How to start a business in New Zealand as a foreigner ?

The Essential Guide to Starting a New Zealand Business as a Foreigner

  • Explore Business Opportunities
  • Get A Visa
  • Come up with a business structure
  • Pick a name
  • Set Up RealMe Login
  • Create a Business Banking Account
  • Observe Legal Obligations
  • New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
  • Protect Your Brand
  • Obtain Licenses and Permits
  • Fulfill Tax Burdens

How to start a business in New Zealand as a foreigner 2021?

Apart from being a popular tourist location, New Zealand also stands out from its counterparts for its favourable business environment. Earning the title of “Easiest Country to Do Business in the World” in 2016, New Zealand has surpassed Singapore and Hong Kong. This acclamation is well deserved; New Zealand is renowned for its open market, regulatory efficiency, monetary incentives and high transparency. All of which are attributable to its light-handed regulatory policy, there are few restrictions on the establishment and operation of businesses in the territory.

In addition, businessmen are also supported by a comprehensive network of physical and technological infrastructure. Having convenient online channels for foreign entrepreneurs, the procedures for starting a company in New Zealand can be completed in just a few hours’ time.

Explore Business Opportunities

The start to any business ownership is coming up with a realistic business idea.

New Zealand is a place filled with opportunities for small and large companies alike, be it expanding on existing industries or filling out gaps in the market. Abundant in natural resources, New Zealand provides rich resources for bee farming, wine making and wood processing businesses. On the other hand, businesses arising from children rearing such as tutorial centres and child-care services are also gaining currency.

While going through endless trending business ideas, consider which one fits your interest, personal goals and skill-set.

After you have a preliminary idea, carefully analyse and refine it.  Carry out market research, perhaps even engaging a professional service to help, in order to know your customer and define the costs, profits, and risks of your business.

Product development, marketing strategies and financial funding are important questions that you should consider before taking the plunge.

Once you have a viable business idea and a workable game plan, all you have to do is follow these simple steps to put your business plan into action.

Step 1: Get A Visa

First things first, you need is a visa. You have a choice here – an entrepreneur work visa or a residential visa.

The entrepreneur work visa is categorised into two types, depending on the stage of your business. For those who are looking to launch a business, a six-month visa is granted upon successful application.

When your business is on track and steadily growing, you can apply to stay in the country for another 24 months. To be granted a visa, your business has to satisfy a few thresholds. This includes a minimum working capital of NZ$100,000, a minimum of 120 points (the grading system evaluates the success of your business and the contributions it makes to the country) and a clean track record indicating your past businesses have never been involved with events such as fraud or winding up.

I’ve got my visa, now what?

The residential visa is targeted at foreigners who wish to settle in the country with the purpose of running a business. However, the conditions here are more demanding than those required under the entrepreneur work visa.  

Again, there are two types, one for a period of 6 months and the other for 2 years. In addition to passing health, character and language tests, if you have been employed in New Zealand for two years and can prove that your business is operating well and has significant economic benefits to the country, you may be granted a 2 year visa.

If you can’t meet these requirements, you can still try to get a 6 month visa, which requires that your business has an investment of NZ$500,000 and provides at least three permanent jobs to the country’s citizens or residents.

Step 2: Come Up With A Business Structure

If you’ve got your visa, the next decision you have to make is the suitable form of business structure, be it a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a limited company.

These different forms of business structure each have their perks and drawbacks. As a sole trader, you enjoy the simplest set-up procedures and the full entitlement to your business’s profits but at the same time you would miss out on the benefit of sharing expertise and business risks with your partners.

Being a limited company sets a ceiling to your liabilities at the amount of your initial investment but the regulations and formalities thereunder could be deemed too troublesome or restrictive for some.

There are other possibilities in addition to these common kinds of business forms. A good option is buying into a franchise business. As a foreign investor, leveraging off an established brand name can be a less risky choice. 

Step 3: Pick A Name

Upon finalising on your form of business structure, the next thing on your to-do list is choosing an available business name. Picking a name is easier said than done. Fortunately, the New Zealand government has a free online tool called ONECheck that helps entrepreneurs check the availability of potential names for their company with by one simple search.

Be sure to reserve your company name with the Companies Office once you’ve came to a decision.

Step 4: Set Up RealMe Login

At this point, setting up your RealMe login would be handy. This is a set of username and password that has wide use for online services in New Zealand.

Many government agencies use the RealMe login system, whether for the registration of your company name, managing your Inland Revenue account, or applying for permits. Setting up a RealMe account in advance will make your life much easier later on.

Your new office?

Step 5: Create A Business Banking Account

Utilising a dedicated business banking account is not only expedient but also necessary, especially as your business scales up. Mixing your personal and business transactions in one account is imprudent for asset protection and also confusing for accounting and tax filing.

Also, imagine the amount of investigative work you are laying upon yourself when trying to filter out the expenses incurred for your business. It is a smart move to get your business bank account ready early on. Reach out to a local bank of your choice and inquire about the requirements and documents needed to set up a banking account for your business.

Step 6: Observe Legal Obligations

Grappling with regulatory requirements can be vexing for many, especially as a foreigner. The following are some of the regulatory rules that you will have to keep an eye out for:

New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)

Unique to Kiwi companies, you need to register your business in order to obtain a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). This is a distinctive code for each New Zealand company, serving the purposes of identification and information sharing between companies. For instance, when other companies wish to engage you for goods or services, all they have to do is look up the NZBN Register. All the basic information on your company, such as your trading name and address will pop up, saving you the trouble of having to repeat this information to every potential client.

