A Step-by-step Guide To Launching A Business In New Zealand

If you’re unfamiliar with running a business or working as a self-employed entity, the advice below will walk you through the process, from developing your business concept to formally registering and operating your business.

If you’re establishing a business or working as a sole trader in New Zealand, there are a few things you can do now to protect your future investment and grow your business. 

1. Confirm that your concept can be profitable

Before investing serious time, money, and effort in your venture, you need to verify that your concept has the potential to work.

The best approach to think through all the minor details is to write a business plan. You can find great business plan templates online by performing a quick search.

2. Pick a company name

The Government of New Zealand offers alone check tool that you can use to easily ascertain if a name you want is available (even if it’s your own name!). You can check its availability as a business name, trademark, web domain, and social media username with just one search, allowing you to pick a name that you can market and protect.

3. Determine the company structure

Various company structures are available. You can pick the structure that best matches your needs if you’re a business or self-employed. Sole trader, partnership, and corporation are the most common forms of business in New Zealand. Each structure has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Depending on which structure you opt for, you may be required to formally register your business with the NZ government.

4. Create a RealMe® account.

Again, depending on the type of business you are operating, you may need to register your business with the New Zealand government. The RealMe® service makes it easy to obtain government registrations. It is used by multiple agencies and can help you get on with managing the multiple tasks involved in launching a business.

5. Obtain a New Zealand company number

The NZBN (New Zealand Business Number) is a one-of-a-kind company identification. Your NZBN connects to information that others need to work with you, such as a trading name, phone number, or email address.

It will be easier to do business if you have an NZBN since you will not have to continually repeat the same information when dealing with new people or when anything changes. If you’re a firm, you’ll obtain an NZBN automatically. Online registration for an NZBN is free for sole traders, self-employed entities, and partnerships.

6. Protect your company’s name

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or already have a firm, a little investment today will ensure that you don’t lose your capacity to promote and defend your brand while you get your other affairs in order. As a starting point, use the Government of New Zealand’sONECheck tool.

  • Register your domain name: The Domain Name Commission maintains a list of approved registrars. You can quickly and easily register with one of those.
  • Reserve the name of your business: If you want to run your firm as a corporation, you’ll need to reserve your company name with the Companies Office. It’s a simple, low-cost process. You’ll need a RealMe account to get started. Having registered the name, you must incorporate your business within 20 days.
  • Verify you are not violating any trade marks: Before you invest in a registered trade mark application, get an initial evaluation report from the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). To do so, go to the IPONZ website and apply for a search and preliminary advice (SPA) report. It’s inexpensive, simple, and you’ll have it in five days. You can also perform a free search of the trade mark register.

7. Research the rules and regulations

Depending on which area of New Zealand you are operating in and/or which industry, you will need to check the rules that apply to your location. For instance, you may need to hold a license if your business sells food and drink. Research which state and federal requirements are applicable to your business. The Compliance Matters tool is a really handy tool that you can use to learn about the federal rules that are specific to your sector. Part of these rules will be getting the small business insurance policy that suits your business and your industry.

8. Register your business

If you’ve chosen to set up your firm as a corporation, you can register your business online with the Companies Office for a minimal fee. It is relatively quick and pain-free to do. Again, you’ll need a RealMe account to get started. During the process of applying for the appropriate business license, you can also apply for a GST.

9. Register for GST

If you anticipate that you are going to earn more than NZ$60,000 per year or your earnings start to exceed that figure, you’ll need to register for GST. When you register your business, you may also register for GST. You can do it online at It’s simple, quick, and completely free.

Also Read: Is Kissanime Safe?

10. File a trademark application

The best method to safeguard your brands in the marketplace is to have them registered. You may use your SPA check to start your IPONZ application online. It’s simple and quick. Although you will need to pay a fee, it is relatively reasonable given the high degree of security it offers you. Again, you’ll need a RealMe account to get started.

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