An equity crowdfunding framework and tax cuts on budget wishlist for Aussie startups

Startups are eagerly awaiting the Abbott government’s second budget after Small Business Minister Bruce Billson announced it would contain the “most substantial small business package this country has seen”.


The federal budget, to be handed down Tuesday evening, is tipped to make it cheaper and easier than before for entrepreneurs to start a new business.


The Abbott government has already revealed a number of policy areas that will be tackled in Tuesday’s budget in a bid to sell its vision and avoid the backlash that occurred last year.


These include:


  • A tax cut for smaller companies, with reports indicating it will be a 1.5% cut for businesses for their first $5 million in profit
  • A streamlined business registration process tipped to save new companies $13.7 million in compliance costs each year
  • Making it easier for businesses to raise equity via crowdfunding
  • Broadening the GST to apply to online services such as Netflix and downloadable goods such as music and software


The chief executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited, Yasser El-Ansary, said in a statement the federal budget should map out a clear strategy that encourages “greater capital investment across the business sector”.


“We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to pivot our economy towards a much greater focus on high technology and high innovation industries, which have the potential to catalyse significant new employment opportunities,” he says.


“In Australia we currently invest less than $5 per capita in early stage business. That compares with countries like the United States and Israel, which already invest well over $100 per capita in their high growth potential businesses. That difference tells us we have a lot of catching up to do – and not much time to do it.”


Yasser El-Ansary says venture capital firms would like to see government make changes to the Significant Investor Visa Program as well as the implementation of an “effective” equity crowdfunding regulatory framework.


“If we put in place the right policies that encourage greater domestic and offshore investment, we stand a good chance of seeing a major pickup in economic activity and new employment over the next few years,” he says.


“That’s precisely the reason why the federal budget is such an important ingredient in rebuilding consumer and business confidence in our future.”


StartupSmart will bring you a special newsletter tomorrow evening straight from the budget lockup in Canberra.


Do you know more on this story or have a tip of your own? Raising capital or launching a startup? Let us know. Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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