EM-what? That would be EMDG, short for Export Management Development Grant.
Never heard of it? Well, guess what? It also happens to be one of Australia’s most popular and lucrative government grants, especially if you’re considering taking your company global.
Basically, the EMDG is meant to aid SME businesses during their overseas market exploration phase. This grant reimburses up to 50% of expenses incurred in promoting an Australian company’s goods and services to the overseas market.
If you’re actively involved in the export industry and have annual revenues of less than AU$50 million, you can apply for this grant. Since the maximum rebate per application is at AU$150,000 and can be claimed up to eight times throughout a company’s lifetime, it’s certainly worth considering.
Intrigued, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some useful tips for maximising your chances of getting an EMDG:
1.) Run your numbers thoroughly.
While the EMDG can be a great help, applying for it will take time, money, and effort. You need to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis to see if it will be worth it.
First, draw up your profit and loss statement. Analyse the expenses you’ve accumulated during the eligibility period to see which ones you can apply the proceeds from the grant to. Here are some examples of some expenses that can be claimed as such:
- Overseas sales representatives
- Marketing consultants
- Overseas marketing visits
- Promotional literature
- IP protection
- Trade shows and seminars
- In-store promotions and free samples
- Overseas buyer visits
Do note that you can claim a minimum amount of AU$15,000, and that the first AU$5,000 is automatically deducted from your expenses.
If these amounts make sense for your current cash flow, then by all means, go ahead with the application.
2.) Consider combining two years’ worth of eligible expenses.
First-time EMDG applicants can combine two years of expenses to maximise their eligibility. Since the rebate for each application is capped at AU$150,000, that translates to a maximum of AU$300,000 in eligible expenses.
So, if you’re still planning to run export activities for the following year’s eligible period and anticipate that the expenses incurred will stay within the AU$300,000 umbrella, you can simply submit your application the following year.
But if your export-related expenses are closely approaching the same threshold, best apply this year instead.
3.) Prepare the right documentation.
Before the AU government provides you with a grant, you need to substantiate your claims first. Austrade is the governing body in charge of administering the EMDG. They also happen to be notoriously thorough in vetting all applicants, especially the first-time ones.
Some of the supporting documents you would need to submit include travel diaries, detailed invoices and bank/credit card statements, and boarding passes/frequent flyer statements. If you don’t have these, don’t even bother applying.
But if you do and just need time to collate them, you can submit an application right away. Just work on gathering your documentary evidence right after. Anyway, late submissions get audited between three to five months after they’re lodged. This gives you more than enough time to put together all the necessary paperwork.
It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? All that research and filling up so many forms, not to mention gathering and collating the necessary documents.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. You can actually outsource the lion’s share of the effort. From the cost-benefit analysis to writing the application entry, there’s a remote talent out there who can do that for you – quite capably and at a very reasonable rate too.
Remote Staff has had more than ten years of experience in recruiting and onboarding the best Filipino talent in the remote industry. They have assisted countless AU entrepreneurs and business owners in taking their companies to new heights through a variety of roles. So, whatever assistance you might need with applying for an EMDG (or anything else for that matter), you can bet that we’ll have the right person lined up just for you.