June 21, 2022
Accelerating Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial spirit is growing ever stronger inAustralia and whether you consider yourself one or have a killer business idea you’d like to get serious with, an accelerator (often also called an incubator)program might be just the ticket to get you really moving.

There’s quite a few accelerators that happen around the country at any time throughout the year but not all are created (or designed to be) equal.

Before we go too far, what is an accelerator program hereto do?

Well in short, help push a new business (startup) forward fast. Depending on the industry, there’s usually a suite of advisors or mentors brought in to help entrepreneurs learn the ropes of building a business.

From how to structure shareholding best to attract investment, marketing tips and tech help through to setting up the appropriate forecasting documents, there’s often a lot of depth to an accelerator.

It’s important to note that some accelerators exist for specific types of businesses. As an example there’s an accelerator in its second year called Lumina-X that runs on the Gold Coast just forHealth-Tech startups.

Is this kind of thing for you?

That depends. If you’ve started a new business that could use a turbo boost or, have an idea that you’ve started work on (but isn’t quite a business yet) that could be huge, yes. An accelerator could get you going in a hurry.

Before we send you off to investigate some of the programs available in Australia, here’s what we suggest to consider before applying to one …. 

1: Weigh up the time required VS. your expected outcome.

Time is valuable. Time is money. If you’re spending time learning about running or growing your business instead of actually running or growing your business, what impact will that have, especially if you’re a solo founder.

2: Check the fine-print

Understand what you’re committing to because some accelerators will require equity in your business. The good ones will pay decent money for that equity depending on what stage you are at, but it’s worth doing a fine-tooth check on the terms.

It’s rare a founder would want to be trading “accelerator time” for equity unless it comes with incredible talent working in the business as part of that time. 

3: Do your homework & ask questions

As we’ve said, not all accelerators are created equal so it’s worth doing some due-diligence on any accelerator program you’re considering being involved with.

Have you heard of Y-Combinator? It’s probably the world’s most notable – it’s actually great to read the stats on the Y-Combinator website – and having it on your business’s resume can be a massive deal for investors and customers alike not to mention incredible for the health and speedy growth of your business.

 

With that example in mind, here’s some questions we’d suggest you ask before diving in:

1.    Have you heard of the accelerator before (is itY-Combinator pedigree)?

2.    What other businesses have been through it and can you ask them about their experience?

3.    Who are the mentors and are they as good as they say they are?

4.    What happens after the accelerator – is there alumni? Is there ongoing support?

5.    What financial or in-kind benefits does it give my business (pay for equity, talent, credits for technology or other)?

6.    Will it actually make my business grow faster considering the time it will require of me?

 

There’s no silver bullet that says an accelerator works for everyone – even if everyone could get into one. The statistics on failed startups are somewhat difficult to read about, but who’s to say an accelerator wouldn’t have made all the difference to a large portion of those that did fail?

Now that you’ve done some thinking about if an accelerator would work for your business, here are some resources that could help you find one that fits*:

 

Incubate: https://incubate.org.au/

Startmate: https://www.startmate.com/

The Good Incubator: https://www.goodincubator.co/

The Melbourne Accelerator Program: https://www.themap.co

Springboard: https://sb.co/

Cyrise: https://www.cyrise.co/

Cicada Innovations: https://www.cicadainnovations.com/

The Impact Accelerator: https://theimpactaccelerator.org.au/

Techstars: https://www.techstars.com/accelerators

Skalata: https://www.skalata.co/

(Energy)Lab: https://energylab.org.au/

Lumina-X: https://luminax.com.au/

Remarkable: https://remarkable.org.au/

  

If you’d like tailored strategic advice to help your business grow no matter where you are in your journey, speak with the Attune team today – give us a call on 1300 866 113 or send us an email to start the conversation, you won’t regret it.

*Attune Advisory is not endorsing any accelerator program or website specifically here, just providing links to help you make good, informed choices that work for you and your business.

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June 16, 2022
Salary Subsidies to HelpYour Business Move Forward

Are you aware of the government subsidies currently available for staffing your business? Such subsidies can make extra staff a reality sooner and help you both drive growth while potentially even doing your bit for unemployment and the community at large depending on your needs.

Prior to June 2022, there was a more substantial wage subsidy on offer, but now that it’s lapsed, we’ll focus on the current scheme.We’ll briefly show you how to assess your business for eligibility, or, your eligibility as an individual looking for work, how to apply and how much is available.

