Understanding Government Support Programs in Australia

The Australian Government and state and territory governments provide support to assist investors set up and run a business in Australia. The form of assistance available will vary by location, industry, and the nature of the business activity.

Further information on assistance available to businesses through grants, finding and training employees, R&D tax incentives, major project facilitation, and for exporting is provided below.

Austrade assistance for investors

Austrade provides coordinated government assistance to attract and facilitate productive foreign direct investment (FDI) into Australia. We are the first national point-of-contact for all investment enquiries. Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, we provide investors with the information needed to establish or expand a business in Australia.

For more information on our services, see Austrade Investment Assistance or Contact an Austrade investment specialist.

Australian state and territory government assistance

Information on individual state and territory government assistance programs available to businesses and investors.

Australian state and territory government assistance

Find grants and assistance

The Australian and state and territory governments provide selected grants to businesses. Grants are available for setting up a business, expanding a business, or for specific activities such as research.

The online Grant and Assistance Finder tool allows a business to search for government grants and assistance that they may be eligible for.

The tool is available at business.gov.au: Grant and Assistance Finder.

Assistance finding and developing staff in Australia

Australia has a skilled and flexible workforce, supported by government programs to increase employment and workplace learning. The Australian Government also provides assistance to eligible businesses to up-skill existing staff, build the business, and improve productivity.

The Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) offers incentives, financial assistance and services to help businesses find and train skilled staff. The type and degree of assistance will vary by business and the diversity of your workforce.

For further information on programs to assist finding and developing staff, see DEEWR’s Support for Employers.

The Australian Government supports employers and individuals in finding the right training programs for skills development through a registry of around 5,000 registered training organisations and 4,900 nationally recognised qualifications and accredited courses. For more information see the Australian government's skills portal My Skills Australia

Australian R&D tax incentive

The Australian Government provides incentives for companies engaging in research and development (R&D) in Australia. The R&D tax incentive provides eligible companies with a tax offset for expenditure on eligible R&D activities undertaken during the year. R&D activities conducted overseas are eligible under certain circumstances.

The program is jointly administered by AusIndustry (an Australian Government agency) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Businesses must register R&D activities each year with AusIndustry prior to making a claim toward the tax offset with the ATO.

Australian Government Major Project Facilitation Program

The Australian Government seeks to encourage private sector investment in productive and sustainable enterprises.

The Major Project Facilitation (MPF) program aims to provide assistance with government approvals processes and to identify existing government assistance programs for proponents of strategically significant major projects. It also aims to coordinate Australian and state and territory government processes so that, where feasible, they occur simultaneously and without duplication. It offers project proponents:

  • An initial and ongoing contact point in the Australian Government;
  • Tailored facilitation services to address the nature and complexity of the project and improve the familiarity with Australian Government and business environment;
  • Facilitation of relationships between the proponent and key Australian and state and territory government agencies involved in approvals processes;
  • Referrals, guidance, and contacts within relevant Australian Government agencies regarding various assistance programs;
  • Identification of capable and competitive Australian suppliers through established networks; and
  • The ability to respond to specific impediments or policy issues raised during the approvals process or during the project’s development, and forwarding the issues to the relevant policy areas within the Australian Government more broadly.

For further information, see Major Project Facilitation: Overview.

Australian Government Tourism Major Project Facilitation (TMPF) Service

Tourism investment is a key priority under the Australian Government’s Tourism 2020 strategy. Working closely with Austrade, Tourism Australia and State and Territory Governments, the TMPF service provides proponents with a central contact person in the Australian Government to help guide proponents through both Australian and State or Territory government approvals processes. The TMPF service will work in cooperation with Australian, State and Territory Government agencies to progress approvals in a streamlined and efficient manner.

Assistance exporting from Australia

Information on assistance available to exporters, including grants, financing and other support.

Assistance exporting from Australia

Seek advice

Please note: This guide is intended to assist you in finding the relevant information and to give you a starting point for discussion with advisers. This guide does not eliminate the need for professional advice. It is strongly recommended that you use professional advisers to advise you on legal, compliance and tax matters.

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