WELCOME TO ESIC DIRECTORY

About our directory

ESIC Directory is an advisory, assessment and listing service for Australian start-ups, angel investors, advisers, R&D partners, universities and accelerators. Learn about what it takes to be considered an early stage innovation company, the tax concessions available, thresholds and enjoy the apple resources available. Search for vetted ESIC companies, eligible accelerator/grant/university and other programs as well as checklists, databases and more. Complete our online company and investor pre-assessments, ask for help, join our mailing list or find an adviser. Just quietly its a great place to connect.

Early Stage Investor

Making Innovation More Investable

Eligible companies can offer a 20% tax offset

Capital Growth  -  Tax Free

Eligible Investor Caps and Conditions Apply

 

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Early Stage Company

Investor Tax Incentives are here

Eligible companies can offer a 20% tax offset

Capital Gains Tax Exemption

Free Startup Assessment and ESIC status tracking/listing

 

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Determine Your Eligibility 


If you are an early stage Australian company that is considering a fundraising ESIC status is important. All other things considered ESICs are more attractive to investors so you owe it to your self to find out more. We find the easiest way to do this is to take our free online pre-assessment. It may determine if you are already an ESIC or alternatively help you to determine any extra steps required to confirm your status as an ESIC.

Innovative Investments


ESICs who are assessed on the principal basis must be competitive, scalable, high potential, companies addressing more than the local market, by definition.*
It's no wonder they are rare and difficult to track, until now.
Access our database of pre-assessed ESIC's and find your candidate, learn more about the tax incentives and network with the wider innovation community. 

Australia's First ESIC Database

SEARCH FOR EARLY STAGE INNOVATION COMPANIES

To help early stage companies progress through the complexities of ESIC eligibility and keep would-be investors informed, we offer a facility to track and update you via our directory, allowing status updates isn't without risk as ESIC only ever ultimately determined by the ATO, however its our way to help go from ESIC curious to ESIC for those who can meet the criteria with ease.

ESIC status is temporary and time dependent so users must be mindful of assessment dates. Our assessment is not a substitute for professional sign-off (unless that is indicated by an attached ATO ruling) and each ESIC investor agrees to taken personalized tax advice and not rely upon our free service. Happy Searching!

Augment Your Ambition

​Are you an ambitious investor keen to maximize the new tax incentives in search for promising and innovative companies?


Investors in ESICs can receive a non-refundable carry-forward tax offset of 20% of the value of the investment as well as a CGT exemption on capital gains provided the shares in an eligible ESICs have been held between 1 and 10 years.


To qualify, both the ESIC and the Investor must be eligible.

 

Why not check your  eligibility via our free online assessment tool to help ensure any potential gains can access the 20% rebate and disregard capital gains on the ESIC share sale.

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An introduction to the ESIC concessions with RSM's R&D Tax Director Stephen Carroll.
Stephen explains the innovation investment tax incentive for Australian businesses and give some examples of early stage innovation businesses who would benefit from the incentive.
You can contact Stephen via;
E: stephen.carroll@rsm.com.au
T: +61 8 9261 9100




ELIGIBILITY BASICS

Companies must meet the 'Early stage test' and either the '100 Point Test' or the Principles-based innovation test.

Starting up a business is a major undertaking, so its easy to assume that you are breaking new ground and destined to be eligible under these concessions, when in fact the measures do not allow for many early stage companies. 
To help make that process clearer we've developed online pre-assessments and put a lot of work into FAQ and other guides.

As the ESIC concessions are still relatively new, companies and investors may still be left pondering, am I in principal an eligible early stage company or investor?  If that's you, please read on and do not hesitate to lodge an enquiry.

Please keep in mind that these are targeted measures that will be subject of detailed review by the Australian Tax Office. The onus is upon the investor to prove that they were a qualifying investor and that the company allotting (issuing) the shares was an eligible early stage innovation company (ESIC) at the test time. 

Within the attached pages, you will find substantial references, listings and commentary regarding the requirements. Please do not hesitate to utilize them, contact us directly, or complete one or both of the online pre-assessments. We look-forward to listing your company (be that an investment or as your own early stage venture).

