How to Register New Business or LLC New Zealand

How to Register a Company in New Zealand

Want to take the first step towards realizing your entrepreneurial vision by registering your company in New Zealand? Our simple guide will help you navigate the process smoothly, making your dream of owning a business a reality.

Let’s get started!

How to register a company in New Zealand?

How to register a company in New Zealand

To register a company in New Zealand, the key step is to go through the online registration process provided by the New Zealand Companies Office

This process is commonly known as incorporating a company, and it establishes your business as a recognized legal entity in the country.

If you’re ready to start your exciting journey as a business owner, follow this step-by-step guide to effortlessly register your company in New Zealand.

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of steps7
Time to perform stepsAround 2 to 3 weeks (including the processing of registration)
Things you need• RealMe login
• Company information (e.g:  company’s address, director(s), and shareholder(s) information)
• Payment for the registration fee

STEP 1: Create a RealMe login.

Create a RealMe login

To begin the registration process, you’ll need a RealMe login. RealMe is a secure and convenient way to access New Zealand government services online. 

If you don’t have one, don’t worry, here’s how you do it:

  • Choose your login option: RealMe offers different options for you to choose from, like using your New Zealand driver’s license or passport or even your verified RealMe identity at a New Zealand Post Shop.
  • Complete the registration process: Follow the instructions on the website to create your RealMe login. You may need to provide some personal information and verify your identity, but rest assured, it’s all to ensure your data remains secure.

STEP 2: Check the company name’s availability.

Check the company name's availability

Now that you have your RealMe login, let’s move on to the fun part: choosing a name for your company! 

We recommend you think of a company name first – though you probably already have one if you’re already here.

To avoid any conflicts or confusion, you must check if your desired company name is available. The following steps will help you:

  1. Go to the official website of the New Zealand Companies Office.
  1. Search for the name: Use the search function on the website to see if anyone else is already using the name you have in mind.
  1. Keep alternatives ready: If your first-choice name is already taken, don’t worry! Prepare a few alternative names just in case. Be creative and find something that represents your company well.

Alternatively, you can use ONECheck from to check if your desired company name is potentially available before reserving it. 

Just enter your desired company name in the search box, and ONECheck will instantly check the availability of registered company names, even web domains and social media usernames.

STEP 3: Reserve your company name.

Reserve your company name

Once you’ve found a unique and available name for your company, it’s time to reserve it. This step is crucial to securing your chosen name for 30 working days while you complete the registration process. 

Here’s how to reserve your company name:

  • Log in with your RealMe: Use your RealMe login to access the Companies Office website. Once you’re logged in, you’ll find yourself on your dashboard, where you can access various services for your company.
  • Select the entity type: From the drop-down menu on your dashboard, choose the entity type that suits your company. Whether you’re forming a New Zealand Limited Company or an Overseas ASIC company, pick the appropriate option.
  • Enter your desired company name: Type in the name you’d like to reserve for your company. 

Remember, the name of a limited liability company should end with ‘Limited’ or ‘Tapui Limited’.

  • Confirm name availability: Use the ‘Auto Check feature to confirm whether your desired name is available for reservation. While this feature is useful, don’t solely rely on it; it’s essential to do your checks as well, as described in the previous step.
  • Select the purpose of incorporation: Indicate whether you are incorporating the company for yourself or on behalf of your employer.
  • Upload supporting documents (if needed): If you have written approval to use a restricted word in your company name, you can upload the necessary supporting documents during this step.
  • Click ‘Submit’ and complete the payment process: After reviewing all the details you’ve provided, click ‘Submit’ to proceed. There might be a small fee associated with reserving the name, so ensure you complete the payment process.
  • Wait for confirmation: After completing the reservation, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the details of your reserved company name and the validity period.

STEP 4: Furnish vital Information and required details for company registration.

Furnish vital Information and required details for company registration

Once you’ve reserved a company name, you can continue registering your company. But hold on—before you proceed, it’s essential to gather all the essential information and requirements needed for a smooth registration process. 

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Provide Necessary Contact Details: Ensure you include addresses for your registered office, service, and correspondence. Don’t forget to add a valid email address for future communications.
  • Decide on Tax Registrations: Choose whether you need an Inland Revenue number, a Goods and Services Tax (GST) number, or employer registration. These registrations are crucial for tax compliance and effective business management.
  • Register All Company Directors: Furnish details of all company directors and have each one sign a consent form, confirming their eligibility and agreement to serve.
  • Record Shareholders and Shares: Provide details of all shareholders and the number of shares they own. Each shareholder should sign a consent form.
  • Declare Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) Details (if applicable): If your company is controlled by a UHC, declare its type, registration details, and address.
  • Be Aware of Annual Return Filing Month: Know the month when your future annual returns are due for timely filing.
  • Decide on a Company Constitution (if needed): Choose to have a constitution or not, and if required, furnish one—either purchased or created—to define your company’s rules and duties.

STEP 5: Formally register your company.

Formally register your company

With all the details above successfully furnished, you’re now ready to officially register your company. This pivotal moment formalizes your business entity and grants it legal recognition in New Zealand.

  1. Login with your RealMe: After reserving your company name, head to the New Zealand Companies Office website and log in with your RealMe credentials. Once logged in, navigate to the ‘My unfinished business’ section.
  1. Complete the application: Within the ‘My unfinished business’ section, locate and choose the ‘Complete Coy Application’ task. This step will initiate the formal registration process.
  1. Provide essential information: As you proceed with the registration, you’ll be prompted to fill in essential details on various screens, including information about Directors, Shareholders, and Tax Registration. 

Hold on to the details you gathered from the previous step because this is where they are needed. Enter the requested information accurately to ensure a smooth registration process.

  1. Choose your payment method: You’ll be required to pay a registration fee. Select your preferred payment method and complete the transaction securely.
  1. Review and submit: Once you’ve entered all the necessary information and made the payment, take a moment to review the provided details. 

Double-check for accuracy and completeness. When you’re confident that everything is in order, click ‘Submit’ to finalize the registration application.

File directors' and shareholders' consent forms

After you’ve successfully submitted your online application for incorporation, the Companies Office will promptly send you an email with individual consent forms attached. These forms are specifically for each director and shareholder you’re registering.

It’s crucial that each director and shareholder sign and return their respective forms to the Companies Office within 20 working days. This ensures that their registration remains valid and avoids the risk of cancellation.

Taking this step promptly will help ensure the smooth and timely completion of your company registration process.

STEP 7: Receive the Certificate of Incorporation. 

Receive the Certificate of Incorporation

With successful registration, you’ll receive a Certificate of Incorporation, officially confirming that your company is now registered with the Companies Office.

Receiving the Certificate of Incorporation marks the completion of the registration journey, and your company is now a recognized legal entity in New Zealand.

As part of the successful registration, your company’s details will become publicly available on the Companies Register. This allows for transparency and ensures that relevant information about your business is accessible to the public.

Do I receive an NZBN if I register my company?

Do I receive an NZBN if I register my company

When you register your company, you’ll automatically be issued an NZBN (New Zealand Business Number) as a bonus. This NZBN serves as a unique identifier for your business, streamlining interactions with the government, suppliers, customers, and other businesses. 

To find and make use of your NZBN:

a. Check your email: After successfully completing your company registration, you should receive an email containing your NZBN. Be sure to keep this email secure, as you’ll need the NZBN for various business transactions.

b. Use your NZBN: Incorporate your NZBN on your invoices, website, and all business-related communications. It acts as your company’s identity code, making it easier for others to recognize and connect with your business.

FAQs About Registering a Company in New Zealand