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StartupAUS says the new tax incentives are “arguably the most generous start-up investor scheme in the world”


StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, recently welcomed the Federal Government’s early-stage investor tax incentives introduced to Parliament in mid March, saying the measures were arguably the most generous start-up investor scheme in the world.

StartupAUS has long been an advocate for the measures, which include up front tax incentives and CGT exemptions for early-stage investors.

The incentives are aimed at encouraging further investment in early-stage startup ventures and are expected to have an immediate, positive impact.

What does this mean for Australian start-ups?

CEO of StartupAUS, Alex McCauley, said: “This is a huge win for start-ups in Australia. We’ve been working towards this for a long time, based on the needs of startups around the country to access early stage capital – and now we have one of the most generous tax incentives in the world.

“The new tax incentives will allow innovative, high-growth Australian companies to grow and scale locally and the flow­-on effects of this will be substantial. This incentive does it all – up front income tax offsets will encourage investment, and CGT exemption will keep investors motivated to help entrepreneurs succeed.

“The UK has had a similar scheme for some years, and it has been a huge success. This has been our number one priority for some time – it could be a real game changer for Australia’s start-up sector.

“The increased funding flowing from these incentives will attract more entrepreneurial talent, both local and international. Faster growing companies will lead to speedy, large­ scale job creation and economic growth.

“We will also likely see an increase and diversification in seed investment, ultimately leading to a more experienced, sophisticated pool of Australian angel investors, which will in turn lead to a proliferation of experienced mentors for start-ups.”

StartupAUS has been a key driver in the development of early-stage investor tax incentives. A scheme such as this was listed as an action item in StartupAUS’s April 2015 Crossroads report.

StartupAUS board of directors presented their recommendations to The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, in a special board meeting in Adelaide on Friday 9 October. At the top of the list was a tax incentive for early stage startup investors. Since then the organisation has been working closely to help government implement the measures.