Rewarding Innovation

To make sure the incentives only apply to innovative activities, the eligibility criteria includes a second limb determines that the company is involved in innovation.
The company can 'self‑assessed' against either a principles-based or objective test, or by receiving a determination from the Australian Tax Office.
Though its investors who will set the standard required, which at least in the early days would suggest that objective (points based) qualification will be prized.
As such we've taken the next step to assist your company by finding and securing 100 or more points through the 8 gateways provided.


To pass the objective test a company must secure 100 points from a range criteria including; the tax return research and development ratio (prior year), award of an 'Accelerating Commercialization Grant', completion or undertaking an eligible accelerator program, receipt of share investment from 3rd parties of $50,000 or more, registration of an innovation or standard patent or plant breeders right or licensing the same, co-development / commercialization of an innovation with a listed higher education provider or research and development partner  

The Early Stage Test - Key Pointers

Are you an eligible early stage company?

- Less than 3 tax years since your incorporation

- Registered on the ABR within the last 3 tax years

- Less than $200,000 Taxable Income

- Less than $1,000,000 Total Expenses (last tax year)*

- Over 3 and under 6 tax years since incorporation (a 3 year expense test applies)

Principals based innovation

To meet the principals based innovation test:

• Focused on developing a new or significantly improved innovations for commercialisation

• That innovation must have a high growth potential

• The potential to be able to successfully scale up that business

• The potential to be able to address a broader than local market

• The potential to be able to have competitive advantages for that business

Innovation Points Test

Do you command 100 points or more from the objective innovation test?

- 25 to 75 points are awarded in 8 pre-defined categories

- Independent evidence, Tax records and or Registration documents are needed

- Preliminary / unregistered / unsigned documentation is insuffient

- Both Government and Non-government entities award points

Points categories include:

- ATO R&D tax expenditure.

- Eligible Accelerator programs.

- Patent.

- Breeder's right or design rights.

- $50,000 independent investment

- Co-development with eligible Universitities, and

- Grant recipient under the Entreprenur's programme.

Enough Innovation?

Having a great little business may not be sufficient to establish your company as an ESIC worthy of generous taxation concessions.

The following pages help to expand on the innovation pathways, milestones and alternatives for ESIC qualification. You may seek to qualify independently or seek recognition via government or eligible venture partnering.  

We have broken this down into 3 parts, an introduction to the pathway, key requirements and options for assistance.  You can use the menu navigation to jump from or to any section of interest, and or reference any of the extended resources and networks available.

 

R&D INNOVATION PARTNERS

Commercialise 

A company will be awarded 25 points if it has a written agreement to co-develop and commercialize an innovation with an entity registered under s29 of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986

TIP:    

 We list qualified R&D agents

Taxation 

A company will earn 50 points towards the 100 point innovation test where its current year research and development (R&D) spend is greater than 15% and less than 50% when compared to total expenditure

TIP:

See your accountant re the R&D rebate

Consultant

A company will earn 75 points towards the 100 point innovation test where its current year research and development (R&D) spend is 50% or more when compared to total expenditure.

TIP:

  Consider this tax years tax expenses

The ESIC concessions have been designed with tax in mind, so it should be no surprise that the ATO will use the company tax return to verify your innovation claims.

Existing R&D tax concessions are in them selves attractive, however they do require detailed records and typically the assistance of a trained taxation professional.

Your typical tax agent may not have the right option to progress the claims so feel free to search our database for an expert to help maximize your tax refund, and ESIC points at the same time.

 

Add Tax Agent

GRANT RECIPIENTS

Companies that have received funding support under the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme at any time are entitled to 75 points towards the 100 point innovation test.


If the company has received an Accelerating Commercialization Grant under the Accelerating Commercialization element of the Commonwealth’s Entrepreneur’s programme it has also been awarded with 75 points towards ESIC status.

We offer a quick reference search and endeavor to maintain an update listing, however due to integration issues we cannot guarantee its completeness, so please feel free to notify us if your listing is absent.

If you have read up on the 100 point innovation test, you will note that graduates of eligible accelerator programs are awarded 50 points.

 Graduates and Find out if you are already halfway though the innovation gateway by reviewing the eligible programs.


These projects are supported by funding from the Australian Government under its Entrepreneurs’ Programme

Accelerators

What's an eligibile accelerator?

