Registering a company in New Zealand

Start your own business, they said. Be your own boss, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. But after all that helpful advice, no one told you how you were meant to form a company, or helped you understand what you needed to do first.

Whether you’re pivoting, finding your feet, got a crazy idea, had enough of working for others, or have already started a business but aren’t sure what else is involved, our interactive set up wizard can guide you through the steps of registering your company. Using data that we already know about you, like what kind of business you run and what stage your business is at, we’ll help you quickly and correctly complete the tasks you need to complete, as you need them.

Create a free account to be one of the first small businesses to set up your business with Afirmo.

Afirmo makes registering your company here in NZ a very simple process, guiding you through the process each step of the way, and ensuring you meet all of your legal obligations.

Choosing a structure for your business

There are three common business structures – sole trader, partnership and company. Each offers various benefits and can alter how you register your business. Because Afirmo’s easy-to-follow business type selection wizard is tailored to whatever stage your empire is at, we’ll help you choose the best structure for your business. We won’t get you to register a company if you’re a self-employed contractor or freelancer, or set you up as a sole trader if you have employees or are planning on growing a team.

Choosing a company name

From the moment you started dreaming about starting your own business you’ve probably been thinking about what you’d call it. We know it can take time and a few false starts to land on the perfect name. So, once you’ve decided on a name we’ll help you check if it’s already being used or uses restricted words. Then we’ll guide you through the process of reserving a company name before you set up your company.

How to register a company in NZ

No one wants to get something wrong, but it feels like there’s so much to get right. We can’t make the set up regulations and requirements go away, but we can make it easier for you to get the foundations of your business right. Afirmo helps you tick off your obligations, taking you through easy-to-follow steps to register your company.

  1. Reserve your company name

    If you’ve decided to structure your business as a company, the first step is to reserve your company’s name with the Companies Office. Afirmo will reserve your company name as part of our company formation process. We will pay the Companies Office for all direct costs including company name reservation so you don’t need to worry about any other billing.

  2. Get a NZ Business Number

    If you’re registering a company you’ll automatically be issued a NZ Business Number (NZBN). This is a unique identifier for your business and links to the information others need to work with you, like your company name and contact details. Afirmo can help sole traders, self-employed people and partnerships register for a free NZBN.

  3. Provide a company constitution and shareholder’s agreement

    Use Afirmo’s template legal documents, like our shareholders agreement and company constitution, to help you get it right. These are available for free during our launch period.

    A company constitution is a legal document that spells out the rights, powers and duties of your company. You don’t have to have a constitution, but if you do you must follow it. It offers a level of protection to the directors and shareholders.

    If you have more than one shareholder, you’ll need an agreement that sets out how they operate and interact. It offers a level of protection to the directors and shareholders. The shareholders agreement sits alongside the company constitution.

    Afirmo makes it easy to push data to the Companies Office to make sure you’re always on top of things. We can operate a single source of truth for your company via our app.

  4. GST Registration

    You’ll need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if you’re earning, or forecast to earn, more than $60,000 each year. We’ll help you register for GST at the same time as you register your company. We’ll also help you understand what your GST obligations are, with tools and advice to get GST sorted. And because everything is all in one place, we make it easy to file your annual returns without having to double key data.

  5. Securely store your key business information

    We’ve all done it, written down some important information on the back of an envelope and sworn we’d transfer it somewhere safe later … but we didn’t. So, rather than spending hours searching for the envelope (let’s be honest, you threw it out months ago!), securely store your key business information in Afirmo’s simple-to-use business dashboard. Once you’ve entered your business information into your Afirmo profile, we’ll keep it safe and ready for you to access anytime you need it. And, because we like to be helpful, your dashboard will also flag when renewals are due or filing dates are coming up.

Create a free account to be one of the first small businesses to securely store your key business information on the Afirmo dashboard.

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