New Zealand company registration

New Zealand company registration


Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with registering their new business in New Zealand. Our services include i) New Zealand company registration ii) government license registration iii) business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

SummaryTax resident CompanyTax exempt LLC strategyFSP Registered CompanyLimited Liability PartnershipBranch of Foreign CompanyRepresentative Office
Best use of company?Trading with New Zealand ClientsTrading with Global ClientsGlobal Financial ServicesProfessional Services FirmConsolidating statementsMarketing and Research
Legally tax exempt if properly structuredNoYesNoYesNoYes
Corporate bank account location?ANZ New ZealandHSBC UKHSBC New ZealandBank of America USAANZ New ZealandWestpac New Zealand
Client must travel to New Zealand?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Can secure trade finance?YesNoYesNoYesNo
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNo
GST payable on sales to local customers?YesYesYesYesYesNo
Withholding tax on dividends to overseas shareholders?NoYesNoYesNoNo
Average total engagement costs?US$6,640US$7,490US$25,140US$7,100US$8,230US$8,230
Average total engagement period?7 weeks6 weeks8 months8 weeks10 weeks10 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsTax resident CompanyTax exempt LLC strategyFSP Registered CompanyLimited Liability PartnershipBranch of Foreign CompanyRepresentative Office
Statutory corporation tax payable?28%0%28%0%28%0%
Must file an annual New Zealand tax return?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Effective corporate tax on income on net profits of US$250,000?28%0%28%0%28%0%
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Investment income is legally tax exempt?NoYesNoYesNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesNoYesNoYesNo
This entity enjoys Government incentives?YesNoYesNoYesNo
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?YesYesNoYesYesNo
Legally tax exempt entity?NoYesNoYesNoYes
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?NoYesNoYesNoNo
Company registrationTax resident CompanyTax exempt LLC strategyFSP Registered CompanyLimited Liability PartnershipBranch of Foreign CompanyRepresentative Office
Resident director\partner\manager required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders\partners?1112Parent companyParent company
Minimum number of directors/managers?111211
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$100,000US$2US$ 0US$ 0
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week2 weeks1 week2 weeks1 week1 week
Can easily convert to a local PLC company?YesNoYesNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesNoYesNoNoNo
Business considerationsTax resident CompanyTax exempt LLC strategyFSP Registered CompanyLimited Liability PartnershipBranch of Foreign CompanyRepresentative Office
Can invoice local customers?YesNoYesYesYesNo
Can hire local staff?YesNoYesYesYesYes
Can rent local office space?YesNoYesYesYesYes
Secures a residence visa for business owner?YesNoYesYesYesNo
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoYesNo
Other useful informationTax resident CompanyTax exempt LLC strategyFSP Registered CompanyLimited Liability PartnershipBranch of Foreign CompanyRepresentative Office

New Zealand has signed free trade agreements?Yes
The country is a member of WIPO and TRIPS?Yes
The country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average customer duties suffered?2%
Gov investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)US$47
Minimum statutory monthly salary?US$1,750
Average monthly US$ salary for local employees?US$2,700
New Zealand $ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)3.8%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.35%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes
Investment income is legally tax exempt in New Zealand?Yes, if corresponding NZ and Global income was already subject to tax
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?Only if local sales exceed US$40,000
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?Yes, if corresponding NZ and Global income was already subject to tax
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Excellent
Crowd Funding Available in this country?Yes

Benefits and problems of registering a company in New Zealand

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  • Benefits and problems

    Benefits of New Zealand company registration

    Advantages of business registration in New Zealand

    1. Healy Consultants can easily register our Client’s New Zealand company because:
      • A New Zealand LLC can be setup within a week with only 1 director and 1 shareholder. While, there are residency requirements for the director, these can be easily satisfied by the Client by using Healy Consultants’ professional passive resident director services;
      • The minimum paid up share capital for a new company can be as low as US$1. Furthermore, there will be no need for our Client to travel to New Zealand to complete the engagement;
      • Consequently, New Zealand is ranked as the best jurisdiction in the world for “starting a business” in the 2017 Doing Business Survey