Australia already enjoys a reputation as one of the best places in the world to innovate, and our accelerators are no exception. So why the short list of eligible programs?

Well, we think its a long list, as the ATO are yet to publish a listing, which was promised prior to commencement of the new laws. The trouble for the ATO (and us), is that eligibility isn't a sure thing.

The accelerator program must meet four hurdles:

• Selected entrepreneurs in an open, independent and competitive manner; and

• Provides time limited support for entrepreneurs with start up businesses; and

• Have previously run its accelerator programs for entrepreneurs, for at least 6 months; and

• Such programs have been completed by at least one cohort of entrepreneurs.

We are keen to grow our listing, ether by assessing ESIC's undertaking a program or by referral to the programs itself. If you know some, feel free to drop us a line. It's worth 50 points towards qualification and plenty of love from your fellow startups and investors alike


Calling candidates & graduates!


muru-d
slingshotters
griffin accelerator
the map
blue chilli
start mate
australian allian  technologies competition
ilab accelerator
york butter factory
Founder insititute
Spring Board
excelince
Energise
river city labs
investible
startup bootcamp
innovyz
start free listing
Picture


Eligible Accelerators


Australia already enjoys a reputation as one of the best places in the world to innovate, and our accelerators are no exception. So why the short list of eligible programs?
Well, we think its a long list, as the ATO are yet to publish a listing, which was promised prior to commencement of the new laws. The trouble for the ATO (and us), is that eligibility isn't a sure thing.
The accelerator program must meet four hurdles:
Selected entrepreneurs in an open, independent and competitive manner; and
Provides time limited support for entrepreneurs with start up businesses; and
Have previously run its accelerator programs for entrepreneurs, for at least 6 months; and
Such programs have been completed by at least one cohort of entrepreneurs.
We are keen to grow our listing, ether by assessing ESIC's undertaking a program or by referral to the programs itself. If you know some, feel free to drop us a line. It's worth 50 points towards qualification and plenty of love from your fellow startups and investors alike.


Eligible Universities

Be awarded 25 points towards the innovation test when you secure a written agreement to co-develop and commercialize a new, or significantly improved, product, process, service, marketing or organisational method with an eligible university.

Tip:

 

 Gain 25 points for either University or Partner development


 


 

 




IP Lawyers

 

Having a patent or plant breeders right granted within the past 5 years can provide a company with up to 50 points towards the 100 point innovation test, although we will assume you have consulted a legal expert prior to securing your assets.

If you do not already have a trusted IP expert on your team, consider searching our listing of experts.

Tip:

Points are not awarded for provisional lodgments

Tip:

Licence of new local and offshore IP can be eligible


ELIGIBLE EXEMPT INVESTORS

Investor Eligibility Check

Many investors in early stage companies prefer to remain anonymous for the most part. Whereas others wish to promote themselves as ready and willing to advance funding, in order to attract a higher volumes of investment opportunities. Its not for us to determine this preference, however we do note that taxes tend to remain a private matter regardless.


As we have previously stressed, ESIC Directory is not an investment service, it is a taxation service, yet, just as investors are glad to be in a position to use the directory as a guide to compliance with the new tax regime, ESIC's may be equally desirous of the status of a would be investor, who is likely to demand confidential and commercially sensitive details as part of the DD.


We are conscious of this need and currently in consultations to develop a gateway for  those purposes.

 

 

WHY INVEST IN AN ESIC? 

An ESIC is an Early Stage Innovation Company. In order for a company to qualify as an ESIC via the principals based assessment a company must have high growth potential, be able to scale, address a broader than local market, and have competitive advantages. Other ESIC's can fast track qualification via a points based objective test that helps to auto assess a companies innovation potential.

The government provides tax incentives for investments in ESICs. Investments in ESICs may be eligible for a 20% tax offset, and gains on the sale of an ESIC investment may be capital gains tax (CGT) free if shares are held for between 1 to 10 years.


These incentives are available even where ongoing investment in an ESIC no longer qualifies for the concession, providing the company was an ESIC when the investment occurred.


