Startup Law

The Australian entrepreneur’s guide to government grants

Grants, even the small ones, can be an extremely valuable source of funding for startups and small businesses. But it can be difficult to track down those that apply to your business. Below you’ll find a handy guide to help make that process a little bit easier.


Accelerating Commercialisation Grant 

If you are developing new products or services, the Government could cover 50% of your project expenditure to a maximum of $1 million. To qualify, you must complete a ‘Commercialisation Guidance’ session provided by the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, have a relevant commercialisation strategy and intellectual property rights, and meet a turnover test. Successful applications are selected using a merit criteria that considers the company’s need for funding, market opportunity, value proposition, plan of execution, management capability and benefit to the Australian public. 

Business Growth Grant 

Funding for the improvement of business operations is also available, with a cap of $20,000. You must first have received an Entrepreneurs’ Programme Business Evaluation Report or Action Plan, Supplier Chain Facilitation, Growth Plan, or Tourism Partnership Plan, which can be obtained through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

The Research and Development Tax Incentive 

A tax offset of 45% is available for businesses with $20,000 in R&D deductions. Any less and the tax offset will only apply to expenses paid to a Research Service Provider or Co-operative Research Centre.

Global Innovation Linkages Programme 

If you have a global business partner and are working on a product in the field of advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, mining equipment, technology and services, or oil, gas and energy resources, then you could qualify for a $1 million grant. The business partner must be from Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.S or Vietnam, and your application will be assessed against a merits test. Applications close on 20 October 2016, but could re-open in the future.

Australian Technology Showcase 

Australian-based SMEs creating innovative technologies should consider presenting them at the Australian Technology Showcase. The showcase allows access to seminars, networks and the chance to be awarded an Export Support Grant of $20,000. 

For a complete list of government grants and assistance programs, see

Grants by State

New South Wales

a. Minimum Viable Product Program 

Technology SMEs based in NSW who are creating a minimum viable product could have 50% of it funded by a grant of up to $15,000. 

b. Small Business Grants NSW 

If your NSW-based business does not have to pay payroll taxes, then a payment of $2,000 is available for each new full-time position filled.

Search the general Australia-wide directory for more NSW grants.


a. Small Business Grants VIC 

Grants of up to $10,000 - $30,000 are available depending on you are seeking assistance with the start-up phase, business expansion, export entry, business support or support as a business owner from a marginalised group. Applications re-open on 1 July 2017. 

b. Future Industries Manufacturing Program 

Manufacturing companies based in Victoria could receive up to $500,000 to implement new manufacturing technologies and processes. Companies must be able to match $3 for every $1 granted. 

Search the VIC directory for all grants. 


a. Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund

Your Queensland based business can receive up to $250,000 of funding per project if you prove your idea will work, or if you need help finding a market or investor. 

b. Business Development Fund QLD

While not a grant, the fund invests in business predominantly based in Queensland. 

Try checking the QLD directory, refining your search on the right sidebar.

Western Australia

a. City of Perth Small Business Grants 

Grants of up to $2,000 are offered to small businesses located in the city that provide a significant economic benefit to the area. 

b. City of Perth Matched Funding Business Grants 

If your business is able to improve Perth, then you could qualify for up to $20,000. However, your business must be able to match the grant dollar for dollar, and the application system is currently closed.

Search the general Australia-wide directory for more WA grants.

South Australia

a. Business Transformation Voucher Program 

For the purposes of reviewing business processes, marketing and branding, creating business models, management mentoring and preparation for exporting, up to $50,000 is available. To be eligible you must own a South Australian manufacturing businesses that has been operating for more than 12 months. 

Search the SA directory for all grants.


For grants in Tasmania, there is an easy-to-use directory

a. Tasmania Jobs and Investment Fund

The fund was established to grow businesses and create jobs in Tasmania, granting a minimum of $50,000 for selected projects. 

Australian Capital Territory

a. Pilot SME Growth Program

ACT businesses that have been established for at least 2 years may be eligible for up to $5,000 in funding to improve the business operations after a specialist conducts a free business review. Your business must be able to match the grant dollar for dollar. 

See the ACT directory for all grants.

Northern Territory

a. Regional Economic Development Fund 

For businesses and not-for-profits in the Northern Territory as well as individuals who significantly economically benefit the Northern Territory, grants of up to $20,000 are available to cover 50% of the project as a one-off payment. 

b. Indigenous Business Development Program NT

Grants of $1,000 - $30,000 are available for residents of the Northern Territory whose businesses are at least 50% Indigenous owned.

Search the NT directory for all grants.