Starting a business in New Zealand

There are several key steps to follow to start a business in New Zealand.

A lot people have a great idea that will make them money or change their lifestyle, but it pays to do some background research on whether it is viable.

A business plan is a great way of working through the initial concepts, it also represents the first step in getting your ideas on paper should you be looking for third-party investment.

Choose a structure

There are three common structures in New Zealand: company, partnership, or sole trader. Each structure offers various benefits and considerations, so it pays to get professional advice before you decide.

Get a RealMe® login

To help with the registration processes listed below, you will need to get a RealMe® login. If you get a login early in the process, you can get on with your to-do list easily.

Choose a business name and protect it

This can be one of the most arduous steps, but a critical one. If you have a name in mind – even if it’s your own – it pays to see if it is available.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has a great online tool called ONECheck. It lets you quickly see whether a name has already been used for a registered business, website, social media username or trademark.

Get a New Zealand Business Number

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier for your business. Your NZBN links to the information others need in order to work with you, like a trading name, phone number or email.

If you’re a company, you’ll automatically get an NZBN. Sole traders, self-employed people or partnerships can register for an NZBN online and it’s free.

Register your company, register for GST, register a trademark

If you’ve decided to structure your business as a company then register online with the Companies Office.

If you’re earning more than NZ$60,000 each year, you’ll need to register for GST.  You can register for GST at the same time you register your company.  If you don’t or if you’re another type of business, you can do it online at

A registered trademark is the best way to protect your words, logo, colours, and brands in the marketplace. Begin your application online with IPONZ.

Look into regulations

Specific regulations might apply in your industry or region. You may also want to investigate which central and local government regulations apply to your business.

Think about insurance

It’s also worth making sure you have the necessary or specific insurance to ensure that you are adequately covered. To help you get started, here are some insurance types we believe your business definitely needs.

How can we help?

At Wayne Grayson & Associates, we believe an informed insurance decision is the right one. Whether you’re after business or personal insurance, our expert brokers will ensure your insurance is the right fit for you.

Contact one of our Auckland-based insurance brokers for advice on the best solution to suit you or your organisation.

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