Two bills being circulated for co-sponsorship by GOP lawmakers would make changes to the state’s Qualified New Business Venture program, which provides a 25 percent tax credit to early-stage investors in certain startup companies.

Under the program, businesses must currently employ at least 51 percent of its workforce in Wisconsin to be QNBV-certified by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. One of the bills would enable companies to remain eligible for the program without meeting that percentage, as long as they satisfy a handful of other requirements.

These include: maintaining headquarters in Wisconsin; increasing the number of in-state employees following the merger or acquisition; WEDC determining that the merger or acquisition wasn’t done in order to relocate the business outside of Wisconsin or to “cease the business’s efforts” to grow in the state; and satisfying the 51 percent in-state employment requirement within “approximately” one year after the merger or acquisition.

“This bill … recognizes that for a tech-based company to succeed, it must often add talent and resources in markets much bigger than Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still told

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