Company Registration in New Zealand

Why Register a Company in New Zealand?

  • The strong economy and light-handed regulatory environment have made New Zealand to be the top-ranked country in Ease of Doing Business, according to the World Bank report.
  • The start-up companies in New Zealand enjoy flexibility under the licensing and other regulatory frameworks.
  • With no minimum capital requirement, it takes only one day to start a business in New Zealand.
  • New Zealand has the lowest subsidies among OECD (The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. It removed all farm subsidies more than three decades ago, spurring development of a vibrant and diversified agriculture sector.
  • New Zealand ranked second out of 175 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index.
  • The country is renowned for its efforts to penalize bribery and ensure a transparent, competitive, and corruption-free government procurement system.

How to Register a Business in New Zealand?

The agency that does the business registration in NZ is the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO). One can register a company with New Zealand CO through the following steps:

1. Register a Company Name

The applicant must register a business name in NZ via paperwork or an online method. One has to check in NZ companies register to see that the name you have selected is available on the site. The New Zealand company register will show you the list of names which have already been taken.

2. Reserve the Company Name

The reservation of the company name must be done with the Registrar of Companies, with at least 1 share, 1 shareholder, 1 director, a registered office, and an address for service. The applicant will need to pay NZ$10.22 for the name reservation. The company name must be distinctive and can be reserved for up to 20 working days.

3. Get a New Zealand Business Number

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier for your business. This number links to the information others need while working with your company. It is easier to do business once you get a company registration number in NZ as you won’t have to keep repeating the same information over and over when dealing with someone new or when something changes. Sole traders, partnership firms, and self-employed individuals can get the NZBN online for free and if you are a company, you will automatically get an NZBN.

4. Provide a Company Constitution

A company constitution includes the rights, powers, and duties of a company, its board, directors, and shareholders. If you are a company with limited liability, it is not mandatory to provide a constitution. Also, if you are setting up a small business in NZ or are a sole trader you have no compulsion on providing company constitution.

5. Fill the Application Form

The applicant has to fill out all the necessary paperwork along with providing the authentic documents. This can be done online. After the form is filed and submitted, the application will get processed and the applicant will receive an email with the director and shareholder consent forms. The applicant must then get the forms signed and faxed back to the NZCO office within 20 days failing which the application will expire. The certificate of incorporation will be issued within minutes after the last consent form has been sent.

6. Obtain Income Tax and GST License

Once the incorporation process is completed, the investor has to obtain Income Tax and GST license or certificate from the Inland Revenue for doing business in NZ. A company in NZ has to register for GST if it is earning more than NZ$60,000 each year. The documents needed to register for the same are:

  • Contact details
  • Date when the company started employing
  • The number of employees and contractors

For Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number:

  • All the directors’ IRD numbers
  • Business activity
  • Place of business and postal address
  • Trading name of the company if it differs from the company name
  • Company contact details

For GST number:

  • GST accounting method
  • The frequency of filing return
  • Business activity code
  • Details of how the refund will be paid

This whole process takes less than a day, and the applicant needs to pay NZ$150 for company incorporation in New Zealand.

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