Why it’s time to get serious about grants

It’s a new financial year and that means new cash injection opportunities for start-ups.


Right at the top of your list should be the grants available to support the growth and development strategies of your business.


One opportunity that became a whole lot more attractive for SMEs this year is the R&D Tax Incentive.


Major changes to the R&D Tax Incentive now streamline the process of obtaining this incentive. The first step of registering with AusIndustry is now being turned around faster than before, meaning you’ll get your cash quicker.


Combine this with an increase in the incentive amount and it means bigger incentives for SMEs as well.


Some more good news to take advantage:

  • Businesses with a grouped annual turnover of less than $20 million are no longer subject to a cap on expenditure they can claim. The previous $2 million cap on expenditure has been completely removed.
  • You can now claim both Australian and overseas expenditure, provided overseas expenditure does not exceed the level of Australian expenditure over the life of the project and you obtain an advanced finding before lodging your claim.
  • Annual R&D plans are no longer required. However, adequate internal records are still required to help demonstrate the R&D is experimental and meets the legislated definition of R&D for the purpose of the incentive.

The incentive could get even better soon, with recommendations being considered that could see the incentive being paid quarterly in advance from January 2014.


Changes to the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) are also resulting in more cash for SMEs as well. This year the upfront cash payments made to applicants has increased from $50,000 to $60,000.


Since the new grant year opened on July 1, turnaround of payments are being processed swiftly and in order of receipt, providing additional cashflow for SMEs that get their applications lodged as soon as possible.


All indications from AusTrade are that the balance of grants due to be paid in June 2013 will be paid in full, once they determine the cash remaining in the EMDG pool of funds.


This means that while you receive your grant in two payments, you can expect to get a 100% “reimbursement” on your eligible export market expenditure, up to a maximum of $150,000 per grant year.


These are just two opportunities available to SMEs, including start-ups, to obtain cash to support their business in 2012-13.


There are over 600 other grants available to businesses in Australia. If you haven’t investigated the grants you could access to fund your start-up business, what are you waiting for?


MPR Group provides free Initial Grants Assessments for SMEs. Click here to arrange your assessment and discover grants that could deliver an added cash injection into your business.


Marc Peskett is a director of MPR Group, a Melbourne based firm that provides grants advisory and funding strategies for SMEs, as well as tax, outsourced accounting, business advisory and financial services to fast growing small to medium enterprises. MPR Group is a member of the Proactive Accountants Network. You can follow Marc on Twitter @mpeskett


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