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.

Summary table of New Zealand company registration

SummaryLLCPublic limited companyLLPFSP Registered CompanyRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Also known asLtdPLCLLPFSPROBranchTrust
Best use of company?All products and servicesSecure public fundingProfessional servicesGlobal financial servicesMarketing & researchSpecific projectsTax planning
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?1 week1 week1 week8 monthsCannot2 weeksCannot
How soon can you hire staff?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week2 weeksCannot
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks8 months4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?28%28%0%28%0%28%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum /recommended paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$2US$200,000NoneNoneUS$10,000
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Corporate bank account location?ANZ New ZealandHSBC New ZealandBank of New ZealandWestpac New ZealandKiwibankBank of China NZICBC
VAT payable on sales to local customers?15%15%15%15%Cannot trade15%Cannot trade
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$8,740US$8,830US$9,200US$52,760US$18,530US$10,330US$30,950
Average total engagement period?7 weeks8 weeks7 weeks8 months10 weeks10 weeks9 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsLLCPublic limited companyLLPFSP Registered CompanyRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Statutory corporate tax payable?28%28%0%28%0%28%0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoNoYesNoYesNoYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Monthly VAT reporting to the Government?YesYesYesNoYesYesNo
Must appoint an auditor?NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?30%30%30%30%None30%None
Company RegistrationLLCPublic limited companyLLPFSP Registered CompanyRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?1121Parent companyParent companyNone
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Minimum / recommended statutory paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$2US$100,000NoneNoneNone
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week1 week1 week8 months1 week2 weeks1 week
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation?NoNoNoYesNoNoNo
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesNoYesNoNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Can have preference shareholders/partners?YesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Business ConsiderationsLLCPublic limited companyLLPFSP Registered CompanyRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Can secure residence visa for business owner?YesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoNoYesNo
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesYesNoYesNo

Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Our Client needs to travel to New Zealand for business set up?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?Companies Office
Minimum number of directors/managers?1
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested\translated?Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number?No
Foreign non resident director needs a residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?1.4%
Government foreign investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)US$478
Minimum statutory monthly salary?US$1,883
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?US$2,700
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)1.12%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
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
Group HQ tax incentives?No
Security deposit to be kept with Government?No
Can secure trade finance?Yes
Government grants available?Yes
Government approval required for foreign owners?No

New Zealand business setup summary

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • 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 also ranked as the best jurisdiction in the world for starting a business in the 2020 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 NZ$255,000 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 18th 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 34.6% of their earnings compared to 47.4% 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$124 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) restaurant and iii) transportation. Melbourne and Sydney are indeed ranked as the 50th and 79th most expensive cities in the world, while Auckland is only ranked at the 81st position.
    4. New Zealand does not have any capital gains tax, inheritance tax or wealth tax;
    5. New Zealand is a lucrative destination for manufacturing and export-oriented businesses. This is majorly due to i) presence of numerous free trade agreements between New Zealand and other key nations such as ASEAN, Australia and China; ii) the country’s world-class innovation in metals, plastics and composites; and iii) the government’s substantial contribution towards the development and commercialisation of technology. Consequently, New Zealand is one of the leading nations for high-value manufacturing and services;
    6. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019, New Zealand is 1st out of 190 global economies in 2019 for ease of doing business.

    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 29.88% 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;
    4. New Zealand has a small market size due to its low population of 4.8 million people only. As a result, it is not a desirable destination for expansion of small businesses or for launching and testing of newly designed products in an unknown market.
    5. For New Zealand Financial Services Provider (FSP), it is increasingly difficult to open local corporate bank accounts due to stricter requirements such as i) local employees ii) local office iii) local active resident director and iv) local customers.
  • 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 8 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;
    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 guaranteeing the confidentiality of our Clients.
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Frequently asked questions

Contact us

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