With a range of options for business structures and good protection for intellectual property, Auckland is an easy place to do business.

New Zealand is ranked number one in the world for ease of doing business, according to the World Bank Doing Business 2019 flagship report. Thanks to ongoing governmental reforms, we enjoy well-designed business regulations and a business-friendly environment with few restrictions on establishing, owning and operating a business.

The two bodies you need to know about are the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Overseas Investment Office, which administers New Zealand’s overseas investment laws.

Finding a team of professionals

Each website below publishes a directory of registered private businesses who can assist you as you set up your operations here:

 
Which legal entity?

There are various ways to trade in New Zealand, and below is an overview of the most common legal entities. Be sure to take legal advice on the best structure for your business before you decide.

Limited liability company – the most common business type in New Zealand, this entity is kept separate from its shareholders with liability for losses not usually held against the owners. Find out more about limited liability companies at business.govt.nz.

Partnership – this structure is used where several people want to share operational costs, but take personal responsibility for income and tax. No registration is required, but a private partnership agreement is best practice. Read about partnerships at business.govt.nz.

Joint venture – this is a useful entity for specific needs, such as setting up a distribution presence in a new market, running a production facility, or to get access to another company’s process or technology. Learn more at business.govt.nz.

Sole trader – this structure is used by some solo founders and is integral to your personal finances where you are responsible for all income and losses. Learn more at business.govt.nz.

Setting up a branch office – this option recognises the offshore incorporation of an organisation, but it must first be registered on the Companies Office Overseas Register. See ways to register overseas companies and how overseas companies set up as an NZ business on the New Zealand Companies office website.

For more information and insights into the choice of business legal entities in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Companies Office.

Intellectual Property

There are several forms of intellectual property (IP) rights in New Zealand, which can protect a wide variety of your firm’s intellectual assets, including brand names, logos, inventions, designs, text or images. Find out more at the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office