The export market development grant (EMDG) is a fantastic system for Australian businesses. Consulting expenses, marketing visits, IP registration and even promotional literature can be covered by this grant, making it an essential tool for any organisation that’s expanding its reach to an overseas audience.

However, as with most great things, there is plenty of paperwork to process before the funding is granted. Today, we’ll take you through each of the documents you are likely to need for an EMDG application. Note that the exact paperwork may differ depending on the type of expenses you are claiming.

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Has your business prepared the right EMDG paperwork?


1) Application form

Let’s start with the simplest piece of paperwork – the application form. You can access this on the AusTrade website, but will need an AUSKey from the Australian Business Register (ABR) before you can begin. If this is your first time applying for the EMDG, make the ABR your first port of call to check those details.

You’ll also need your ABN, ACN (if applicable) and base-level details about your organisation for the financial year of the application.

2) Schedules

Schedules are necessary for overseas representation claims, marketing visits, free samples – essentially every overseas expense for which you weren’t paid from a third party. Schedules will outline activities that incurred the expense you’re claiming for, providing a basis to prove that the expenses were done in the name of developing a new export market for your business.

This means receipts, invoices, details of representatives or samples claimed, exact dates and times of travel, and proof of travel and meetings – at the very least. Leave no stone unturned in keeping a paper trail to illustrate the kind of work being done overseas.


Marketing schedules are a crucial element of certain applications.


3) Submissions for goods not made in Australia

This can be a complex submission. AusTrade has to determine if goods made elsewhere will have a significant net benefit for our country, which requires a special submission of supporting documents.

Benefits to Australia can be varied – economic, employment-related or an alternate kind of value-adding. However, you must make sure you have enough proof of this to get the application accepted. In AusTrade’s own words, “submissions which lack substance are unlikely to be successful”.

4) Profit and loss statements

A crucial element of the EMDG application is determining your income – if it’s in excess of $50 million, you are likely to ineligible. Provide any and all documentation around your business’ structure, background and turnover. This means profit and loss statements, as well as balance sheets for the applicable financial year (and any in which you were previously approved for a grant).

Note that directors with serious criminal charges or prior insolvency proceedings may not have their application approved.

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5) Audit documents

If you choose the Australian Net Benefit Requirement under the EMDG, AusTrade will require a large amount of supporting documentation, much of it processed by a registered company auditor. This includes:

  • A comprehensive business plan (including international strategies).
  • Audited statements of income (received and receivable).
  • Audited balance sheets from the previous two financial years.
  • Opinions of your business’s export potential.
  • Statements on the economic benefits of your product or service.

Don’t avert your eyes yet – there can be more

We know that’s a pile of paperwork big enough to make your eyes water. However, some applications will require even more. There’s so much to prove, and many applications are knocked back just because they didn’t file the right document, or omitted a detail they thought was irrelevant.

We can tell you – every detail matters. To make sure your application has all the bells and whistles, get in touch with the team at Techwitty.

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