Employee Ownership in Startups

by Employee Share Ownership on October 25, 2016


With about 1500 startups in Australia at the moment playing a significant role in the development of the economy, they are seen as critical to lifting productivity, competition, economic growth, and employment through the creation of, and access to, new markets and the invigoration of established markets. The indications are that start-ups are creating most of the new jobs, while established businesses are shedding most of the job losses. As a result, startups will potentially contribute $109 billion and 540,000 jobs to the Australian economy by 2033.

To encourage these developments, the Federal Government’s ‘National Science and Innovation’ agenda provides a range of incentives.  As part of this program, in 2015, the Federal Government passed the ‘Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Employee Share Schemes) Bill’ to remove what were seen as taxation ‘handbrakes’ on employee involvement in the ownership and financing of startups.

To implement the new ESS tax law, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has produced an excellent ‘how to’ web-site, with all the required information/guidance on accessing the tax concession. For example, see “ESS Basics” and the startups template “Standard documents for the start-up concession”.

For more information on this initiative, please see our new “Startups and Employee Share Schemes” page here.

For a related article on the topic, see “Making a Start With Employee Ownership – Startups and Employee Share Schemes”.

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