Set Up Business in New Zealand

New Zealand Expansion Guide

Global Upside helps companies set up, hire, and operate in New Zealand. Set up a legal entity quickly and easily with our solutions for branch, subsidiary, and rep office. Looking for an alternative to permanent establishment? Hire and pay employees in New Zealand without a legal entity by using our PEO & employer of record services. Once your business is set up, our teams can support with recruitment and staffing, human resources, employee benefits, payroll, accounting, and tax.

Capital City



New Zealand Dollar (NZ$)


Māori, English, New Zealand Sign Language


Parliamentary System under a Constitutional Monarchy

Country Overview

With a population of 5 million people, New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia. The economy has developed from being an agrarian economy to a more industrialized and free-market economy that can vie internationally.

  • New Zealand ranks as the 53rd largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP.
  • New Zealand ranks as the 2nd largest economy in Oceania.
  • New Zealand is the world’s largest producer of concentrated milk.
  • New Zealand ranks as the 5th best country in the world for business.

Options for setting up a legal entity in New Zealand include:

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company is the most common form of an entity set up which is administered by a board of directors who are appointed by the investors. The liability is limited to the amount of capital shared by the investors.


A branch is an establishment that manages the operations of the parent company in New Zealand and is not a separate entity.

It takes approximately two weeks to establish a legal entity set up in New Zealand.

The labor law in New Zealand is derived from two primary sources:

  • Acts of Parliament – a statute
  • Principles developed by Courts and Tribunals – common law

There is a chain of acts that make up what is stated as the “minimum code” that sets out the minimum rights of employees in New Zealand.

The terms that need to be stipulated in an employment contract are:

  • Names of both the employer and employee
  • Job description
  • Job location
  • Working hours
  • Public holidays
  • Remuneration

Payroll frequency in New Zealand is monthly or bi-weekly and there are a 13th and 14th-month salary that is paid to the employees.

The New Zealand Accounting Standards Board (NZASB) promulgates the accounting standards and it is a Committee of the External Reporting Board (XRB) which is an independent ‘Crown Entity’. The Financial Reporting Act 2013 was established by the New Zealand law.

Corporate Tax

The corporate tax rate is 28%.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

The VAT rate in New Zealand is 15%.

The Privacy act 1993 and its Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) administer how companies collect, use, store, release, retain, and provide access to personal data.

Codes currently in place are:

  • Credit Reporting Privacy Code
  • Telecommunications Information Privacy Code
  • Justice Sector Unique Identifier Code
  • Health Information Privacy Code
  • Superannuation Schemes Unique Identifier Code
  • Civil Defense National Emergencies (Information Sharing) Code

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

The primary statutes that govern bribery and corruption in New Zealand are:
• Secret Commissions Act 1910
• Crimes act 1961; Part 6, Section 99-106

1. Bribery of Public Officials:

For Individuals:
i) Imprisonment for up to 14 years

2. Bribery of Private Officials

For Individuals:
i) Imprisonment of up to 7 years