About Companies

Forming a Company
If you are looking at forming a company you will need to provide the following information:

  • A name.
  • At least one shareholder.
  • At least one share.
  • At least one director.
  • A registered address.
  • An address for serving legal documents.

The following are the 3 steps if you want to incorporate a company:

Step 1: Reserve a Name

The first thing to do is reserve a name for your proposed company. You can download the necessary forms from the NZ Companies Office web site (www.companies.govt.nz) or you can buy the necessary forms from various stationers. All you need to do is complete the application form and return it to the NZ Companies Office with the appropriate payments. You can apply electronically by going to the NZ Companies Office web site.

When looking at reserving a name, you should provide two alternatives in case one of them has already been taken or is not accepted. The registrar will send you a notice telling you if your name as been reserved and if so it will be held for 20 working days from the date stated in the notice. You then have to form your company within that time; otherwise you will lose your name.

Reserving a name online through the company web site is generally the quickest and most efficient method and is actually cheaper at $15. Reserving your name through the normal paper process is $25. The Companies Office says they can turn around an online application within five to ten minutes.

Step 2: Register the Company

When you go to register your company you have to lodge the following documents:

  • An application for registration.

  • Consents of the directors and shareholders that they are prepared to act as directors and shareholders in the company.

  • Non-disqualification certificates for the directors. These certificates say that the individuals concerned are able to be in business legally. – (That is, they are not undischarged bankrupts or banned from conducting a business for some reason.) These certificates are on the same form as the consents.

  • The name reservation notice you have received from the NZ Companies Office.

  • A constitution if you are setting up your own. (If you don’t have a constitution you will automatically come under the constitution in the Companies Act.)

  • A fee of $100. (If you are registering electronically it will cost you $70 and payment will be by credit card.)

  • All these documents are available as templates from the NZ Companies Office.

Step 3: Finalise Incorporation
The whole process can be done by post, by personal delivery, or electronically. If you are registering electronically the application will be sent electronically via the NZ Companies Office web site and you will have to fax through to them the signed directors and shareholders consent forms.

Once the NZ Companies Office receives this, the documentation is processed and your company will be incorporated. Then an incorporation certificate will be sent to you online, or by post.