Protect Your Brand

A unique business identity is vital to the growth of the business. Perform due diligence to make sure your brand logo does not accidentally replicate other existent logos. When you are certain that your logo and trademark are one of a kind, don’t forget to register them. Registering for a domain name is also crucial for safeguarding your business’s uniqueness. 

RELATED DOCUMENT: New Zealand Trademark Licence Agreement

Obtain Licenses and Permits

Checking out the rules with your local council is particularly important, as different cities may have different regulatory systems. Apart from any general licensing or permit requirements that you are already aware of, prior to commencement of your business, you want to make sure you have all the necessary permits depending on your business nature.

Fulfill Tax Burdens

If your business earns over NZ$60,000 annually, it will have to register for the Goods and Services Tax with the Inland Revenue Department. Keep up with all filing deadlines to avoid paying extra fines. The Inland Revenue Department website has various instructional videos and tax workshops installed to better equip foreign investors.

These simple steps provide a basic guide to setting up a business in New Zealand. If you already have a winning business idea and the determination to make it happen, New Zealand is an easy choice.


Can a foreigner buy a business in New Zealand?

New Zealand government does not place many restrictions on investors and businesses who are looking to establish, own and operate a business in the country.

How much do I need to invest in NZ to get PR?

To apply for residence in New Zealand through investment you should assess yourself under our Migrant Investment Policy, which includes two Investor categories: Investor 1 (minimum investment NZ$10 million for at least three years) and. Investor 2 (minimum investment NZ$3 million for at least four years).

How can a foreigner get a job in New Zealand?

You can also register your CV with the New Kiwis website, an online migrant recruitment program that connects skilled migrants with New Zealand employers. There are other options for foreigners that wish to start working in New Zealand. Just keep in mind not all employers may be open to hiring workers from overseas.

Is it easy to start a business in NZ?

If you’re considering starting or buying a business, New Zealand is an excellent choice. We are the easiest country in the world to do business in, according to the 2020 World Bank Doing Business study. They also rate us the easiest place in the world to start a business.

What is the most profitable business in New Zealand?

List of 20 Business Investment Opportunities in New Zealand #1. Agriculture. Actually, agriculture offers a wide range of opportunities for earning money. … #2. Car Rental. This is an emerging sector in New Zealand. … #3. Clothing. … #4. Delivery. … #5. eBay Selling. … #6. Fence Installation. … #7. Financial Services. … #8. Graffiti Removal.

Refrences: The Essential Guide to Starting a New Zealand Business as a Foreigner | Zegal • Entrepreneur Visa | Immigration NZ | New Zealand NowAll visa options to start a business or invest | Immigration New ZealandHow Can You Start a Business in New Zealand as a ForeignerHow to start a business in New Zealand as foreign investors

Note: This article does not constitute legal advice.The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

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What is the best way to find a job in New Zealand from abroad?

To find a job in New Zealand, from abroad, the best way is to follow the correct processes:

  1. Eligibility assessment: Check your eligibility for which visas/residence you qualify. Eligibility for work visas and residence has many criteria and it is crucial to know your eligibility first. This will, in turn, determine and clarify which jobs you can pursue (ANZSCO codes) and which employers can be approached (not all employers can employ immigrants). You can check your eligibility by consulting with a licensed immigration adviser or New Zealand Immigration.
  2. Skills assessment and occupational registrations: Once your eligibility is known, it will also clarify how/if skills assessments need to be completed. That is the process to get your overseas qualifications assessed for New Zealand compatibility. You may also need to follow separate occupational registration processes for certain occupations, for example, medical professions, tradesman, lab assistants, psychologists, etc.
  3. Document readiness: The eligibility and skills assessment processes will, in turn, determine the documents which you will need to get ready and obtain from your own country, for example, birth and marriage certificates, police background checks, medical checks, transcripts of degrees, etc, etc.
  4. Job search: The job search process can only commence after the process in 1–3 is complete. The eligibility processes will determine which jobs and job levels you can pursue (ANZSCO codes), and which employers need to be approach, etc. Without this information, job search is difficult and near impossible from abroad.
    1. Job search obstacles for immigrants include:
      1. ATS’s – applicant tracking systems blocking applications for online jobs coming from abroad,
      2. job relevancy (not knowing which jobs to pursue),
      3. the Catch-22 situation – (“you must have a visa fist”) conundrum and not knowing how to overcome it
      4. the risk averseness of employers, employing immigrants (you cannot get a job with a CV alone), and you must create networks and relationships because 8 out of 10 jobs are filled by direct approaches, referrals and relationship building – that means that the right potential employers must be approached and their trust gained.
      5. Less than 20% of jobs are ever advertised and building networks and relationships will expose you to the other 80%.

targeted, structured approach to overseas job search is only possible by knowing eligibility, using eligibility and skills assessment details on your communication with employers (for credibility of information), using a Strategic Immigrant’s CV and Unique Immigrant’s LinkedIn Profile and following targeted immigrants job finding strategies such as direct approaches and relationship-building to gain trust.

Source Quora