Businesses are being conducted in an ongoing difficult environment including:
- High inflation
- High cost of living
- High interest rates
- Business failures increasing
- Supply chain difficulties – The wars in Ukraine and Israel and the threat to shipping in the Red Sea.
- Difficulty in finding suitable staff
- All of these matters increase the complexity of operating a business. If you wish to discuss matters of concern please do not hesitate to contact us.
There is certainly plenty of challenges confronting Directors, Business Owners and Managers at the beginning of 2024:
You might have been undertaking some Research and Development activities and only recently discovered that, if you wish to claim the taxation benefit, you need to be undertaking the Research and Development activities through a company.
Many businesses are combating some of the challenges by establishing a Board of Advice, so that the Owner/Director can receive advice from some experienced business operators.
Funding for your business might be difficult to arrange because of security requirements for loans – have you considered capital raising direct from the public via Early Stage Innovation Company, Crowd Sourced Funding Equity Raising, or Section 708 of the Corporations Act.
To navigate the challenges, businesses/companies need key documents prepared internally or by external advisers. This will assist in monitoring the business’ performance and having documentation available to assist in discussions with lenders and potential investors including:
- Business Plan
- Business valuation
- Predictive Accounting Reports incorporating Budgets – Cash Flow Forecast – Projected Balance Sheets.
- Corporate Chart
Some of the questions to consider as you plan how to navigate 2024 include:
- How is your business going?
- Are you happy with the profit?
- Are you happy with cash flow? If not, what is contributing to your cash flow problems – debtors – inventory – loan repayments?
- Are you happy with your current position – is it where you wanted to be?
- Have you thought about what you would like your business to look like at the end of this year or even 2027?
- Are you “dispensable”? (Have you ever had four-weeks leave since you started your business?)
- Do you have a Business Plan? Is it realistic?
- Do you have Budgets, Cash Flow Forecasts and Projected Balance Sheets that will help you plan your activities this year and the following years?
- Do you want to undertake “research and development” projects but don’t understand the system that is required to claim the income tax rebate?
- Are you operating your business in one of the “priority areas” established by the National Reconstruction Fund that applies to the “Industry Growth Program” that we discussed in the December 2023 edition of Business Plus?
- Are you undertaking work on an innovative product, process or service that could make your company or trust eligible for this new grant (if you are operating via a Trust you must have a corporate trustee to be eligible for this grant)?
- Are you wanting to expand your business – how much is it going to cost?
- Do you need “extra funding in your business” – where will you get these funds from?
- Are you curious about how some of your competitors are able to raise capital from the public but you don’t know much about the capital raising opportunities for SME companies?
Companies with turnovers under $20 million who operate in the “priority areas” nominated by the National Reconstruction fund (NRF) are now able to submit an application for support under the Industry Growth Program.
Companies with an innovative product, process or service that is new, unique or significantly different to any other previous product, process or service in the market; or industry where the product is intended to be sold/traded or involve significant enhancements; or developments of current products, processes or services, that will enable the business to scale and transform and add value in:
- Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
- Medical science
- Defence capability
- Enabling capabilities
Firstly, a company has to apply for admission to the Industry Growth Program Advisory Service. The Advisor appointed by the government will review the company’s position and advise whether support will be given to a grant application.
As part of the preparation for these discussions, a company will need to have developed strategies related to the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve from the commercialisation of your product or service?
- What is the projected growth?
- How would grant funding benefit your business?
- Your capability and capacity to implement advice?
The Early-Stage Commercialisation Project has funding available of up to $250,000 to assist in undertaking the initial phase of the commercialisation journey.
The Commercialisation and Growth Projects has funding from $100,000 - $5 million to scale up the business operations.
Companies will benefit from having undertaken a review of the company’s current position relative to the innovative processes, to clearly identify commercial objectives and how those objectives might be achieved prior to submitting an application for this grant and having a meeting with an Advisor.
‘Young company’ seeking funding?
There are over 3 million SOPHISTICATED INVESTORS in Australia.
Special taxation benefits are available for SOPHISTICATED INVESTORS who invest in an ‘EARLY-STAGE INNOVATION COMPANY’.
Want to know more? Please click here to receive our free paper – Tax Incentives for Early Stage Investors..