Wondering if your business is eligible for a government grant? We’ve put together this overview explaining the availability and eligibility of grants for small business.

Are there incentives or grants to help start-up businesses?

There are no government grants available for the specific purpose of starting a business.

Government support for start-up businesses usually comes in the form of free and low-cost business advisory services and information (such as the services we provide here at the SBDC) and federally funded programs such as Self-Employment Assistance.

Attending our free Starting a Business workshop is a great first step if you are thinking of venturing into self-employment.

Is there funding or grants available for start-up businesses to make capital purchases?

As a start-up, you would generally have to seek funding from other sources, rather than relying on government grants. There are programs such as the instant asset write-off that could help you make capital purchases.

What types of businesses activities are there government grants available for?

State or Federal government grants are usually focused on specific areas, such as research and development, capability building for specific events, innovation or exporting, and may be offered on a matched funding basis. They are often aimed at established businesses. Each grant will have eligibility criteria you need to meet in order to apply.

Local government authorities may offer grants to encourage economic development, community development, arts or activation activities in a specific location.

Where can I find details of government grants?

You can search through a free database of federal, state and local government grants using the Business.gov.au online grant finder. For federal government grants only, visit the GrantConnect website.

Please note: At times, you may be approached by organisations claiming to offer exclusive access to government grant information in exchange for a fee. Information about government grants is free of charge and available to all businesses. The fee you would be paying a third party is simply for their time to go online and look for you.

How do I prepare a government grant application?

Government grants are generally assessed on a competitive basis, so you will need to demonstrate the outcomes and benefits the funding will provide to your business and the local economy.

Read our expert’s guide to grant funding for an overview of the grants application process, including insights into the information and documentation you’ll need to provide.

I heard there are government grants available to help small businesses with their digital marketing. Is this true?

While some social media and digital advertising platforms may offer account credits or incentives to advertisers, there are no government grants available to fund your digital marketing. Here at the SBDC, we offer low cost business skills workshops on many topics including digital marketing, to help you learn more about this area. You can also access low cost digital marketing training via the federal government’s Australian Small Business Advisory Services program.

Tax related measures to support businesses include the Skills and Training Boost. Visit the ATO website to find out more about this program.

When considering applying for any government grant, we recommend you seek advice from your accountant before making any business decisions, to ensure the grant will benefit your business.

Are grants available to hire staff?

There is no overall government grant available for hiring new staff but, at times, there may be targeted financial incentives offered by the government to businesses who, for example, hire apprentices or older Australians. 

More information

To find out more about the government grants available, visit:

To help with your business finances, read our finance information, make use of our free financial management tools or attend one of our finance workshops.

Our free business advisory service can also provide you with practical and confidential advice to help your business start well, survive and thrive.

Starting and growing
24 January 2024