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New Company Information Requirements

by Lea de Rooy

It is relatively straightforward to set up a company in New Zealand – complete a few forms, pay a few hundred dollars, and an Empire is born… This simplicity, together with our country's enviable status as an "OECD High Income Economy"1 is one factor that makes New Zealand an attractive place to do business.

But unfortunately with this simplicity comes the potential for contempt, and even abuse.

It is for this reason that the NZ Government has recognised that more information needs to be collected about companies registered in NZ, together with their directors. This enhanced company information is deemed to be in the public interest because, in the spirit of transparency which the NZ economy and it's finance markets are built on, it enables New Zealanders (and others) to make informed decisions about doing business with a company registered in NZ.

From 01 July 2015 if you have filed your annual company return, you will be aware of the additional information requirements for your NZ registered company. If you have not yet filed your company's annual return, you will be required to provide the following information by 28 October 2015:

  • All NZ registered companies must have at least one director who lives in NZ, or at least one director that lives in Australia and is the director of an Australian Company.Australia is deemed an "enforcement country" – a country in which the NZ Government has confidence in their ability to enforce company law, and has a willingness to co-operate with NZ, and that has similar company law to NZ. More enforcement countries will be chosen as the government gains confidence in their co-operation and their company law.

  • All NZ registered companies must provide the birth date and birth place of all directors to the NZ Companies Office. This enables more accurate identification of the persons in control of NZ registered companies.

  • All companies registered in NZ must advise the Companies Office whether they are controlled in any way (percentage shareholding or any other means), by another company, NZ or foreign (referred to as an "Ultimate Holding Company"). The disclosure of an Ultimate Holding Company is a matter of public interest and record so that people dealing with a company know where ultimate "control" of the company lies.
Your company's annual return cannot be completed if the above information is not supplied, and additionally the Company's Registrar will take steps to strike off companies who have not supplied this information by 28 October 2015.

Company clients will have received an email from Accounted4 Ltd detailing your obligations regarding the above information requirements. If your company has Accounted4 Ltd as it's registered office, we will have also contacted you requesting the specific information that we require to update this information on your behalf at the Companies Office.

If you have any questions at all about the above information requirements, please contact your client manager at Accounted4 .

The above information requirements have been introduced to help prevent the misuse of our registers, and are intended to improve the integrity of the information held on the registers. We should consider these increased information requirements not to be an inconvenience, but rather the price of perceived success in the larger world economy.

1 http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies...


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