We’ll begin by mentioning that the current subsidy is designed for people who have been looking for work and have been registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more. Although this may seem limiting, don’t be disheartened… There are tens of thousands of unemployedAustralians out there with great skills, work ethic and the drive to learn and grow.

 

This leads us to the eligibility of a person looking for work…

Up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) is available for new employees who are:

  • 15 to 24 years of age
  • Indigenous Australians
  • 50 years of age and over

Up to $6,500 (GST inclusive) is available for new employees who are:

  • 25 to 29 years of age
  • parents
  • registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more

The scheme is offered through a range of initiatives for eligible candidates, including Disability Employment Services (DES),ParentsNext, and job active.

 

Now, is your business eligible for a wage subsidy?

 Eligible businesses can receive payments over a six-month period from employment services providers, and employers can negotiate how often payments are made (weekly, fortnightly).

It should be noted that it’s worth discussing the subsidy with the employment agency you’re engaging first, as the decision to offer a wage subsidy is at the provider’s discretion.

Wage subsidy placements can include full-time, part-time and casual employment, as long as your employees in those positions meet the agreed hours per week as set out in the wage subsidy agreement. This is important; check the commitment required at the start as some subsidies are valid for workers averaging 20 hours per week while others might be for as little as 8hours per week or full timers up to 30 hours per week.

Successful employers may also be entitled to further funding for workplace modifications for new team members, but this again is a separate matter and can depend on the employment agency involved or the employee’s needs.

 

Now, to be eligible for a wage subsidy, your business must:

  • Be registered with an Australian Business Number(ABN)
  • Employ a person registered with an employment service
  • Ensure the position offered provides ongoing employment, meeting the agreed hours in the wage subsidy (as above)
  • Meet employment standards for the position such as ensuring the role offers suitable work and pays the minimum national award wage or relevant award

 

To be eligible for a wage subsidy, your business must not:

  • Have had a wage subsidy for the same job seeker
  • Be an Australian state or territory government agency such as Service NSW

 

Here’s the current information on the subsidies, brief eligibility criteria and payment amount under each category:


Restart Program – up to $10,000

For people 50 years or older who have been receiving income support payments for six months or more.

 

Youth Wage Subsidy – up to $6,500

For people under 30 who have been receiving employment services from a provider continuously for at least six months

 

Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy – up to $10,000

For people between 15 & 24 who have been receiving employment services from a provider continuously for at least six months

 

Long Term Unemployed and Indigenous Wage Subsidy – up to$6,500

For people receiving employment services continuously for at least 12 months, or who are an Indigenous job seeker and have been receiving employment services continuously for at least six months

 

Parents Wage Subsidy – up to $6,500

For people receiving parenting payment or are on any income support payment if a principal carer of a child and have been receiving employment services continuously for at least six months.

 

People with Disability – up to $10,000

For people registered with a Disability Employment Services(DES) provider.

 

There’s plenty of other resources out there if you’re considering employing someone new and accessing a subsidy like these. Here’s some quick links: 

• Find an employment provider: https://jobsearch.gov.au/service-providers/

• Call the government’s Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.

• Read the “How To” guide for managing subsidies: https://jobsearch.gov.au/how-to-guide#wage-subsidies

• For almost everything else, including training and traineeships: https://jobactive.gov.au/

 

If you’d like advice on how a new employee or indeed a subsidy like the ones above could fit with your business strategy and tax situation, speak with the Attune team today. Call us on 1300 866 113 or send us an email to start the conversation.

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June 8, 2022
McDonald’s: Real Estate Brought Real Success

Sure, “having fries with that” has helped McDonald’s become a corporate behemoth but in reality, Maccas is what it is today thanks to well-structured and strategic approach to realestate investment. The below clip from the 2016 film, The Founder, apparently quite accurately portrays how it all came about and although the movie itself is great, the full story behind the brand is even better.  

We’ll touch on some of it once you’ve had a look at the clip below …

 


Former McDonald’s CFO, Harry J. Sonneborn (portrayed in “The Founder”), was once quoted as saying:

“We are not technically in the food business. We are in the real estate business.The only reason we sell fifteen-cent hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue, from which our tenants can pay us our rent.”

In itself, this quote reveals the strategy behind the business – the company acquired real estate and leased it to its franchisees. In the decades that followed this strong real estate base financed the building of thousands of restaurants all over the world.

