How to start your own business
Find out the basics of setting up a new business.
- Employers looking for staff can register their interest on Work and Income’s website Keep New Zealand Working
- COVID-19: Information for businesses — Business.govt.nz
Setting up a new business
Before you go into business, it’s helpful to do some research first.
Planning your business
You’ll need to think about the practical side of your business too, such as how you’ll finance it and run it.
Protecting your business name and ideas
You need to think about your branding and protecting your business idea.
Check if your business name, trademark, web domain and social media usernames and domain name are available.
Structuring your business
You’ll also need to find a formal structure for your business. The most common structures are a company, sole trader or partnership.
Buying a 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.
Running a business
Staff and human resources
If you hire staff you need to know your duties as an employer, and implement good management practices, including health and safety.
Use the Compliance Matters tool to find, understand and manage the reporting your business must do to government.
What you pay depends on the number of staff you have, their income, the industry you’re in and your claims history.
You’ll need to keep accurate records, budget for upcoming tax payments, and account for your business expenses and deductions for your business and your staff.
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 don’t get holiday pay or sick leave.
It’s common for contractors to have to take out insurance — for example, liability insurance — before they sign a contract.
Advice and support for your business
A number of government agencies provide help for new businesses.
Inland Revenue has community compliance officers and Kaitakawaenga Māori who help small businesses with tax advice.