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Chapter 7

Registering a business and other admin tasks

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Small business guides > Your guide to starting a business > Registering a business and other admin tasks

Registering a business and other admin tasks

After all the excitement of deciding to start a business, you’ll have some paperwork to do. These first tasks as a business owner won’t be the most fun, but they’ll help keep you out of trouble with the law.

A showroom for a furniture business called Sticks & Thrones.

Where to get help

If you’re unsure of your obligations to the government, there are people who can help. Look for industry associations for your type of business, search around for a Chamber of Commerce and other local business advocacy groups, find businesses like yours and ask the owners what regulations they have to comply with, or simply speak to a local accountant.

How to register a business with the government

There are a few government departments that need to know about your business:

  • MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)
    Once you’re officially in business, tell MBIE and they’ll issue you with a business number. You may be asked to quote it in your dealings with the government (and others). It will make things faster and easier.

  • IR (Inland Revenue)
    You may have to pay income tax and GST, so the tax office will need to know about you. They’ll provide you with a tax number. It’s not all one-way traffic, though. When your business is GST registered, you can claim back GST on business expenses. 

  • ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation)
    As a business, you have a workplace – even if it’s your home and you’re the only worker in it. ACC provides cover for workplace accidents. You need to register and pay a levy.

You’ll have some extra formalities to complete if you choose to set your business up as a company.

Chapter 8: Create a website

Need to create a website but feeling lost? We step you through the process, from registering a web address to writing and launching your site.

Read chapter 8

This guide is intended as general information only. Always check with a professional for advice.


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