New Zealand and Ireland prove that compliance doesn't have to be tricky
Opinion 3 minute read

New Zealand and Ireland prove that compliance doesn't have to be tricky

01 March 2014

The TMF Group Global Complexity Report has named New Zealand and Ireland as the easiest countries in the world in which to do business. We take an in-depth look at why these two nations are getting it so right when it comes to compliance.

New Zealand

New Zealand is constantly ranked as one of the most world’s most competitive business locations in international surveys, from the TMF Group survey to the Global Competitiveness Report.

Here’s a quick run-down of NZ’s most attractive traits:

  • A welcoming government: The NZ government actively encourages foreign investors to invest in New Zealand, recognising the important contribution foreign investment makes to the development of industry, resources and community. They are on the side of business.
  • It’s the 21st century, online is always best: The Companies Office Registrar is maintained online. The ease of making all submissions and filings online is very appealing – it is so efficient that companies can even be set up in a matter of hours from the comfort of your office. Guidance about compliance requirements is also available online so you can find out what you need to know at the click of a button.
  • Easy on the requirements: There are no requirements for positions such as corporate secretaries. Currently directors do not need to be NZ residents - although this could change soon pending the Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill. Original documents need not be stored at the registered address of the company, provided there are adequate measures in place to prevent falsification of records. Although in some instances (such as litigation) originals may be useful. There are also no requirements to have an official stamp, chop or seal and share certificates do not need to be issued.  Last but not least, there are no different compliance requirements for different regions of NZ. One country, one set of rules (which, don’t forget, you can look up online).


Ireland is an English speaking country trading on a global scale - with exports of pharmaceutical products, computer software and the provision of financial services providing its raison d'etre in the international business world. Not to be outshone, it topped Forbes’ 2013 list as the best place to do business.
Some of the reasons these industries are clustering in Ireland:

  • Time is precious: The incorporation of a company in Ireland typically takes less than five days thanks to a fast and efficient electronic incorporation system.
  • Talking the international business language: As an English speaking country, communications between the domestic authorities and multinational companies are prepared in English and do not have to be translated further. All official documents and certificates are issued in English and all relevant communications with the authorities can be done online.
  • The best things in life are free: Through a wide Double Taxation network and membership of the European Union, cross border provision of services is done so freely, whilst also reducing the corporate secretarial requirements of multinational companies.
  • Taking the complexity out of compliance: The Irish legal system is common law based and does not generally have strict requirements for the execution of contracts and other documents. In an additional attack on unnecessary complexity in the business environment, the Irish government plans to enact the Companies Bill 2013, which codifies and encompasses all Irish Companies Legislation into one single Act. This means even less complexity in deciphering a company’s obligations and will help keep Ireland on top of TMF Group’s Global Complexity Report well into 2015.

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