How to register a business name in New Zealand

Last Updated on June 23, 2024 by admin

Do you want to start up a business or company to do business in New Zealand? Then you need to register your company to do business in NZ as a way of fulfilling a regulatory obligation so as to meet legal and tax obligations.

Starting a company registration in New Zealand is a simple process , but there are legal obligations you must meet and processes to go through. You must register your company with the Companies Office. This is known as incorporating a company.this will enable you get Business Number (NZBN)

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier, which any business in New Zealand can have. Over time, the NZBN will become the main identifier for all businesses.Your NZBN lets businesses you buy from or sell to get your details quickly and accurately. When a company is registered in New Zealand it automatically gets an NZBN.

Thinking about starting a business in New Zealand?

Thinking about starting a business in New Zealand? That’s great! New Zealand offers a supportive environment for entrepreneurs with its stable economy, straightforward regulations, and innovative culture.

Here are some key things to consider as you embark on this exciting journey:

1. Business Idea and Market Research:

  • Validate your idea: Is your product or service in demand? Does it solve a problem or fulfill a need in the market?
  • Research your target audience: Who are your potential customers? What are their preferences and behaviors?
  • Analyze your competition: Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

2. Business Structure:

  • Choose the right structure: Options include sole trader (simplest, you are personally liable), partnership (shared ownership), or company (separate legal entity).
  • Consider the implications: Each structure has different legal and tax implications. Seek professional advice if unsure.

3. Business Name and Registration:

  • Check availability: Use the ONECheck tool on the official New Zealand government website to ensure your chosen name is available.
  • Register your business: Follow the registration process with the Companies Office (for companies) or Inland Revenue (for sole traders and partnerships).

4. Taxes and Financial Obligations:

  • Register for GST (Goods and Services Tax): If your annual turnover exceeds NZ$60,000, you need to register for GST.
  • Understand tax obligations: Familiarize yourself with income tax, provisional tax, and other relevant taxes.
  • Keep accurate records: Maintain meticulous records of income and expenses for tax purposes.

5. Legal and Regulatory Requirements:

  • Licenses and permits: Check if you need any specific licenses or permits to operate your business legally.
  • Health and safety: Comply with health and safety regulations to ensure a safe working environment.
  • Employment law: Understand employment rights and responsibilities if you plan to hire employees.

6. Funding and Support:

  • Explore funding options: Consider personal savings, loans, grants, or attracting investors.
  • Seek business advice: Utilize resources like for guidance and support.

7. Marketing and Promotion:

  • Develop a marketing strategy: Identify your target audience and the best ways to reach them.
  • Build your brand: Create a strong brand identity that resonates with your customers.
  • Utilize online and offline channels: Leverage social media, website, advertising, and networking to promote your business.

Additional Tips:

  • Network: Connect with other entrepreneurs and business owners for support and advice.
  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with relevant laws, regulations, and industry trends.
  • Be adaptable: Be prepared to adapt and evolve your business as needed.


To register a business in New Zealand, you will need to follow these steps:

To register a business in New Zealand, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a business structure:

    • Sole trader: The simplest structure where you are personally liable for your business’s debts.
    • Partnership: Two or more people share ownership and responsibility.
    • Company: A separate legal entity from its owners, offering limited liability.
  2. Choose and register your business name:

    • Use the ONECheck tool on the official New Zealand government website to ensure your chosen name is available and complies with naming regulations.
    • Register your business name with the Companies Office (for companies) or Inland Revenue (for sole traders and partnerships).
  3. Apply for a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN):

    • An NZBN is a unique identifier for your business. You can apply for it online through the NZBN website.
  4. Register for goods and services tax (GST):

    • If your annual turnover is expected to exceed NZ$60,000, you must register for GST. This can be done online through the Inland Revenue website.
  5. Fulfill other legal requirements:

    • Depending on your business type and industry, you may need to obtain licenses and permits, comply with health and safety regulations, and understand employment laws if hiring staff.

Additional tips:

  • Research: Thoroughly research the legal and regulatory requirements for your specific business type and industry.
  • Seek advice: Consult with a business advisor or lawyer if you have any questions or need assistance with the registration process.
  • Utilize resources: The New Zealand government website ( provides comprehensive information and resources for starting and running a business.

Type of bushiness to register in newzealand

In New Zealand, you have several options for registering your business, each with different legal and tax implications:

  1. Sole Trader (Sole Proprietorship):
  • Simplest and most common structure for small businesses.
  • You are the sole owner and responsible for all aspects of the business.
  • No legal distinction between you and your business, meaning you are personally liable for debts and obligations.
  1. Partnership:
  • Two or more people share ownership and responsibility.
  • Partners are jointly liable for the business’s debts and obligations.
  • Profits and losses are shared according to the partnership agreement.
  1. Company (Limited Liability Company):
  • Separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders).
  • Shareholders have limited liability, meaning their personal assets are generally protected.
  • More complex to set up and maintain than a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Ideal for larger businesses or those seeking investment.
  1. Look-through Company (LTC):
  • A specific type of company with five or fewer shareholders.
  • Taxed like a partnership, with profits and losses passed through to shareholders.
  • Simpler tax compliance than a standard company.
  1. Other Structures:
  • Trust: Used to hold assets for beneficiaries.
  • Incorporated Society: For non-profit organizations.
  • Cooperative Company: Owned and operated by its members for their mutual benefit.

