation, exportation, small business support… and the list goes on.