Please note that these pages are only provided as an opinion and to help explain some of the concepts and we recommend that if you need to understand this more clearly you should obtain expert, legal and financial advice.
Should I go into business for myself or with others?
You have a great idea and want to start a business. Is your idea for a business going to solve a problem or tap into an unfilled need for the public or other businesses? If your answer is yes, then we can help you get that great idea into market by assisting you step‐by‐step through the process.
Why do I need to start a company? *
Businesses in New Zealand generally use one of these three structures ‐ Limited Liability, Sole Trader or Partnership.
A company is a formal and legal entity in its own right and separate from its shareholders or owners. The limited liability company is New Zealand's most successful business structure. It fosters confidence in the business by governing the relationships between investors/shareholders, directors and creditors and by giving customers, investors and other stakeholders a clearer picture of who and what they are dealing with.
A sole trader operates a business on their own. They can employ people, but the trader controls, manages and owns the business and is entitled to all profits. The trader is also personally liable for all business taxes and debts. However, most often a sole trader business is started as a company to take advantage of the protection and other benefits the structure offers.
Partnerships are most common for professional people and in the farming industry. Partnerships can be an effective way to share business operation costs where, for example, several professional people work out of a joint office. The partnership itself does not pay income tax, instead it distributes the partnership income to the partners and the partners then pay tax on their own share. Many partnerships are established with a formal partnership agreement which must be well thought‐out to cover all contingencies and possible conflicts. Today however partnerships are not as popular because professionals can opt for a company structure which may offers better protection.
* Source: Immigration NZ, New Zealand Now
Sourcing market information
You'll want to know as much as you can about the market and opportunities for your business. Statistics New Zealand has a wide range of online information tables and tools that can help https://www.stats.govt.nz/
Why do I need to set up tax numbers ‐ Personal and GST?
Depending on the business structure you use, you will either need individual (personal) tax numbers or a company tax number. We can help you set up your IRD number, but for more information visit Inland Revenue https://www.ird.govt.nz/
Do I need a lawyer, accountant and/or bank?
At some point during the life of your business you will need to set up bank accounts for business purposes, and perhaps even transferring funds to or from overseas. You may also want to seek legal and financial advice, about your business, but in particular around your Income Tax and GST obligations, as well as to protect any intellectual property (IP) you may have developed.
What is RealMe and why do I need it?
RealMe is your login to a secure service used by many government agencies and other organisations. It gives you a single login to multiple online services, and if you upgrade to a RealMe Verified Identity, it also works as your online ID. Hence RealMe for business and government makes it easier for you to access and use online services offered by both government and the private sector. It is also a secure way to prove who you are when you're online.
How do I set up a RealMe account?
To create your RealMe login the best place is from the service you want to use. You'll need to provide a username and password, your contact details, and three security questions. RealMe then uses your security questions if you forget your password or username to help you regain access.
What you'll need ‐ to apply for your verified identity you'll need a:
- RealMe login
- mobile phone for 2FA ‐ (either a text or Google Authenticator)
- NZ passport issued after 2004
Using your passport is the easiest way to apply.
If you don't have a NZ passport issued after 1 January 2004, you can still apply using:
- NZ citizenship certificate issued after 2004
- NZ immigration details, or
- NZ birth details
You'll also need to provide a document with your photo on it, like a driver licence or 18+ card/Kiwi access card. If we need further proof of your details we'll tell you what documents we need when we email your application number.
Why do I need a website?
A website is the digital storefront window to your business. Different kinds of websites have different purposes depending on who the intended audience is. Some websites are geared towards selling products while others are geared towards providing practical information, (and others are merely for entertainment).
A brochure or information website provides specific, helpful information to your potential customers so they get to understand your services or offering. The purpose of a service‐based business website is to convince your website visitors that they should become customers of your company. This is done by providing them with information and articles which demonstrate your knowledge, a visual portfolio of your work, and potentially in the future videos, customer testimonials, etc.
eCommerce Website (shop)
The purpose of e‐commerce website is to sell products to your customers. Hence an ecommerce website needs to be carefully thought through with a clear catalogue of products &/or services, guiding them through the process of purchasing and then taking them to and through the payment process.
What is a Domain Name or url, (e.g. www.name.co.nz) and why do I need them?
A Domain name is the address of your website that people type into their browser (URL bar) to take them to your website. So, in simple terms if your website was a house then your domain name is its address. Hence, you need to make your domain name (if possible) memorable and named to avoid as much misspelling as possible.
How closely should I link my url to my company name?
