Moving into exports is a huge step for any business. So big, in fact, that many believe it’s simply beyond their financial capacity.

That’s not the case.

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG), facilitated by AusTrade, has given businesses the country over the funding they need to facilitate and promote new export routes, fostering higher levels of trade and opening up their customer base more than ever before.

What do businesses need before they can secure the EMDG?

In terms of industry, the EMDG is almost universally applicable – recent success stories include everything from construction materials manufacturing to a start-up creating hot sauce. But beyond this, what do you need to secure this small business grant?

How to Claim an Export Market Development Grant
Sell products to residents outside Australia

It’s in the name and is a crucial part of AusTrade’s checklist; applicants for the EDMG must be promoting their goods or services to residents outside Australia to qualify for the grant. In most cases, the operator must be the principal (as opposed to the agent) in the process.

There are exceptions here, notably for manufacturers and AusTrade-approved parties.


Annual turnover below $50m

In the majority of cases, applicants for the EMDG must have had total annual income of under $50 million in the most recent financial year. There are some exceptions for Approved Bodies and Approved Joint Ventures.


Products from (or for) Australia

AusTrade’s checklist requires applicants to have a product or service that is made in Australia, or brings a tangible benefit to our country. This could include:

  • Products made outside Australia that will create a net benefit for Australia with its sale.
  • Events (not necessarily tourism-related) held in Australia.
  • Intellectual property or copyright that was largely borne in Australia.

Essentially – if your work was created in (or benefits) Australia, you may qualify for the EDMG.


Existing expenditure on exports promotions

If it is your first time looking at the EMDG, your business must have spent at least $15,000 on promotional material for your exports in each of the last two financial years. This can include: representatives or consultants abroad; registering for trademarks or patents; samples, seminars and promotions; advertising; and buyers visiting Australia.

For applicants seeking their second EMDG, this level of expenditure is only required in the most recent financial year.

Targeting overseas markets? If you meet the criteria, the EMDG might apply.


All claimed expenses are for promotion

The EMDG works by reimbursing businesses 50 per cent of their promotions expenditure (once it goes over $5,000), as long as total spending is at least $15,000. Businesses must make sure they have the paperwork to clarify exactly how much is spent on promotion – any other expenses cannot be covered by the EMDG. Examples of expenses that will not qualify a business for the EMDG are:

  • Costs accumulated by a real business entity.
  • Costs associated with product development, seeking investment, after-sales work or distribution.
  • Costs from a third party
  • Commissions, pre-payments or discounts
  • Payment of taxes or levies (apart from Departure Tax)
  • Cash payments of more than $10,000
  • Costs relating to X-rated material, illegal activity
  • Costs from when the operator was not an Australian resident

There are also restrictions on costs when working with specific countries – AusTrade identifies New Zealand, Iran and North Korea as three which are exempt from EMDG qualification.


Your business has not received the EMDG more than twice

Unless otherwise approved by AusTrade, businesses that have received two EMDGs (or are part of a larger company/acquire a business that satisfies this requirement) cannot apply for the grant.

There are many, many checks and balances to securing an EMDG – it’s easy for businesses to feel they qualify, only to trip up with some unfinished paperwork or poorly thought out expenses. That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to work with people who have been through the system before, understand exactly how to qualify for funding and will get you over the line.

When you’re ready, it’s time to talk to Techwitty.

Assess Your Eligibility Now