Budget 2017-2018: What start-ups need to know

Budget 2017-2018 Start-ups

When the government budget is released, there is always one constant: anxiety and confusion. Amid the deciphering of the ‘millions and billions’ of new complexly named government initiatives, most households and businesses end up asking the same two questions:

What does any of this mean, and how does this affect me?

 As an innovator, start-up or entrepreneur, here is what you need to know about the $29.4 billion budget deficit for 2017-18:


The R&D Tax Incentive, which focuses on encouraging startups and established businesses to invest in new innovations, has largely remained the same with the following characteristics:

  • 43.5% refundable tax offset of eligible entities with an aggregate turnover of up to $20 million per annum
  • 38.5% non-refundable tax offset to other eligible entities, with unused offsets being able to be carried forward to future fiscal years
  • $100 million threshold of R&D expenditure



Importantly, new funding has also been dedicated to growing the booming technology startup space, with $100 million being allocated to create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The new fund aims to stimulate the manufacturing sector to embrace new technologies, boost innovation and employment in a transitioning economy, as well as investing in emerging engineers and scientists.



The Export Market Development Grant provides substantial support to small and medium sized businesses, reimbursing up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses relating to overseas representatives, marketing consultants, marketing visits, free samples, Intellectual Property registration, trade fairs and seminars and promotional literature and advertising. Austrade will continue to administer the Grant, with eligibility requirements remaining the same for 2017-18, including:

  • Up to $50 million of income in the grant year.
  • A minimum of $15,000 of eligible expenses (first year applicants can combine the previous two years of expenses for the claim)

The commitment of the government to EMDG is evident, with $137.9 million being dedicated to the success of the initiative.



The new budget will introduce new financial services regulations, particularly affecting the banking sector, with the aim of motivating the Fin-tech industry to produce new and innovative products and services. These regulations will enable businesses to test their innovations in the market within a license, provide holistic financial advice, issue large amounts of consumer credit, and reduce the number of Australians taking their skills offshore.

Moreover, in line with the introduction of these new financial services regulations, the government have also reduced red-tape involved in capital raising for startups. The new budget has included legislation to open Crowd-Sourced Equity Funding (CSEF) to proprietary companies, providing new funding avenues for startups that face difficulty raising capital from traditional sources.

Ultimately, 2017-18 is set to be an exciting year for startups looking to undertake new ventures and seek to achieve the new innovations that could take their business to the next level. Given the cash deficiencies that are often experienced by startups, this could be the best year to take advantage of the R&D Tax Incentive, Export Market Development Grant and the new regulatory environment for the financial services industry to increase the cash within your business and seek to grow from Start-Up to Success.