Is your business eligible for a Government Grant?

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Erik Anderson9 Strategic recently met with Erik Anderson of Grant Central and discovered that many of the businesses we come into contact with may be eligible for various Government Grants. With this in mind, we asked Erik to give us the low-down on two of the major Federal Government programs that may be relevant to you.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference to learn more about digital marketing. As I got chatting to fellow attendees, I realised that a few of them were selling products and services overseas, in other words they were exporters and, as such, were eligible for the reimbursement of their marketing expenses spent promoting their products overseas.

In a case of they-didn’t-know-what-they-didn’t-know, these businesses may be eligible for a grant: as Donald Rumsfeld put it so eloquently – the unknown unknowns!

For many businesses, two of the major Federal government programs that are available are often misunderstood and overlooked where, with proper consultation, they could ensure up to 50% of marketing or 43.5% of R&D expenses are reimbursed.

R&D Tax Incentive Program

For businesses developing new materials, products, devices, processes or services that generate new knowledge – ideally on a worldwide basis – the costs of development could be claimable under the R&D Tax Incentive program. Depending on turnover and profitability, a company could receive up to 43.5% of eligible R&D expenditure back by way of a cash refund from the ATO.

Some key points for the R&D Tax Incentive are the following:

• The program is jointly administered by AusIndustry and the ATO
• Applicants cannot be trusts or individuals
• Eligible applicants have to spend at least $20,000 on eligible R&D activities
• Eligible applicants with turnover of less than $20m can get the rebate paid out in cash (as opposed to tax credit for those with turnover over $20m)
• It is a self-assessment and subjective process
• The program focuses on genuine R&D not improvements by trial and error – documentation is key!
• The R&D can consist of core and supporting activities
• There is no cap for the maximum amount that can be received back from the ATO.

Export Grants

Taking an Australian developed product or service overseas requires a determined marketing effort – either in person or through an extensive marketing campaign. Both avenues can be expensive and this is where the Export Grant can assist with the reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible marketing expenses.

Some key points for the Export Grant program are the following:

• The program is administered by Trade
• Applicants need only have an ABN
• Eligible applicants must spend at least $15,000 on eligible export promotional activities
• Applicants with a turnover of more than $50m are ineligible
• There is a limit of 8 applications (one per annum but do not have to be consecutive)
• Applicants need to be generating export income by the third application; the first two applications the applicant has to be able to prove that they have the capacity to export
• The maximum amount that can be received back in any one application is $150,000
• Applicants can incur eligible expenditure in 8 categories:
• Overseas representative
• Marketing Consultant
• Marketing Visits
• Free samples
• Trade Shows
• Advertising and Promotion
• Overseas Buyers
• Trademarks and Patents

For the Export Grant, New Zealand is not an export country!

To find out more about the R&D Tax Incentive program or the Export Grant program, or to find out if you are eligible, contact Erik at Grant Central or visit 

About Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson has been working in the Grants industry for the past 12 years.

During this period, he has had extensive experience working on a range of grants, such as EMDG Export Grants, R&D Tax Incentive and Commercialisation Australia, and across diverse industries. These industries include manufacturing, agriculture and tourism and lately, Erik has become involved in the move to the digital economy. Part of this process is mentoring start up businesses on how best to take advantage of the grants that are available.

Erik has been on Austrade’s list of Approved EMDG Consultants and also serves on the National Executive of the Export Consultants Group.


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