JobKeeper Payments for Business Owners

If you process your wages through payroll, then you may be eligible for JobKeeper just like any other employee would be. If that is the case, then the following may not interest you.

If your business has suffered a 30% decline in turnover, then the following is for you.

As an owner of a business (sole trader, partner, director, or beneficiary), who is not also an employee of the business, you may be considered an “Eligible Business Participant” (EBP) for the purpose of claiming JobKeeper.

To be an EBP, you must not have other full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) employment at 01 March 2020. FT or PT employment takes precedence to being an EBP, and you will only be able to receive JobKeeper through your FT or PT employment. This is the case even if your FT or PT employment does not participate in the JobKeper program. If you had FT or PT employment at 01 March 2020 then you cannot be an EBP. You may need to apply for JobSeeker through Centrelink if that employment ended after 01 March 2020.

If you have casual employment, you may still receive JobKeeper as an EBP, but you must choose which entity you would like to receive JobKeeper from (ie. from your business or from your employer). This is because each person is only allowed to receive JobKeeper from one entity.

If you did not have FT or PT employment at 01 March 2020, and your business entity has suffered a 30% decline in turnover, and you are not already claiming JobKeeper through a casual employer, and you are still reading this article, then your businesses entity is allowed to apply for JobKeeper in respect of one EBP. This is allowed regardless of whether the business entity has any employees or not. All businesses entities are allowed to apply for JobKeeper in respect of one EBP, subject to satisfying the decline in turnover test.

Note that if you apply for JobKeeper in respect of an EBP, you must also offer JobKeeper to any eligible employees if the business entity has employees. This is due to the “One-In, All-In” policy.

Also note that where a partnership, trust, or company receives JobKeeper payments in respect of an EBP, those payments do not need to be paid out to a specific individual as there may be multiple directors, beneficiaries, or partners. Instead, the EBP JobKeeper payments may be kept within the business to fund the continued running of the business. Sole traders also do not need to withdraw their JobKeeper payments from the business as the funds in their business bank account already belong to them.

Further, you can only be an EBP for one business entity. If you are a partner, director, beneficiary, or sole trader of multiple entities, then you can only be elected as the EBP for one of these entities. Therefore, ensure that you discuss with your other business partners who the EBP is for each entity.

Partners, directors, and beneficiary should complete the EBP nomination form and keep that on record to identify who the EBP is for each entity. This form can be found here.

Further details for sole traders here.

Further details for partnerships, trust, & companies here.