Skip to main content

Self-employed or running a business

Find out how to set up a business, including self-employment, and what your responsibilities are when running a business.

COVID-19 — financial support and how to work safely

Information about COVID-19 rules and financial support for businesses.

COVID-19: Information for businesses — business.govt.nz

Setting up a new business

There are some things you need to think about before making any decisions about starting a business or becoming self-employed.

Questions to ask yourself before you start — business.govt.nz

There’s a 10-step guide on business.govt.nz to help you set up your business.

Guide to starting a business

If you are buying an existing business

It can be cheaper to buy an existing business than to set one up from scratch. Investigate the market to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

Buying a business or franchise — business.govt.nz

If you’re going contracting

You can also be a self-employed contractor. You’ll normally be paid more than a salaried worker, but you’ll need to pay your own tax, and you do not get paid for public holidays, annual holidays or sick leave.

Going contracting - business.govt.nz

Sorting out your finance

You’ll need to work out the money side of starting a business.

Pay tax and ACC levies

You’ll need to keep accurate records, file tax returns and make payments to Inland Revenue and ACC.

Claim expenses

You can claim business expenses, such as home office expenses, and deduct these from your income before calculating tax. 

Claiming expenses — business.govt.nz

Get your business online

Having a website makes it easier for your customers to find you. Find out how to get your business online and how to avoid some common mistakes.

Selling on online shopping sites

Usually when you sell things online you no longer want or need, you do not have to pay tax on those sales. But, if you’re selling things on a regular basis for profit, you may be in business and you will have to pay tax.

Online trading: a hobby or a business? — business.govt.nz

Protect the data and information you collect

You need to protect data and information you collect about your customers and employees.

If you do not take steps to protect your information, you could put your business at risk or damage your reputation.

Cyber security for businesses and individuals — Cert NZ

Advice and support for your business

There is help and support available for you and your business.

Grants and help from government organisations

There are government organisations that provide help for new businesses.

Grants and help for your new business — business.govt.nz

Contact a business advisor

An advisor can help you with planning for your business.

Getting business planning advice — business.govt.nz

Help from Inland Revenue with tax

Inland Revenue has community compliance officers and Kaitakawaenga Māori who help small businesses with tax. Through Inland Revenue, you can request:

Utility links and page information

Last updated