McDonald’s today is worth billions of dollars because of a fundamental decision to restructure their cash flow, allowing them to acquire property, and to secure a steady demand for tenancy. The success of the franchise, the popularity of the food and how it was marketed obviously helped drive demand, but ultimately generating rental income was the goal and the outcome.

It’s important to note here that they started out with little or no equity.

This essentially is how as a property investor, your structure works: You’re supplying property to tenants to finance the building of a realestate portfolio which will ultimately create sustained capital growth overtime for you. As McDonald’s did, duplicating the same process in the right locations and with the right strategy enables serious numbers to start appearing in balance sheets.

 

This concept and method is nothing new, it happens all over the world and there’s no reason you couldn’t make it happen for yourself just likeMcDonald’s founder, Ray Croc.

Structuring your finances and having a strategy for how you’ll manage the money in and out of investments like these is the key to real success. So, if you’re looking for sound, strategic advice to help you reach financial freedom, speak with the Attune team today – give us a call on 1300 866 113 or send us an email to start the conversation.

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May 31, 2022
The Tax Implications of Airbnb & Other Short-Term Rentals

Do you operate, or are you considering operating an Airbnb with your home or even investment property? It’s worth understanding the tax implications before you take the plunge (or now that you have) into the short-term rental business.

Some are straight forward, others may be more complex depending on your situation, so remember the below is designed as a guide. It’s always prudent to discuss your plans with your Attune team to ensure the strategy you take will suit your situation first, but let’s dive into some of what you can expect.

The obvious things to keep in mind…

As with any tax related matter, ensure your records are complete. Hang on to documents and records of all income earned to ensure everything is accurately reported in your income tax return. 

This includes detailed records of expenses you incur that you can claim as deductions. Some expenses are fully deductible, while others are partially or not deductible at all. The deductibility of your expenses depends on if, and how often the property is used privately, or how much of the year it is available for rent. Expenses may need to be apportioned accordingly, but we’ll touch on this in more detail shortly

 

A simple guide to follow if you’re renting only part of your property:

  • Fully deductible expenses - for directly related expenses to the rented area
  • Partially deductible expenses - for shared areas where expenses need to be apportioned
  • Not deductible - expenses related to the hosts’ private area only


Examples of expenses relating to your Airbnb listing that could be fully deductible for tax purposes include:

  • Service fees and commissions charged by Airbnb;
  • Property management fees; 
  • Commercial cleaning of the area being rented;
  • Repairs and maintenance of the rented area;
  • Food, such as breakfast provisions, that you make available to guests; and
  • Professional photography for posting the listing.

And here’s some examples of expenses relating to your ENTIRE rental property that may be partially deductible for tax purposes:

  • Interest on any loans against the property;  
  • Council rates;
  • Utilities; and
  • Property insurance.

It may seem obvious, but you won’t be able to claim things like personal travel to and from the property or phone bills for example. 

What if the property is vacant?

Deductions can still be made if you have vacancy, but only if you’re renting out the entire property.

If your entire property is available to rent, expenses are deductible when the property is rented out or available to rent.

For example, if your property is available for rent for 180 days a year then only the portion of rental expenses that were incurred over that period are deductible. We’ll state that again – it doesn’t matter if the property is rented or not in this scenario, your deductions can still be included in your tax lodgement.

But, if only a portion of your property is available to rent – say a closed off section of the house – your deductions can only be included for the period the property is actually being rented out.

This may change your approach depending on what your strategy is, and it will certainly dictate the outcome when it comes to lodgement time.

Understand tax laws on short-term rental limits in your area.

As an example, if you’re operating a short-term rental in the Greater Sydney area, you’re only allowed to rent it out for up to 180 nights of the year to maintain residential status.If you go beyond that, it will be deemed a business for tax purposes.

Considering the limits, if you’re looking to make money on your rentals, be selective of when you’ll be making your property available for short-term rental on platforms like Airbnb.Peak seasons are great, but ensure you understand your market first.

GST

You don’t need to pay GST on amounts of residential rent you earn, if you stay within the short-term rental limits of your area.

There’s more to the short-term rental game when it comes to tax, so if you’re looking at moving into it, or, you already are and want sound, strategic advice to stay on top of your tax situation, speak with the Attune team today. Give us a call on 1300 866 113 or send us an email to start the conversation.

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