Typically you should try to get your url as close to your company name as possible as this can help to avoid any confusion as to who you are and how to find you on the web. Also this will often allow you to get email address(es) that are similar to your company name. However, this can depend on a number of things such as the length of your business name, (if it's too long it could mean that people will make more mistakes in searching for your web site), whether there is a more fun name but that still depicts your company in a good way, etc. This really comes down to your choice.
What different types of Domain names are there and what should I use?
Domain names are available in many different extensions (more than 280) with the most popular one being .com. There are however many other extension options such as .org, .net, .info, .gov, and many, many more including Top Level Domain (TLD) and Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Each of these are different so designate different things.
A TLD is a generic domain extension that is listed at the highest level in the domain name system and there are hundreds of these with the most popular ones being .com, .org, and .net.
A ccTLD is a country code top‐level domain which is a country specific domain name for which the end country code extension will be .co.nz for New Zealand , .au for Australia, .uk for the United Kingdom, or .in for India, etc. These are usually used by websites that want to target audiences in a specific country.
Should I buy and use more than one url/Domain extension?
This really does depend on your business and how widely you feel your business might grow, e.g. your home country only, across a region or globally. So it really is a one size does not fit all. However, we recommend our customers registering their domain name counterparts (additional extensions) if they are available, and acquiring them if they are serious about owning their domain namespace. This is to stop any copy cat businesses popping up and confusing the market. However, to acquire them all would be almost impossible (and hugely expensive) so we recommend (if you can afford it) to at least purchase the main extensions of your web address, e.g., businessname.com and businessname.co.nz, plus any others that you feel relevant, for example if your business is in education you may also wish to purchase businessname.education
It is a relatively small investment to purchase those extensions that you feel you may need or to stop somebody else encroaching on your web space, and you can always release them at a later date.
Do I need a business plan?
There are varying views on whether a Business Plan is necessary to both start and run a company, and ultimately it is up to you to determine whether it is required for your business and its success. However, just for reference we have included the following from business.govt.nz
Tips for preparing a business planhttps://www.business.govt.nz/getting-started/business‐planning‐toolsVand‐tips/how‐to‐write‐a‐business‐plan/
- Be clear and focused about what you want to achieve
- Choose the type of business plan that works for you ‐ you may like to have a document, or a business canvas might work better
- Keep it short, simple and easy to understand
- Keep your goals realistic and relevant to what is going on in the economy and in your industry
- Use Stats NZ's Data for Business website to find useful business tools and statistics
- Contact Stats NZ to get useful business data
- Get out and speak with your customers to gain understanding of how your product works for them and whether it's something they would pay for
- Do a SWOT analysis to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Ask your advisor or mentor to review your plan and give you feedback and suggested improvements
If you decide to write a business plan a Quickfire Business Plan template is available from business.govt.nz https://www.business.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/quick‐focus‐plan.pdf
Why did you select certain packages for inclusion in the bizebu solution?
During the process of developing this solution we had to select capabilities for functions such as ecommerce and accounting. There are a multitude of solutions in each of these categories, so hence we had to go through a rigorous selection process to determine the best fit for our solution, and we believe for you.
Why did we select Shopify for our Ecommerce solution?
There are many ecommerce platforms available to business owners, so selection is important. They range from new startups to established international brands. One of the most popular of these solutions is Shopify as it is cloud based, flexible, easy to get started and use, configurable, has the ability to grow with your business, and it is used to host and run their online stores by hundreds of thousands of merchants around the world.
Why did we select Xero as our accounting solution?
Xero is a leading cloud based accounting management system that works with your businesses' rules and priorities, and manages money in and out of its budgets. It is relatively easy to use and has great dashboards where you can monitor your business' health through items such as billing and invoicing status and run comparisons using charts.
Xero is highly configurable and provides a number of pre‐built templates. It also provides for multi‐approvals for transactions and an audit trail. Furthermore it provides feedback on your financial operations. Standard reports include Balance sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow records, and it also provides built in analytics.
Xero's features include:
- Bank reconciliation
- Contacts ‐ keep track of suppliers and customers
- Expense claims
- Files ‐ attach documents to your financial data
- Financial reporting
- Free, unlimited (Xero) email support
- Invoicing ‐ create and send invoices automatically
- Log in from anywhere
- Mobile apps (Android, iPhone/iPad)
- Online accounting ‐ access Xero anytime, anywhere
- Purchase orders
- Quick and easy 1099s
- Receive bills electronically
- Smart lists ‐ segment contacts based on purchase history
- Fixed assets
- GST returns