Choosing the right structure depends on various factors:

  • Size and nature of your business: Sole traders are suitable for small businesses, while companies are ideal for larger or growing enterprises.
  • Liability: If you want to protect your personal assets, a company or LTC might be preferable.
  • Tax implications: Different structures have different tax rules, so consult an accountant for advice.
  • Ownership and control: Partnerships and companies allow for shared ownership and decision-making.
  • Complexity and costs: Companies are more complex and costly to set up and maintain than sole traders or partnerships.

The New Zealand government website provides comprehensive information on business structures:

Other types of New Zealand companies

Apart from the commonly known Sole Trader, Partnership, and Limited Liability Company, there are a few other types of companies recognized in New Zealand:

  1. Unlimited Company:
  • This is a relatively rare type of company where shareholders have unlimited liability for the company’s debts. This means that if the company cannot pay its debts, the shareholders are personally responsible for them.
  • These companies are usually formed for specific legal or regulatory reasons.
  1. Co-operative Company:
  • Also known as a co-op, this is a type of limited liability company owned and controlled by its members, who are also its customers or users.
  • Co-ops are often formed in sectors like agriculture, retail, or financial services.
  • They operate on the principle of “one member, one vote,” and profits are usually distributed among members based on their use of the co-op’s services.
  1. Overseas Company:
  • This refers to a company that is incorporated outside of New Zealand but wishes to operate within the country.
  • Overseas companies must register with the Companies Office and comply with New Zealand laws and regulations.

While these are the main types of companies recognized in New Zealand, there are other business structures available, such as:

  • Trusts: Used for holding assets for beneficiaries.
  • Incorporated Societies: For non-profit organizations.

The best type of company or business structure for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s always recommended to seek professional advice from a lawyer or accountant before making a decision.

How much does it cost to register a business in New Zealand?

The cost to register a business in New Zealand can vary depending on the type of business structure you choose and whether you need additional services like legal advice or accounting. Here’s an estimated breakdown of the basic costs:

  1. Company Registration:
  • Online registration with no share capital: NZD $105
  • Online registration with share capital: NZD $150
  • Additional fees may apply for reserving a company name, filing annual returns, or making changes to your company information.
  1. Sole Trader or Partnership:
  • Registering your business with Inland Revenue: Free
  • Obtaining a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN): Free (optional but recommended)
  1. Additional Costs:
  • GST Registration: If your turnover exceeds NZD $60,000 per year, you need to register for GST. This is free but involves ongoing compliance obligations.
  • Professional Fees: You may incur additional costs for legal or accounting advice, particularly for complex business structures or if you need assistance with preparing documents.
  • Other Expenses: Depending on your business type, you might need to pay for licenses, permits, insurance, marketing, and other operational expenses.


While the basic cost of registering a sole trader or partnership is relatively low, setting up a company can be more expensive due to government fees and potential professional service fees. However, the exact cost can vary depending on your specific circumstances and the complexity of your business.

How much do I need to invest in New Zealand to get PR?

To qualify for residence, applicants must fulfill all requirements; invest between NZD 5 million and NZD 15 million over four years. Be in good health and good character. Spend 117 days in New Zealand across the 4-year resident period.

How much can a business make before paying tax in NZ?

In New Zealand, the amount a business can make before paying tax depends on several factors, including:

  • Business Structure: Sole traders and partnerships pay income tax based on their individual income tax rates, which are progressive and depend on their total income. Companies pay a flat rate of 28% on their profits.

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): Businesses must register for GST if their annual turnover exceeds NZD $60,000. Once registered, they must charge GST on their sales and can claim back GST on their expenses.

  • Other Taxes: Businesses may also be liable for other taxes, such as fringe benefit tax (FBT) on benefits provided to employees, and excise tax on specific goods.

Income Tax Thresholds for Individuals (Sole Traders and Partners):

Income Bracket Tax Rate
$0 – $14,000 10.5%
$14,001 – $48,000 17.5%
$48,001 – $70,000 30%
$70,001 – $180,000 33%
Over $180,000 39%

Processing your application

The processing time for your New Zealand residency application will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Complexity of your application: Applications with complex financial situations or those requiring additional verification may take longer to process.
  • Completeness of your application: Ensure all required documents and information are provided to avoid delays.
  • Number of applications being processed: Immigration New Zealand processes applications in the order they are received, so processing times can fluctuate based on current demand.

However, here’s a general idea of the processing times for the active Investor 2 Resident Visa:

  • Immigration New Zealand aims to process Investor 2 applications every two weeks. However, this is a target timeframe and actual processing times can vary.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical stages of the processing timeline:

  1. Application Submission: You submit your application online or by mail along with the required fees and supporting documents.
  2. Document Verification: Immigration New Zealand will review your application and documents to ensure everything is in order. They may request additional information or clarification if needed.
  3. Police and Medical Checks: You will be required to undergo police and medical checks to ensure you meet the health and character requirements.
  4. Investment Due Diligence: Immigration New Zealand will assess your investment plans and verify the source of your funds.
  5. Approval in Principle: If your application meets all the requirements, you’ll receive an Approval in Principle (AIP).
  6. Transfer Funds and Make Investments: You have 12 months from the date of AIP to transfer your funds to New Zealand and make the required investments.
  7. Resident Visa Approval: Once you’ve made the investments, Immigration New Zealand will issue your Resident Visa.

Throughout the process, you can track the progress of your application online through Immigration New Zealand’s website.

Important Note:

Processing times can change, and the above is just a general guide. It’s always best to check the Immigration New Zealand website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on processing times.

Meet Ogbeide Frank, popularly known as perere, a blogger who loves writing about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies

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Meet Ogbeide Frank, popularly known as perere, a blogger who loves writing about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies For Advertisement, Content marketing andsponsored post: contact :
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