Starting a business can be an exciting and challenging journey for aspiring entrepreneurs. It takes courage, determination, and the right resources to turn your dream into reality. In New South Wales, there are several start up business grants available to help you get your business off the ground.
It all starts with an idea, but how do you turn your idea into reality? What support is there around to help you start your business? These are some of the questions that I hope to cover in this article. We will look at some of the support programs and small business start up grants in NSW that are available.
NSW Business Connect Program
One of the ground level grants for startups in NSW is the NSW Government’s Business Connect program. This program offers free advice and support to help you develop your business idea, create a business plan, and access funding and other resources. To apply for this grant, you’ll need to complete an online application form and provide information about your business, including your background and experience, the products or services you plan to offer, and your financial projections. You can find more information about NSW business connect here.
Whilst it is fantastic to gain what information you can obtain from public and general sources, specialised business advice is generally advised once you are ready to commence operations. A big part of this is to understand the best structure for your business. At Bishop Collins we are experts at structuring and business registration. We can help you in this journey along with assisting you with tax compliance software and processes.
MVP Ventures Program
The MVP Ventures Program in NSW is a government-funded program that is targeted to support and accelerate the growth of start up businesses in the state. This program offers a range of resources and services, including mentorship, access to funding, networking opportunities, and training workshops.
To apply for the program, start-ups must meet certain criteria, such as having a minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype, a clear business model, and a scalable product or service. The program is open to all start-ups in NSW, regardless of industry or sector.
The application process involves submitting an online application, which will be assessed by a panel of experts in entrepreneurship and business development. Successful applicants will then be invited to participate in the program and receive support and guidance from experienced mentors and advisors.
A MVP Ventures Program grant is a matched funding grant up to 50% of approved project costs, between $25,000 – $200,000. So this means that if you have an eligible expense that costs $100,000 then you only pay half of this cost and the government will match this with the $50,000 balance.
The MVP Ventures Program is designed to help start-ups overcome common challenges and achieve their full potential by providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed.
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive
Going back a step, before you have a minimum viable product, you may have an innovative idea that has never been proven and requires investment into testing and developing this idea into a proven concept. This grant or ‘tax incentive’ is designed to help businesses that are conducting research and development activities. If you’re eligible, you can receive a tax offset of 43.5% of your R&D expenditure, up to a maximum of $4 million per year. To be eligible for this, you’ll need to be an Australian resident, have an ABN, and be carrying on a business in Australia. You’ll also need to have a project that meets the definition of R&D and have spent over $20,000 on R&D activities.
To apply for the ATO R&D grant for innovation, you’ll need to complete an application form with AusIndustry and provide detailed information about your R&D project, including the costs you’ve incurred, the results you’ve achieved, and how your project meets the definition of R&D. You’ll also need to keep evidence of your R&D activities and expenditure, such as timesheets, invoices and receipts. Using an R&D consultant can assist you to legally maximise your claim and assist you with filling in your application.
At Bishop Collins we work with a host of R&D experts to help you through this journey in conjunction with your end of year lodgements and ATO compliance.
Expert Market Development Grant (EMDG)
The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is a program run by the Australian government to assist small and medium-sized businesses with the cost of promoting their products and services overseas.
To be eligible for the EMDG, businesses must have income of less than $50 million per annum, and have spent at least $15,000 on eligible export promotion activities in the financial year they are applying for. They must also have a product or service that is Australian-made, and have promoted it overseas.
The EMDG application process involves two stages:
Businesses must submit an online application and provide evidence of their eligibility. The assessment will determine whether they meet the program’s criteria.
If eligible, businesses can then apply for a grant by providing evidence of their eligible expenses. The grant will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, with a maximum grant of $150,000 per year.
Businesses must apply for the EMDG by November 30 of the financial year following the one in which they incurred the eligible expenses. For example, expenses incurred between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, must be applied for by November 30, 2024.
The EMDG is a useful program for Australian businesses looking to promote their products and services overseas. It provides financial assistance to cover eligible expenses, which can help businesses expand their international reach.
Where to Next?
There are a number of different grants available from time to time and it is not possible to cover them all in one article but the above are the major startup business grants in NSW that you should be aware of when looking to get started, particularly if you have an innovative new idea that needs to be developed or commercialised.
Starting up a business can be a minefield and it is important you receive professional advice and assistance to ensure you are structured correctly to properly receive available grants. For example most grants require a company structure in order to apply so before you get started take a look at one of our recent articles on How to Start a Company in Australia to see what’s involved in this first step.
Whatever stage your business is up to at Bishop Collins we are passionate about helping our clients achieve their version of success. Feel free to reach out if you would like professional assistance for your business.