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New Zealand: Types of Company


Apart from the business forms described below, other types of organisation in New Zealand include the sole trader, the trading trust, the loss attributing qualifying company, the unlimited company, the cooperative organisation, the incorporated not-for-profit society, superannuation schemes, and public authorities.

There is no central register of business names in New Zealand, as a business name has no legal status. To secure a trading name, a trademark or brand would need to be registered, or a company formed.

If a sole trader, partnership or another unincorporated form is to be chosen as the form of business, the Intellectual Property Office website and the register on the Companies Office website must be checked to see if a similar registered trademark/brand or company with the name to be used is already in use. It is not possible to register a company name that conflicts with one already registered.

An IRD number must be obtained for a new business from the Inland Revenue (IR). If an IRD number is not obtained, tax will be deducted at a no-declaration rate, which is higher than the normal deduction rate. The IR prefers all business owners to have tax agents (generally an accountant) to process the business’s tax affairs.

Registering for goods and services tax (GST) is not compulsory until sales reach above a certain threshold. However, as soon as one or more people are employed by a business, it must register as an employer with the IR and begin making PAYE deductions from employees' earnings.



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