Business Articles and Posts

Setting up a new business – what do I need to know

There are a lot on things on the todo list when starting a business, we take a look at the things you need to consider from a business, financial and legal view point in New Zealand.

Asking the right questions

Do I have what it takes?

Running your own business can mean hard, unpredictable days with no let-up until you start making a profit, which can take years.
You’ll need to be:
• Passionate about your business idea
• Prepared to make sacrifices
• Good at managing risk
• Persistent when things don’t go your way
• Open to learning new skills

How good is my business idea?

There can be a major difference between a good idea and a commercially viable idea. Make sure you take time to evaluate your business idea before committing to it.

Will I solve a problem or fill a need?

Is your business idea going to solve a problem or tap into an unfilled need for the public or other businesses? If the answer is no, then you need to re-think your business idea.

What is my unique selling point?

Your product or service must stand out from the competition. To figure out how to do this, you can create fictional customer profiles, work out their values and the things they care about, and what they need. From there, you can decide how to market to them.

How much will my business cost to start up?

Once you have a basic business plan, you’ll need to work out how much starting your business will cost. Things you need to take into account are:
• Lease or purchase of buildings or land
• Permits, licences, or other compliance costs
• Equipment and/or machinery
• Vehicles
• Fittings and furniture
• Branding
• Website and domain names
• Registering your IP
• Insurance
• Utilities
• Wages/Salaries

Who are my rivals?

Some markets are harder to break into than others. Things to consider are:
• How many competitors will you have?
• Are there any who will be in direct competition with you?
• How difficult will it be for others to repeat what you’ve done?
• How do you differ from your competition?

Business planning and financial accounting
Setting up a business
Business tax and expenses accounting

What are the things I need to do once I’ve answered these questions?

Choose a business name and secure it

Once you have a name in mind, run it through MBIE’s ONECheck tool to see if it’s available as a business name, trademark, web domain, and social media user name. Once your name is chosen, register your domain name, reserve your company name with the companies office, and check your trademarks with IPONZ to make sure no-one has secured it before you.

Choose a business structure

You can choose to be a sole trader, in a partnership, or a company. The structure you choose dictates how you have to register your business, so check out MBIE’s business structure tool to see which is right for you. Depending on your business you may also need a RealMe login as some businesses require registration with different government departments.

Register for a New Zealand Business Number

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier for your business that links to information others need to work with you, like a trading name and contact details. You can register for one at the NZBN website.

Look into regulations

There are specific regulations that apply to specific industries and regions, like health and safety, food licensing, and consumer guarantees. You can check your industry’s compliances with MBIE’s Compliance Matters tool.

Register for GST

You’ll need to register for GST if you’re earning more than $60,000 per year. You can do this at the IRD website.

Register your trademark

A registered trademark is the best way to protect your brands in the marketplace. You can do this at the IPONZ website.

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