As the owner of a Canadian business, you have access to free money courtesy of the government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program. Delivered in the form of a tax credit and/or refund, setting your business up accordingly can make the process smoother. As a bonus: you could have access to non-dilutive funding that can be used to scale up your business when you need it.
1. Have a single point person
Designate one employee to be the go-to person for everything SR&ED related. A good choice would be the technical lead within your company. It would be their responsibility to maintain records, schedule interviews and meet with the SR&ED consultant.
2. Develop a strategy first
Being proactive and developing a strategy for the SR&ED Program before launching into any research and development activities can ensure that those efforts are maximized. Working closely with an SR&ED consultant at this point ensures that all the requirements are spelled out. This professional understands the intricacies of the process and knows what the program is looking for. Their advice can save your company time, money and frustration.
3. Become educated on the SR&ED Program
While your SR&ED consultant is an invaluable source of information and guidance, it’s important to also become educated regarding the SR&ED Program. This level of preparation serves as a source of goal-oriented activities that helps make the process go more smoothly from start to finish.
4. Document, document, document!
One of the key methods of demonstrating that your company’s activities in R&D meet the requirements for the SR&ED Program will be the documentation that you include with your application. While it is possible to work your way backward and document the project afterward, the process is infinitely easier if you implement the documentation step from the very beginning. For the best results, the documents should be generated as the work is being done and dated to prove it. In addition, any documentation should support the claims that you’ll make in the technical reports that are part of the process.
5. Meet with the SR&ED consultant in advance
The technical reports — while a necessary part of the SR&ED Program process — can evoke confusion and questions. By meeting with your SR&ED consultant so they can go over all aspects of your technical reports and other paperwork before you submit it, you’ll improve your chances of success.
By taking a proactive approach to the SR&ED Program, your business can enjoy the immense benefits allowed by the Canadian government. Follow the above tips and form a solid foundation from the beginning.