Doing business in New Zealand has now significantly changed

According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2015 report, New Zealand is one of the easiest places to start a business in the world.

The country has an excellent track record for upholding a remarkably business friendly environment. The report also saw New Zealand retained its second spot in the overall Ease of Doing Business ranking.

In order to protect New Zealand’s integrity and reputation as a good place to do business, the country passed amendments to the Companies Act and the Limited Partnerships Act into law in July 2014.

The amendment acts were introduced to help prevent the abuse of New Zealand incorporated companies for criminal activities, and to empower the Registrar of Companies. Besides that, these changes are also set to enhance the integrity of information held on the registers.

"These measures will be effective in reducing the misuse of New Zealand’s company registration regime. It will make it more difficult for criminals to operate undetected, without increasing compliance costs significantly," New Zealand Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, Paul Goldsmith says.

The implementation of these changes is being carried out in four phases to ensure that companies and limited partnerships have the sufficient time to prepare and meet their obligations. The latest enforcement of the amendment acts (second phase) has come into effect on 1 May and it affects both newly incorporated companies and existing companies.

From 1 May 2015 onward, all companies incorporated in New Zealand are required to provide the following.

  • The dates and places of birth for all directors (these details will not be publicly searchable)
  • At least one director who either lives in New Zealand; or lives in Australia and is a director of a company incorporated in Australia. Existing companies have until 28 October to comply with this requirement.
  • Where any director living in Australia is also a director of a company incorporated in Australia, the details of one of those Australian companies (ACN, name and registered office address).
  • Details of any Ultimate Holding Company if applicable.

Also, all existing New Zealand companies will be required to provide this additional information as part of their annual return to the Companies Office.

Read more about doing business in New Zealand

John Thorman
John  Thorman
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