The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is managed by Austrade and is available to startups and growing businesses looking to expand overseas.

It's intended to reimburse up to 50% of eligible export promotional expenses above $5,000 as long as you spend at least $15,000 and provides up to a $150,000 grant each claim.

Reimbursement is available over 8 claims ... which provides you 9 years of activity, as for your first claim you can bundle years 1 and 2 together.  Most startups deliberately wait until their second year to maximise the benefit. 

Once you have received your first two grants, you need to receipt export income in order to keep claiming, your grant is linked to this on a sliding scale over future years.  

What expenses can you claim?
It's a fine line but the primary purpose is for marketing, not sales and not seeking investment nor product development.  The categories of expenses you can claim for include:

  • Overseas Representatives (eg if you appoint a marketing rep overseas)
  • Marketing consultants
  • Overseas trips (this is the key area claimed)
  • Communications incl websites
  • Free Samples
  • Trade Shows
  • Promotional literature
  • Overseas buyers
  • IP / Patents (great for IP heavy startups, like medtech's)

How does it work?
First you have to spend the money, and then claim it back. Reimbursement is a strange kind of split-payment system with an initial amount paid and then subject to whether the program has enough overall budget left to pay a second top-up payment. 

You need to apply by 30 November for the prior financial year, or you have until 28 February if using an approved grant consultant, like we recommend.

It's a heavily audited program; therefore you can expect to be audited for your first lodgement so you'll need detailed documentation.

Because of this we encourage startups to use an approved grant consultant such as Avant Group, whom we know and recommend.

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