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Do You Need a Legal Representative in New Zealand?

For anyone doing business in New Zealand, or planning on entering the market, it is important to appoint a reliable legal representative with extensive knowledge of corporate law in New Zealand, who will formally represent your organization before local authorities and submit legal documents to public notaries. Your legal representative in New Zealand will enjoy broad power to act on your behalf, so you will want to have confidence in their ability to advance your commercial interests.

A map of New Zealand, where you may wish to appoint a legal representative
A map of New Zealand

New Zealand is a highly developed country and vibrant democracy that was named as the second-freest economy globally in the Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom. Since the turn of the century, New Zealand has experienced significant economic growth, with gross domestic product (GDP) reaching $206.9 billion in 2019 (all figures in USD), according to World Bank data. It has also seen a concomitant rise in gross national income (GNI) — a key marker of prosperity — which hit $42,760 per capita that same year.

The South Pacific country is an important agricultural producer, as highlighted by the fact it is the world’s number one producer of concentrated milk, rough wood, butter, casein, and honey, while it counts sheep and goat meat, and frozen bovine meat among its biggest exports. The primary recipients of New Zealand’s exports include China, Australia, the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

Nevertheless, the services industry is the sector contributing most towards the country’s GDP, followed by the housing rental and construction industries, according to 2019 statistics published by the New Zealand government

If you are looking to enter this lucrative market, read on to understand more about what a good legal representative in New Zealand will do for you. Or go ahead and contact us now to discuss your business option.

Your legal representative will be the “legal face” of your company, acting on your behalf and working to boost your commercial interests. The only statutory requirements governing the appointment of your legal representative in New Zealand is that they are at least 18 years of age and, in the event they are not a New Zealand citizen, they have the right to work and reside in the country.

Nevertheless, it makes sense to appoint someone with a strong track record in business environments, be that a corporate lawyer, a public accountant, or someone with c-suite experience. 

If you are planning a market entry without the intention of relocating to New Zealand, you may find that the best option for you is to appoint a legal representative from outside the company — at least on an initial temporary basis, while you get your operations and workforce into gear.

Do you need to appoint a representative?

A photo of Aukland, the capital of New Zealand, where you may wish to appoint a legal representative
Aukland, the capital city of New Zealand

You do not legally have to appoint a legal representative in New Zealand, as long as you are planning to reside in the country and happy to act in that capacity and represent the company before local authorities. However, if you are not intending to be based in New Zealand, you will need to appoint somone to the role.

What is more, when entering a new market, it is valuable to have someone on your team who has a firm grasp of the business environment and regulatory regime in that country, because they should be able to help you avoid common inconveniences and overcome unexpected hurdles along the way.

They will also likely have an established local network having been established for a long period, which could be particularly useful when you are seeking new staff or searching for commercial partnerships.

In the event you hire a corporate lawyer or public accountant, they will also be able to provide ongoing advice regarding the local corporate and employment law, or the taxation regime, potentially saving you from having to consult a third party.

Your legal representative in New Zealand will be authorized to carry out a range of duties on your behalf, including signing contracts, hiring and firing staff, and signing off on commercial agreements.

They will also be able to:

  • Act as a representative in company trials and lawsuits.
  • Sign off on any obligation authorized by the shareholders
  • Act as a representative in banking arrangements 

While it is possible to limit the powers of your legal representative, they will still be your eyes and ears on the ground, in the event you are not relocating to the country yourself, and as such you should choose someone whose business sense you trust, which will largely be based on their previous experience.

It, therefore, pays to research their experience via the likes of LinkedIn or the websites of former employers, as well as to seek out online reviews from past customers.

At Biz Latin Hub, we can provide the reliable back-office that you need. Among our multilingual team offering corporate legal services and accounting & taxation advice, we have the personnel on hand who are ready to act as the dependable legal representative that you are looking for in New Zealand, as well as in Australia and 16 countries around Latin America and the Caribbean where we have a presence.

Reach out to us now for a free consultation or to discuss your options.

Or read about our team of expert authors.

A graphic showing our services, which include being a legal representive in New Zealand
Market entry and back office services offered at Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team New Zealand
Legal Team New Zealand

Legal Team New Zealand is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Zealand The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team New Zealand via our "contact us page".

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