Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) Strategies: EMDG Consultant

Last Modified: May 4, 2024

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Many Australian businesses are unaware of the government funds and grants in place to assist them to break into the international market or continue trade with international companies. One of these initiatives bought to the Australian business community is Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG).

With all the recent changes to the EMDG in Australia it is harder than ever for EMDG Consultants to ensure their clients are adequately prepared. We have updated this article with new and improved information for 2023.

Many Australian businesses are unaware of the government funds and grants in place to assist them to break into the international market or continue trade with international companies. One of these initiatives bought to the Australian business community is Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG). 

The EMDG is a national Australian Government program available to help and support Australian businesses grow business exports through promotion to overseas markets.  In a nutshell it is a cash rebate scheme administered by Australia available for developing market for your business overseas (in any country except New Zealand). It entitles businesses to a 50% reimbursement of expenses meeting certain criteria across three tiers.

Previously the EMDG operated as a reimbursement model based on eligible expenditure incurred once that financial year had ended. However the program is now a tier-based grant model where funds are paid in advance in milestone payments based on approved expenditure budgets.

There are numerous strategies and EMDG consultants that can help you gain access to EMDG too.

Who is eligible?

  • Businesses that are an individual, partnership, company, body corporate or trust
  • Businesses with a turnover of less than $20 million in the last financial year
  • Businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Businesses who own the Intellectual Property (IP) or have the rights to sell the product/service
  • Businesses who have not received over $770,000 of EMDG over eight years
  • Businesses that have promoted their product or service for export in an international market
  • Businesses who have sold their product or service to an international consumer or company
  • Businesses who are promoting the following for export: goods, services, inbound tourism, intellectual property, software, conferences and events held in Australia

What do I get?

  • A 50% reimbursement of eligible expenses meeting certain criteria, with up to $150,000 available per year.
  • The grant amount you can claim depends on what tier you are in, which is based on the different stages of a business export journey:
  • Tier 1: Maximum of $40,000 per year over 2 years. For businesses who are new to exporting and are ready to export, but have not previously exported.
  • Tier 2: Maximum of $80,000 per year over 3 years. For exporters who are already exporting and plan to expand their presence in their current markets.
  • Tier 3: Maximum of $150,000 per year over 3 years. For exporters who are planning to make a strategic shift in their exporting business which includes entering a new territory, marketing a new product or targeting a new audience or demographic.
  • The total grant amounts will be subject to available funds and overall demand by other applicants.

What can I claim?

  • Maintaining overseas representatives
  • Marketing and Business Consultants and Agencies
  • Domestic trips (including food, accomodation and transport)
  • International trips (including food, accomodation and transport)
  • Communications and promotional material
  • Advertising expenses eg: Social media advertising expenses in an overseas market
  • Free samples eg: costs incurred to send free samples overseas
  • Exhibitions at trade fairs, conferences, and seminars
  • Promotional Literature, Communications & Advertising
  • Foreign buyer visits to Australia (including airfares, food, accommodation, transport for a prospective foreign buyer visiting Australia)
  • Patents, trademarks and intellectual property registrations in foreign countries
  • Training activities for export readiness eg: training of staff to better market good/services in foreign countries

I have prepared many of these claims in the past 15 years and one thing I have noticed is that SMEs do not use these funds to their advantage. Having a well thought out and clear strategic plan for your marketing endeavours based around EMDG is a very clever way of claiming the maximum funds allowed and giving the best competitive advantage to your company. 

We also recommend getting in contact with a EMDG consultant to assist you and ensure you are getting the most out of your claim. They will manage the whole process for you from start to finish, will complete your application in a quickly and timely manner and will maximise your claim by fully reviewing your expenses and determining what is and isn’t eligible.  Often the net value of an EMDG claim will be substantially higher when completed by an EMDG Consultant compared to self-prepared claims.

Strategy Hints

  • Sit down one month before the end of the financial year (or whenever you usually do your budget for the year ahead) and whilst preparing the budget – put in place a clear and detailed marketing strategy.
  • Estimate all of your international sales (must be eligible for the grant) for the year
  • Work out what your estimated marketing budget will be for the year
  • In the first two years you can then claim 50% of eligible expenses
  • Review the marketing strategy and budget and look at all of the ways you could maximise marketing efforts towards international markets, whilst still being relevant to the Australian market
  • Focus on the key areas listed in ‘What can I claim?’ for specific areas to target marketing efforts

These are just a few small things to consider before you go into the financial year, as often those preparing an EMDG will review after the fact. There are many ways of maximising your business profits and the funding available to you. If you have any questions please call us or leave a comment below.

More About Soto Group

We are an Australian branding, marketing, and website design agency based in Mount Lawley, WA. We service clients all over the globe and help them navigate the often tricky website design landscape. Our ethos is to build relationships based on trust that leads to design projects and outcomes that are goal-specific and help our clients’ businesses grow and thrive.

If you are looking for more advice on getting the right website for you or finding out more about our services and how we help businesses excel, reach out to our friendly team for a no-obligation chat

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