Top 7 Grants for Startups and Small Businesses in Australia

  • Reading time:8 mins read

There are  over 500  government grants and funding for new and existing businesses in Australia. Plenty of these grants are available to startups and small businesses. These grants are typically allocated based on eligibility factors such as industry, business type, annual turnover, equity and more.

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 are uncertain about 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

Being among Australia’s widely sought-after government grants for small businesses and startups, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme aims to foster innovation and competitiveness by providing funding and various support initiatives. It includes access to a network of private-sector advisors and facilitators to aid startups and SMEs in bringing their products and services to the market. This program offers up to $1 million of funding through various schemes.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, your company must be engaged in the following sectors. :

  • Food and Agriculture
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical Technology
  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Advanced Manufacturing 
  • Tourism Industry in Northern Territory

2. Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive

The objective of the R&D Tax Incentive is to support eligible companies in the science and technology domain to develop innovative products and processes. Instead of cash grants, the R&D Tax Incentive offers tax relief. Qualified startups and SMEs may request a refundable tax offset for the expenses related to their eligible R&D projects. The program grants a 43.5% tax offset, paid as a cash rebate for eligible companies.

Eligibility Requirements

For eligibility, your company should have an annual revenue below $20 million and engage in qualifying R&D activities.

3. Landing Pads

In contrast to typical grants, Austrade’s Landing Pads program provides distinctive support to eligible startups, specifically tailored for startups prepared to expand their business on a global scale.  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.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, your startup must be market-ready with an established product and customer acquisition strategy.

Related Read: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Inflows in Australia

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).

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, you need to show that you possess a valid Australian business entity with a total annual turnover of less than $20 million for the past three 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. Perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs establishing a business in Australia, this grant offers support with the following aspects: :

  • Researching new ideas with commercial potential
  • Developing a novel or improved product or process
  • Testing a novel product or material

Qualified companies can secure funding ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, which they can utilise for salaries, travel, accommodation, overhead costs, contractor expenses and more.  incurred for the project.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • 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 well-suited for startups and SMEs aiming to market their products or services internationally.  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.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, you must be the owner of the products or services intended for export (not an agent selling on behalf of others) and have an annual total income  of less than $50 million.

7. Innovation Connections

Presented as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the Innovation Connections grant seeks to connect startups and SMEs with an independent facilitator who will provide expert guidance in pinpointing operational gaps  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 provides up to a 50% reimbursement for research placements’ costs, ranging between $30,000 and $50,000.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, you need to possess a legitimate business operating in one or more growth sectors in Australia, with an annual turnover ranging from $1 million to $100 million. To be eligible for the grant stage, your facilitator must provide you with a recommendation to apply for the said grant. 

Related Read: Subsidiary (Pty Ltd.) vs. Branch Office: Which Business Entity Should You Set Up in Australia?

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 ensure a successful application, you can reach out to our team of grant experts for assistance.

Obtain Government Grants!

About the Author

Incorp Logo

InCorp Content Team

InCorp’s content team includes talented copywriters from our regional group and globally. We contribute informative, thought leadership, and market-trending articles to guide business owners across Australia and beyond.