The tax benefits are not limited to exempt, high net worth investors or professionals, they can be enjoyed by any Australian taxpayer, however qualifying investments by non exempt investors (per s708) are strictly limited to $50,000 or less, meaning that an annual tax offset cap of $10,000 applies.


Wholesale and exempt investors are subject to a cap on the tax offset of $200,000 per annum, however the capital gains tax relief is unlimited.
To learn more about your status as an Investor, you can undertake a Pre-Assessment here.


​As an investor, an ESIC provides an opportunity to invest in an innovative company well before its potential has been reached whist enjoying generous
 

 tax incentives. Care must be taken, ESIC's are early stage high risk ventures that are much more likely to fail, you should seek professional advice and undertake your own due diligence before making any investment and not rely upon these taxation criteria as an indication of future returns. ESIC Directory is a taxation service only.

Our ESIC Database provides a listing of companies at various stages of assessment for the concessions. This service is for eligible investors already associated with the companies, or as a reference to others seeking to learn more about ESIC companies in general.


Investment in one or more ESIC's may be exciting and tax advantaged however, investors must note that the onus is upon you to prove your investment qualifies for the concession. As such ESIC investors must obtain substantive documentation to support every element of qualification and keep those records for as long as 5 years after the eventual disposal of the investment. A listing on our directory does not qualify as substantiation, even where it is accompanied by an accountants certificate. Investors wishing to fully verify the tax offset and CGT treatment should consider a private ruling request with the Australian Tax Office.


Our directory lists a number of leading tax and innovation experts who can assist in all matters relating to these concessions, including ruling requests.

 

INNOVATION INCORPORATED

Some say that ideas are easy and its all in the execution, others spend 100's of thousands to protect an innovation before seeking to commercialise, either may hold true in some markets and not in others, though either-way we are here to help.


ESIC Directory provides early stage innovation companies with the platform you need to advance your company via the newly available classification (ESIC). We think of it as a new type of company, though you didn't need to go to the company regulator to become one. For that matter, you don't need us either, though you will most likely need costly expert advice so these pages should be considered a valuable first point of call.


Around now, you might be thinking I can read this later or print some brochure when I need it, which again is true, though ESIC Directory is run by qualified experts who are happy to help, and on the off chance your enquire is a curly one, you will of course be offered a full fee paying option, under no obligation. 


​Why not read more about ESIC's and then try before you by with our online form?

ESIC Eligibility

 

Just how innovative is my company?

 

WHAT IS AN ESIC?  

An ESIC is an Early Stage Innovation Company. In order for a company to qualify as an ESIC it must have high growth potential, be able to scale, address a broader than local market, and have competitive advantages.


The government has recently passed legislation that provides tax incentives for investments in ESICs. Investments in ESICs may be eligible for a 20% tax offset, and gains on the sale of an ESIC investment may be CGT free if shares are held for between 1 to 10 years.


As a business, ESIC status makes you a more attractive investment and lets investors know you are a promising new company. Take our ESIC Pre-Assessment here to see if you may qualify as an ESIC.  

 

With so many great businesses looking to qualify ESIC Directory has stepped in, to actively help companies find consultants, agencies and institutions with a track record of innovation and the eligibility qualifications needed to award status to our listings. Feel free to email us if you can confidently recommend an advisor, program or service provider.

​These projects are supported by funding from the Australian Government under its Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

Accelerating Commercialisation Grant
https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/accelerating-commercialisation


IP Australia
https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/


ATO R&D Tax Incentive
http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Research-and-development-tax-incentive/


ASIC Company Search
http://asic.gov.au/ 

ESIC ADVISORY SERVICES


If you need assistance in registering your business as an ESIC, or if you simply want to learn more about the benefits to investors and entrepreneurs of being registered as an ESIC, we are here to help. We provide advisory services to anyone who would like to learn more about becoming an ESIC.


Our advisers can assist businesses that want to become ESIC approved to make themselves more attractive to investors. We also will serve investors who are looking for promising ESICs to invest in.


We provide access to networks that allow business owners to gain funding and create opportunities. We have a strong commitment to the Australian start-up community, and we will provide services to best suit their needs.


We are looking for advisers who are knowledgeable about ESICs and the tax incentives behind early stage investments to join our community. We will establish relationships and help ensure that our clients get the services they need.

Advisory Services