    2. The New Zealand Government offers generous business set up incentives to multinationals including:
      • The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Agency generously offers i) tax credits for Research and Development (R&D) expenses by start-ups, of up to US$430,000 per year and ii) provide credit insurance which can cover up to 80% of the value of goods and services exported abroad;
      • The Energy Efficient Conservation Authority offers loans and funding for energy efficiency projects including i) fuel efficiency programmes for transportation companies ii) company energy management tools and iii) energy audits for manufacturing companies, amongst many others;
      • The New Zealand Film Commission offers film production grants for i) large budget screen production and ii) post digital & visual effects. These grants represent an average of US$20,000 per subsidized production, but can also go as high as US$3,000,000;
      • Securing loans in New Zealand is easy, thanks to an efficient banking sector. New Zealand is ranked as the best country in the world to secure a loan by the World Bank and local banks are very supportive of SMEs;
      • The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund was established by the government in 2002 to assist the venture capital market in New Zealand. Consequently, there is a large network of venture capital firms and angel investors ready to finance entrepreneurial ideas. The country is also ranked by the World Economic Forum as the 16th best place in the world for the availability of venture capital.
    3. Multinationals choose Zealand as a cheaper alternative to Australia, because:
      • Average wages are recorded at only US$3,425 per month, 40% lower than the Australia’s average of US$5,680. NZ employers also pay social security contributions representing only 3% of their employees’ gross salaries, against 19% in Australia;
      • New Zealand businesses pay a total effective amount of taxes averaging 34% of their earnings compared to 48% in Australia. These effective rates include corporation tax, payroll contributions and GST;
      • Average rental of warehouse space in New Zealand is recorded at only US$55 per square meter per year. Office space in Auckland’s CBD is recorded at only US$450, and can get as low as US$290 in suburban areas;
      • New Zealand companies enjoy tariff-free access when selling their products and services to Australian costumers. NZ companies also enjoy free trade agreements with i) ASEAN countries ii) China and iii) GCC countries;
      • Living costs are over 10% lower in New Zealand than in Australia, including i) housing ii) restauration and iii) transportation. Melbourne and Sydney are indeed ranked as the 33rd and 26th most expensive cities in the world, while Auckland is only ranked at the 68th position.
    4. New Zealand does not have any capital gains tax, inheritance tax or wealth tax.

    Problems with New Zealand company registration

    1. All New Zealand entities must appoint a director who is residing in either New Zealand or Australia. If requested, Healy Consultants can assist our Client to find an individual ordinarily residing in New Zealand to comply with this requirement. We can also structure the company to ensure that this individual will not make any decision not previously approved by our Client;
    2. A New Zealand company is subject to a relatively high corporate income tax rate of 28% and value added tax (VAT) rate of 15%;
    3. Foreign-owned companies must file audited financial statements every year, if their annual sales are expected to be over US$24,000. Healy Consultants will negotiate with the New Zealand Government for exemption from this annual administrative requirement.
  • Best uses for a New Zealand company

    1. New Zealand companies are amazingly attractive vehicles for our international Clients’ to conduct their global business, including:
      • The “Look Through” company is a New Zealand resident company. Look Through Companies can be formed by individuals, such company can enjoy under some conditions the network of New Zealand’s double taxation avoidance treaties;
      • New Zealand companies can be used as a holding companies or as trading companies if all its operations are done outside of New Zealand. The corporate bank account can be opened outside of New Zealand in a country like Singapore, Germany or the United States;
      • New Zealand companies can also apply for a Financial Service Provider license, granted by the New Zealand Financial Services Authority. Licensed companies can then provide financial services from a trusted jurisdiction with excellent regulatory oversight;
      • Fortunately, New Zealand is not blacklisted by any jurisdiction or authority in the world and has no connotations as a tax haven. New Zealand is a fully committed member of the OECD, FATF and World Trade Organization.
    2. New Zealand is the best jurisdiction in the world to set up a financial services company because:
      • Within 2 months, Healy Consultants can register a financial services company in New Zealand for our Client with limited regulatory oversight. Financial entities include banks, hedge funds, asset management;
      • New Zealand is a reputable financial center, neither considered an offshore tax haven nor blacklisted by any Government in the world.
      • Obtaining a financial service provider license in New Zealand is i) much easier and ii) much cheaper than London, New York, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong;
      • New Zealand financial regulations rank as the 2nd best in the world, according to professionals polled by the Global Financial Center Index.
    3. New Zealand is an attractive place for the formation of a foreign trust because:
      • The country has an impecable reputation for its AML/CFT regulations and is stable politically;
      • Foreign trusts are legally exempt from all taxes in New Zealand as long as their income is retained by the trust. Once distributed, income sourced from outside New Zealand can also be exempt from income tax and withholding tax if i) the beneficiaries are residing abroad and ii) the income is categorized as passive income (click link for further details);
      • There is no public registrar of trusts in New Zealand, hence garanteeing the confidentiality of our Clients.
  • Similar low tax jurisdictions

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in New Zealand, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon