Choosing a business name is an important step for any entrepreneur. The name can reflect a particular business goal or a vision and, in any case, it becomes a fundamental part of the business image. Like in any other jurisdiction, when investor start a company in New Zealand
they will need to check the availability of a particular name as well as register the business name in NZ
The company name registration phase is an essential process, after which the other incorporation steps can commence. Our team of company formation agents in New Zealand presents the main steps needed to reserve and register a business name as well as briefly lists other important post-name registration steps.
For complete information on business name registration and company formation, please reach out to our agents. We offer services to local and foreign nationals who wish to start their business in New Zealand
and we assist our clients each step of the way, from reserving the name to making sure that the business obtains the relevant permits and licenses for its industry.
How to register a business name in NZ
The business name is subject to a number of conditions, apart from those that have to do solely with the investor’s wishes and preferences. The most important aspect to keep in mind is that the name needs to be unique.
A business name is registered with the NZ Companies Office, operating under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
. A prior check can be performed with the Office in order to reserve the name and, if the investor wishes to do so, also register a domain name and commence the process for trademark registration.
Before they register a business name in NZ, investors should be ware that the trading name (the public name used by the company in relation to its clients) can be different from the registered business name, the one for which the application is submitted with the Companies Office. However, the trading name cannot infringe an existing trademark or use restricted words.
Names that infringe existing ones can be subject to legal proceedings under the Fair Trading Act, an issue that would hinder the business from commencing or continue to develop its activities and an event that would add additional expenses, apart from the cost to register a business name in NZ
and the costs for launching the business. This is why is it important to make sure that the business and trade name check
is performed accordingly.
NZ rules for business names
The name of the company needs to be unique and it cannot be reserved if it is identical or almost identical to an already registered one. We list below some of the main conditions that apply when investors register a business name in NZ:
- Almost identical names: this can be hard to determine, however, when investors wish to use the same words, they can opt for a different order or include a year or a number;
- Special uses: the company name cannot include restricted or protected words; examples include, “Government”, “Her Majesty”, “Interpol”, “Queen” or “Red Cross”; when the company is not involved in selected business fields, such as insurance, it cannot use these specific words;
- Symbols: the name can include numbers and symbols only in some cases, for example when their use is in an acceptable context;
- Others: the name cannot use macrons, unless it will be used in a Māori place or as part of Māori name.
can give you more details on the requirements or limitations on company names so that you can make an informed decision and avoid the situation in which your chosen business name is incompliant.
NZ company formation costs
The cost to register a business name in NZ will also include those for registering the business name. Other relevant costs can include the following:
Cost to register a business name in NZ: $11.50 including GST;
Cost to incorporate the company: the total amount including GST is $131.55;
The company restoration cost: $172.5 for the total, including GST.
There is no fee for registering the change of a company name. When a company changes its name with another legal entity (company name swap), a fee of $10 (to which GST is added) applies to each of the two companies. The fees presented herein were in force starting with July 1, 2021. For updated information, or changes to the Companies Office fees, please reach out to our agents.
Choosing the company name is only the first step when deciding to start a business in New Zealand.
You can reach out to our team of company formation agents
in the country for more information on the estimated cost to register a business name in NZ
as well as receive personalized assistance.