Steps to register a Company in Australia and New Zealand

There are many benefits to registering your business in Australia. Australia has a strong and stable economy, experiencing positive consecutive growth spanning 26 years. Australia’s business culture is well-regulated and has a firm political environment.

One key benefit of registering a business in New Zealand is 100% foreign ownership. New Zealand is one of the easiest countries to start a business in. To form a Limited Liability Company in New Zealand (the most common business type) you only need one shareholder minimum. Furthermore, there is no required share capital when starting your New Zealand business.

English is the official language of New Zealand and Australia, and both countries rank within the top five freest economies in the world. They have responsive markets and both express a high degree of warmth to foreign investors and businesses. Learn how to register your business in these countries and set your commercial operations up for long term economic success.

Doing busicness in australia challenges an infographic by biz latin hub.
Register a Company in Australia. Unique challenges you will face with doing business in Australia

Register your Business / Company in Australia

Australia’s Business Registration Service offers an online one-stop shop for receiving your ACN, ABN, company name, and registering for taxes.

The first step to registering your business in Australia is receiving a ACN (Australian Company Number). You must receive an ACN before you get your Australian Business Name (ABN). This is essential when establishing your business structure.

Australia helpfully employs the use of online services to make registering your business easy. The Business Registration Service offers an online one-stop shop for receiving your ACN, ABN, and confirming your company name. Additionally, the Business Registration Service can also process tax registration applications.

Using ASIC Connect to register a business name

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s integrated corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit regulator. You can register your business name online with ASIC separately to or through the Business Registration Service mentioned above.

ASIC aims to streamline the  registration processes for new businesses, giving confidence to foreign investors and entrepreneurs. This system also targets improved transparency between registered businesses, national authorities and the public.

Steps to register your business name / company in Australia

  • Login to ASIC Connect and register your business name under the ‘Licences and Registrations’ tab at the top of the page.
  • Enter your Australian Business Number (ABN) You must have an Australian business number or have applied for an ABN to register a business name. When you are entering your ABN, it is crucial that you do not leave any spaces.
  • Enter the proposed business name. Enter the proposed business name exactly as you would like it to appear on the register. Please keep in mind that business names are case sensitive.
  • Select the registration period. You are allowed to register a business for 1 -3 years. After this period, you must renew it.
  • Enter the name of the business holder’s details. Make sure to include the business holders date of birth as well.
  • Enter the proposed business address. If you don’t have a business address, you should be allowed to enter your own address.
  • Confirm the eligibility to hold the business name. The holder cannot have been or be involved in any kind of criminal offenses. This is outlined in the Business Names Registration Act 2011.
  • Review your application. Make sure when you are done with everything you check the application for grammar and spelling errors. When you have confirmed that everything is ok, you can submit your application.

Make the payment and confirm your transaction. when you are done with everything, you have to pay for your application. The application fee is $479.

After making your payment, you should receive an email confirming that you have submitted your application.

Partnering with a local expert safeguards you from any delays or complications that may arise from the registration and formation process.

Company Registration – Contact a private service provider

You can choose to register a company through a private service provider (PSP). This could be an accountant, a solicitor, or other business that provides assistance with the registration process. The fee for this work varies on who you decide to partner with.

Though it comes with additional costs, partnering with a local expert safeguards you from any delays or complications that may arise from the registration and formation process. This step also ensures you remain compliant with all local regulations when setting up your business.

Making a paper-based application

You can register your company directly with ASIC by completing Form 201 – Application for registration as an Australian company and mailing it to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

You must complete all information on the form and sign it. Include the fee (use a cheque or money order) when posting your application.Finalizing your business registration application

Once ASIC has approved your application, they’ll give your company an ACN, which you can then use to apply for your ABN. They’ll formally register your company, and send you the certificate of registration.

Australia’s all-online registration service eases the stress of the registration process. To make life simpler, getting additional assistance with this process is recommended.

Register your business / Company in New Zealand

Set up your online account

Steps to register a Company in Australia / Your business name in Australia
Steps to register a Company in Australia / Your business name in Australia

One key benefit of registering a business in New Zealand is 100% foreign ownership.

To file an online application to register your company with the company office you must have a RealMe login. This is an online service account that companies register businesses with.

The New Zealand company office is a government agency that provides business registry services in relation to corporate entities, personal property and capital market securities.

Reserve a company name

Using your RealMe login, reserve a company name on the Companies Register. Before you reserve a company name, make sure to check that name you want is available. If the name is not available – i.e. another business is already using it – you won’t be able to register your business under that name.

Once you have created your online account and reserved your company name, you can begin your online application to register your company.

Company information

Company contact details. You must provide contact details for your company. This includes addresses, registered office, and correspondence.

Tax Registration for your business

Tax registration. You can register for an inland revenue number, a number for goods and services, and another number to register as an employer.

Registering Directors

Registering directors, shares and shareholders

You must register all your company’s directors and owners with ASIC. Each director needs to sign and return a consent form certifying they can, and agree to be a director.

All shareholders that your involved in your company must sign and complete a consent form.

Declaring an ultimate holding company (UHC)

If your company is controlled by a UHC, you need to make it known what type of company the UHC is. You also need to give the name, country of registration, registration number or code, and registered office address.

An ultimate holding company is a company that has control over the companies. Only if your company is a UHC company is when you will declare it as a UHC.

Annual return filing month

Every company on the companies register, including overseas companies must file an annual return. This is not a financial statement, it is a yearly update of the publicly available information about your company.

Providing a company constitution

This is a constitution sets out the rights, powers, duties of the company to its board directors and shareholders.

Application / Registration

The last and final step is to begin the online application for the corporation. When you finish the application, you need to pay the fee and click submit.  The online application will cost $150. You can register your business. All business applications can be done through the company office website.

Need help? Talk to us about opening / registering your business

Navigating legal and financial compliance regulations in New Zealand and Australia can be complex. It’s wise to engage with a local partner to get timely expertise and assistance and ensure a smooth registration process.

Biz Latin Hub, a global law firm offers a wealth of back-office services – including commercial representation and company formation – that can help get your business started in either of these South Pacific countries. We can provide you with local know-how, guidance and support to ensure the long term success of your business in Australia or New Zealand.

Get in touch with company registration experts, contact us today to find out more.

A Biz Latin Hub infographic of the key services provided including company formation, hiring & PEO, and legal services
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub. Register a Company in Australia

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.

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