How To Start A Small Business In New Zealand

How To Start A Small Business In New Zealand

Starting a small business is New Zealand can be a simple and hassle free experience. A lot of the work you need to do can be completed online, and within a few hours. Every business owner that’s applying to start a new business does need to have a RealMe account however.

You can get your RealMe account by signing up for it online. Aside from getting your RealMe account, you’ll also need to complete various other steps before you can officially begin operating as a small business in New Zealand.

What do you need to do to start a small business in New Zealand?

The New Zealand government welcomes new businesses, and has made the process of starting your own business within the country relatively simple. Here is how to start a small business in New Zealand:

1. Outline your business idea

Before you register your business, you should already have a general idea about your business. You should know what you want to sell, and have the means necessary to deliver your chosen products or services to consumers.

You can also consider writing a business plan during this stage. While writing your business plan, think about doing market research, competition research, as well as consumer research. This will give you a decent indication of how viable your idea is.

2. Register your business name

The name you choose to register your business under should be unique, and no other business should use that name. You can visit the New Zealand government’s website to use their ONECheck feature. This allows you to check to see whether your chosen business name is available.

If it isn’t, then you’ll need to consider choosing a different name.

3. Choose your business structure

Your business structure has a say when it comes to liability and tax requirements for businesses. That’s why it’s necessary to be careful in choosing the right business structure. Learn more about small business insurance and what it can do for you.

The three most common business structures in New Zealand are sole traders, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Of these, as a sole trader, you and your small business have the same legal identity. This means that if your business gets sued, then you get sued as well, and would need to pay reparation costs out of your own pocket.

A limited liability company can offer you a better degree of protection in situations where you or your business is sued by the client or a third party.

4. Get a New Zealand business number

Your NZBN, or New Zealand Business Number is a unique business identifier that hosts key details and data about your small business. This data includes your contact number, your business’ email id, as well as other details about your business.

If you registered your business as a company, then you’ll automatically get a New Zealand Business Number. Otherwise, you’ll need to register for your NZBN online through the portal provided by the government.

5. Secure business name

After you have chosen a business name that is unique to your small business, You will then need to register your domain name with any of the authorised registrars. These authorized registrars were chosen by the Domain Name Commission.

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If you chose the business structure of a company, then this process will be slightly different for you. Use your RealMe login to register your business name. Then, you have up to twenty days within which you can incorporate your company.

6. Consider taxes

If your small business makes upwards of NZ$ 60,000, then you’ll need to get your GST. Art the same time, you can also consider creating a tax management plan to ensure that you’re never behind on your tax payments.

7. Ensure there are no trademark issues

Simply approach the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand and ask for your Search and Preliminary Advice. This will let you know whether there are any other businesses you may encounter trademark issues with.

8. Check for compliance and regulations

Depending on the kind of small business you’re starting, you may need to check for compliance and regulations pertaining to your industry. This can be seen in industries involving, food, health, and more. Ensure you have met all compliance requirements before starting your small business.


Once you’ve started your small business, there are other aspects to consider as well. These include marketing, sales, insurance and more. Consider small business insurance as way to protect financial interests related to your small business.