Stephen Crowe answers
your common ESIC questions
Early Stage Company
No. Being ESIC ready is open to all innovators, business creators and those looking to grow their existing business, not just your neighbour who spends each week dreaming up the next big game changer and telling you about its high growth potential.
An existing company selling products and/or services to customers, earning an income and even making a profit can qualify as an ESIC.
It is essential an Early Stage Innovation Company (“ESIC”) meets eligibility criteria under Australian tax laws. A company that satisfies the early-stage test and either the 100-point innovation test or principles based test will qualify as an ESIC.
The concept of investment risk is not used to qualify an ESIC.
ESIC benefits can flow to those who have spent time building a business from scratch, testing it in the market, saving costs wherever they can and eking out a living. ESIC benefits are open to all sectors of the economy, not only those with high-growth potential.
I am an early-stage company looking to raise capital. The ESIC benefits appear to be investor-focused. What if I just ignore my ESIC status?
Although the ESIC environment is new, its implications cannot be ignored. If your early-stage company raises capital from 1 July 2016 and becomes wildly successful, it would be natural to feel this is a great mutual outcome for you and your investors, right? Unfortunately, no.
Whilst you are still celebrating your monumental success, your investors’ legal team are busily drafting a series of legal proceedings seeking recovery from you for unexpected capital gains tax. Surprise.
If you do not properly navigate this new ESIC environment, you will be vulnerable to litigation and financial losses.
Work with us and our experienced and friendly team will eliminate these risks and provide a secure, regulated and independent environment for your startup.