The basics of setting up a start-up
The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) stated that, “The cuts to both company and income tax for small businesses will improve the cashflow of businesses and encourage more investment and employment generation. It is anticipated that these measures will assist small businesses to fund organic growth through reduced reliance on external sources of funding and assist employers to attract and retain key staff given the ability to increase staff remuneration.”

The 2015 Federal Budget was the friendliest we’ve seen for small business in some time. The Growing Jobs and Small Business package includes $5 billion worth of tax relief and that is just the start of the benefits. Other measures that will impact small business include:

  • cutting the company tax rate to 28.5% for incorporated businesses with a turnover of under $2 million;
  • a 5% income tax cut for unincorporated businesses, capped at $1,000;
  • an immediate tax deduction for any individual assets costing less than $20,000;
  • Fringe Benefits Tax exemptions for work-related portable electronic devices (e.g. laptops and tablets);
  • rollover relief from Capital Gains Tax when businesses change legal structures;
  • expanded tax concessions for employee share schemes;
  • a streamlined business registration process;
  • the introduction of GST on digital products bought from foreign businesses (from 1 July 2017);
  • $1.2 billion in subsidies for employers that hire specific groups of job seekers (both youth and older workers); and
  • an extra $265.5 million for the Australian Tax Office to crack down on GST fraud

Subsidies, a cut in red tape, less tax and the creation of a more competitive playing field, means small business can capitalise in ways that weren’t previously tenable.

“Not only will there be much greater flexibility for wage subsidy arrangements to help with the upfront costs of hiring staff, a new wage subsidy will be available for employers specifically to take on parents who want to return to work,” says NSW Chamber of Commerce CEO, Stephen Cartwright.

Another way businesses can capitalize on the budget is to accelerate depreciation of asset purchases.

“Measures to accelerate depreciation of asset purchases are designed to encourage more investment by small business operators in new assets, in order to stimulate cashflow and growth, and encourage the creation of new jobs,” states the SBDC. “They are expected to make an immediate difference by encouraging small business operators to bring forward investment in their businesses. The measure also reduces red tape as small businesses will spend less time tracking assets across years for tax purposes.”

The proposed changes will also reduce the cost and complexity of starting a new business in addition to making it easier for start-ups and budding entrepreneurs. So if you have a small business idea, now is the best time to instigate it.

If you are a small business, sit down with your accountant and review current and projected levels of profitability. By planning your future goals you can work to invest in more assets, grow your business and in-turn employ additional staff.