Establishing a Comparative Framework of Tax Incentives for Start-Up Investors

  • Stephen Barkoczy
  • Tamara Wilkinson
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Law book series (BRIEFSLAW)


Innovation is critical for economic growth and provides a broad range of spillover benefits for businesses and the broader community. It is therefore not surprising that many governments around the world have been actively involved in formulating polices to stimulate their innovation systems. Governments have focused their attention on a broad range of initiatives, including those specifically targeted at assisting entrepreneurial start-up companies. Start-ups are a key part of a country’s innovation system as they are the source of many new business ideas, products and services. One of the problems with start-ups, however, is that they often struggle to access funding from conventional sources, such as banks, and must therefore rely heavily on venture capital investment to grow their businesses. The reality is that without venture capital investment, many start-ups will languish or fail. In order to stimulate venture capital activity in Australia, the Commonwealth Government, as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda, recently introduced the Early Stage Investors (ESI) program. The ESI program provides generous tax incentives to angel investors who invest in ‘early stage innovation companies’. The ESI program is loosely modelled on the United Kingdom’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and sits alongside a number of other Australian venture capital tax incentive programs that have been designed to encourage investment in start-ups through specially regulated venture capital funds. This book examines the ESI program and compares and contrasts it with both the United Kingdom’s SEIS and Australia’s other venture capital tax incentive programs. It critically analyses the programs and draws on the comparative analysis to suggest some ways that the ESI program might be reformed to improve the delivery of its policy objectives.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Barkoczy
    • 1
  • Tamara Wilkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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