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This grant has expired and is no longer available. However, please contact Avant Group in case there are alternative grants available or to be informed if this grant will reopen.

Lawyer handshake offering advice

Small Business Specialist Advice Pathways Program

The Victorian Government announced the $5 million Specialist Advice Pathways Program as part of the 2022-23 State Budget. The program supports established employing businesses who have remained in business despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The purpose of the program is to provide $2,000 grant funding to support businesses to access accounting or legal professional advice as a contribution towards costs associated with professional service fees where the minimum project cost is $2,000 (ex GST). 

Key Requirements

At the time of application, Applicants will be required to select their preferred service activity and nominate their Qualified Service Provider

The Qualified Service Provider is a known and trusted advisor to the business and is qualified to deliver an approved Scope of Service and undertake the proposed project in Victoria. A Qualified Service Provider is any of the following:

  • Qualified accountant who belongs to one of the following professional bodies at the declared membership classification i) CPA Australia (i.e. CPA and FCPA), ii) Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (i.e. CA, ACA and FCA) and iii) Institute of Public Accountants (i.e. AIPA, MIPA and FIPA) and comply with the body’s continuing professional education requirements; or
  • A registered BAS Agent who belongs to one of the following associations at the declared membership classification, including i) the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (FICB, MICB, AICB), and ii) the Australian Bookkeepers Association (Member), and iii) Association of Accounting Technicians (Australia) Limited and comply with the body’s continuing professional education requirements; or
  • A lawyer registered with the Victorian Legal Services Board.

Apres Legal is a commercially focussed law firm which aims to provide cost effective, practical legal advice to business owners and operators and is also a Qualified Service Provider.

What is eligible for funding?

The project is eligible for funding if expenditure supports at least one or more of the following scope of services listed below:

  • Advice and analysis regarding the management of cash flow, preparation or cash flow budgets and projections,
  • Profitability analysis and formulation of financial management and/or operational business strategies,
  • Strategic analysis to revise business planning and/or governance arrangements,
  • Advice regarding the management of debts and liabilities, or
  • Advice and/or representation regarding commercial agreement contract terms (i.e. commercial leases or commercial supply contracts).

The grant payment cannot be used for the following expense types (but is not limited to):

  • Eligible services or activities that have concluded or commenced prior to applying for funding from this grant program,
  • Business operating expenses or capital expenditure,
  • Basic professional services such as ongoing, routine accounting, tax and legal business requirements, licencing, costs associated with export documentation,
    legal/intellectual property costs and financing fees,
  • Servicing creditors or personal debts and expenses,
  • Loss of income due to businesses’ inability to operate as normal,
  • The purchase hire or lease of physical goods, equipment, and licenses,
  • Activities that could ordinarily be described as expenses incurred in the normal course of business such as operating expenses, stock purchases, utility payments, salaries/wages, travel costs or routine maintenance,
  • Software and hardware purchases,
  • Payment of fines/regulatory charges,
  • Costs associated with applying for government grants, funding programs or loans,
  • Rental property reviews and advice (for residential, commercial, and shared accommodation services),
  • Any amount paid on account of goods and services tax,
  • Any fees associated with entering into administration/bankruptcy, or
  • Any other expenditure as determined by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Department) that does not meet program conditions.

What companies are eligible for funding?

This program is for employing small businesses that are established and have been in operation for more than two years.

The business must:

  • Be a legally structured business registered in Victoria1 with an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 1 July 2020,
  • Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria and
  • Employ 1-19 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Entitlement. Applications are assessed against eligibility criteria.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.