There are 500+ government grants and funding for new and existing businesses in Australia. And plenty of these grants are available to startups and small businesses. Most of them are awarded based on eligibility in terms of industry, type of business, annual turnover, and equity, among others.
Competition for these grants is fierce and the paperwork is expected to be complex. There’s no guarantee that you will receive funding, even if your submitted documents are complete and your grant proposal is highly convincing.
If you’re not sure where to start, we list down the top 7 government grants you can avail of as a startup or small business in Australia.
1. Entrepreneurs’ Programme
As one of Australia’s most popular government grants for startups and SMEs, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme seeks to promote innovation and competitiveness by offering funding and multiple assistance programs, including access to a network of private-sector advisors and facilitators to help startups and SMEs commercialise their products and services. This program offers up to $1 million of funding through various schemes.
To be eligible for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, your company must be involved in the following industries:
- Food and Agriculture
- Medical Technology
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Tourism Industry in Northern Territory
2. Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive
The R&D Tax Incentive aims to help the development of innovative products and processes from eligible companies in the science and technology space. Instead of cash grants, the R&D Tax Incentive offers tax relief. Eligible startups and SMEs can claim a refundable tax offset for the costs associated with their qualifying R&D projects.
The program grants a 43.5% tax offset, paid as a cash rebate for eligible companies.
To be eligible, your company must have an annual turnover of less than $20 million and conduct eligible R&D activities.
3. Landing Pads
Unlike most grants, Austrade’s Landing Pads offers unique assistance to eligible startups. This program is designed for startups ready to expand their business globally. Landing Pads provides startups with a workspace for 90 days in a global innovation hub (Singapore, Berlin, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, or San Francisco), along with access to mentors, investors, talents, and networks in these innovation hubs.
To be eligible, your startup must be market-ready with an established product and customer acquisition strategy.
4. Accelerating Commercialisation
Offered under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the Accelerating Commercialisation grant seeks to help eligible companies commercialise their novel product, process, or service. This grant has 2 key stages:
- Guidance stage (connect with a facilitator to gain valuable advice for your commercialisation strategies and assistance with applying for the grant stage); and
- Grant stage (funding of up to $1 million and up to 50% of your expenditure for the commercialisation project).
To be eligible, you must demonstrate that you have a legitimate Australian business entity with an annual turnover of less than $20 million for the last 3 financial years combined, be non-tax exempt, and be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST). Additionally, your project must offer value and innovative solutions to the Australian market.
5. CSIRO Kick-Start
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) offers CSIRO Kick-Start as matched funding for startups and SMEs to help them access CSIRO’s research expertise. Ideal for entrepreneurs starting a business in Australia, this grant provides assistance with the following:
- Researching new ideas with commercial potential
- Developing a novel or improved product or process
- Testing a novel product or material
Eligible companies can receive funding of $10,000 to $50,000, which they can use as funds for salaries, travel and accommodation, overhead costs, contractor costs, etc. incurred for the project.
To be eligible, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have a registered business in Australia for less than 3 years;
- Have an Australian Company Number (ACN);
- Be registered for GST;
- Have your primary place of business in Australia;
- Demonstrate the ability to dollar-match the funding; and
- Have an annual turnover of less than $1.5 million for the past 2 years.
6. Export Market Development Grant
The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is ideal for startups and SMEs seeking to commercialise their products or services overseas. This grant offers a 50% reimbursement for activities intended to grow exports in international markets. Eligible companies can get anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000. Others can get up to $770,000, depending on their promotional expenses.
To be eligible, you must be the proprietor of the products or services for export (not an agent selling someone else’s products or services) and have an annual total income of less than $50 million.
7. Innovation Connections
Offered under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the Innovation Connections grant aims to pair startups and SMEs with an independent facilitator who shall offer expert advice on identifying gaps in their operations to improve the commercial potential of their products, processes, or services. Similar to the Accelerating Commercialisation grant, it has 2 key stages (facilitation stage and grant stage).
The Innovation Connections grant offers up to 50% reimbursement for the cost of research placements, which can be anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.
To be eligible, you must have a legal business in Australia, operating in one or more growth sectors with an annual turnover between $1-5 million and $100 million. To be eligible for the grant stage, your facilitator must provide you with a recommendation to apply for the said grant.
Apply for the right government grants for your business
Applying for grants in Australia can be exhausting. The lack of certainty in securing the funding you need can be disastrous to your business strategies and might result in missed opportunities. To guarantee a successful application, you can contact our grant experts to assist you.
Venus Angelli David is a Digital Copywriter with over 7 years of experience writing about business, recruitment, tech, and immigration for consulting firms in Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia. She loves coffee, cats, and yoga.