3 major steps to starting a business in New Zealand

We Kiwis are well known for our entrepreneurial spirits. Armed with our Number 8 wire attitude, we're always thinking of innovative ways to change the business environment – but starting a business isn't always a clear process. That doesn't mean you shouldn't bother launching your business idea, however! With a team of experienced accountants on your side, seeing your business flourish is simple.

If it's your dream to turn your passion into a successful business venture, these are the three big steps you need to take to get the ball rolling.

1. Develop your concept

Doing market research will help you determine if your idea is viable.

You have an idea of what your business will look like – what products or services it will offer – but is there any demand? Doing market research will help you determine if your idea is viable. 

Start by defining your business. Clearly detail what you want to offer, who will buy it and why. By determining what your offering and market are, you can start to put some feelers out to understand demand. For example, if you're thinking about starting a hair salon in the Taranaki region, your target market is most likely women of any age. You might prefer to reach out to higher-income women, if you like the idea of a luxury salon. Now you've defined your target market, you can use surveys to collect data on what these women are looking for from a salon and develop your unique selling points – factors that set you apart from your competitors. 

You should also look at what your competitors are offering and see if you are able to do one better, whether that means lower prices or better service. It's easy to perceive demand that isn't there based on your own interests, so it's important to get real numbers to avoid starting a business that isn't viable.

Plan for success when starting your business by talking to a registered accountant.Plan for success when starting your business by talking to a chartered accountant.

2. Find an accountant you can trust

Once you know what your business might look like, it's time to start turning your concept into a tangible business plan. There are a lot of considerations that need to be made at this point, such as:

  • Your business structure and payroll.
  • Your mission and elevator pitch.
  • Core metrics to determine success.
  • Forecasts for revenue, profit and loss, and cash flow.
  • Finance, plant and equipment acquisition strategies.
  • Tax planning and legislative compliance.
  • Supply chains and buyers.

The team here at Hughson are dedicated to seeing your business thrive.

If you're starting a business, all these different terms and considerations can feel a little overwhelming. That's why it's always a good idea to have a team of experienced small business accountants on your side. The team here at Hughson are dedicated to seeing your business thrive. We'll help you put the pieces together to get your enterprise up and running and plan for long-term success. 

Finding an accountancy firm you can trust also gives you access to ongoing business advice and support. This means you have someone taking care of your general ledger, preparing financial statements and balance sheets, handling payroll, and tracking performance so you can focus on operations and growth opportunities. If you're buying or taking over a farm, we can also help you with DairyBase benchmarking.

We handle all the numbers so you can enjoy growing your business.We handle all the numbers so you can enjoy growing your business.

3. Register your business!

To legally operate a business in New Zealand, you need to register the company with a number of government institutions. We've broken it down for you to keep it simple:

  • Register your business name: Use the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's ONECheck tool to find out if your preferred company name is available. You may find you need to alter it slightly if the name is already taken. Once you've found a viable name, you can also register it using the online tool.
  • Get a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN): Your NZBN links all your business information to one convenient identifier. This will make it easier to do business efficiently and cut out a lot of longwinded admin. If you've registered a company, you'll have already been provided an NZBN, but sole traders and self-employed people may benefit from getting an NZBN too.
  • Check in with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD): To remain tax compliant, you'll need to register for an IRD number, and possibly employer status and goods and services tax (GST). 
  • Apply for a trademark: Protect your brand in the marketplace by registering a trademark with the NZ Intellectual Property Office.

There are a number of other registrations you might need to make depending on the structure of your business – we're more than happy to advise you on these!

For more assistance putting your business together, reach out to the team at Hughson and Associates today.

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