Pooled Development Funds

At a glance


Pooled Development Funds (PDFs) raise capital and make equity investments in Australian small and medium-sized enterprises. The PDF programme was closed to new registrations in June 2007. Funds registered under the PDF programme will continue to operate and invest in small Australian companies.

Contact information:

13 28 46



PDF registration is no longer available. Funds registered under the PDF programme will continue to operate and invest in small Australian companies.

The aim of the PDF programme is to increase the supply of capital to growing Australian small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

PDFs are venture capital funds registered under the Pooled Development Funds Act 1992.

PDFs and their shareholders receive tax benefits on the income derived from their equity investments.

This is to help compensate for the higher risk of investing in SMEs.

PDFs will be taxed at 15% on the income and gains derived from equity investments in Australian SMEs.

PDF shareholders are exempt from tax on the income and gains derived from holding and disposing of PDF shares. 

The extent of the above tax benefits depends upon a number of factors. PDFs and their shareholders should seek professional tax advice.

Eligible investments

Eligible PDF investments can be made by acquiring newly-issued shares in SMEs with total assets of not more than $50 million.

The investee company must have issued the shares for the purpose of raising capital to:

  • establish a new business activity
  • substantially expand production capacity or services
  • expand or develop markets.

While a PDF holds an investment, it can enter into the following transactions with the investee company:

  • acquiring non-transferable options to buy shares
  • lending money
  • charging management fees.

A PDF cannot invest in companies whose primary activities are retail operations or property development.

Key documents

  • Investment Notification and Compliance Warrant
  • FAQ - Pooled Development Funds
  • FAQ - Accessing Equity Capital
  • Taxation of Pooled Development Funds and their shareholders
  • Companies registered as Pooled Development Funds

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