New Zealand is not a traditional offshore company formation jurisdiction, in the sense that other locations such as Panama may be looked upon, nonetheless, it provides comparable advantages, a good business environment and regime and openness towards foreign investments.
Foreign investors who are interested in opening an offshore company in New Zealand have several options to structure their business and can also register a NZ financial service provider.
Our team offers the basic details related to registering an offshore company in this article. For more information, as well as ongoing assistance during incorporation, you can reach out to one of our experts at any time.
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The New Zealand offshore company
The decision to open an offshore company in a certain jurisdiction is largely based on the advantages available in that certain location. Although not a traditional offshore financial center, New Zealand offers many advantages for those who wish to start an offshore business that offers financial services or engages in international trade as well as other types of activities.
Some of the main reasons why investors should consider to open an offshore company in New Zealand include the following:
- Good investment climate: New Zealand is one of the countries that constantly receives good qualifications for ease of doing business; the location offers economic and political stability;
- Easy company formation: opening a company for offshore or onshore purposes is easy and fast; there are no requirements for residency or nationality, thus foreign investors can fully own their company;
- Good taxation regime: locally incorporated companies are subject to the income tax and the goods and services tax;
- Regulatory regime: the legal system is based on British common law; the country is also one of the least corrupt in the world.
Companies in New Zealand that offer financial services register with the Financial Services Providers Register, that functions under the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019. Registration is subject to a set of requirements as well as an annual fee. Companies that offer various financial services, such as lenders that offer consumer credit, are to observe the certification requirements set forth by the Commerce Commission.
Our team of company formation agents in New Zealand can help foreign investors understand the rules and regulations applicable to financial services providers as this is a business sector that is commonly targeted by those who wish to open an offshore company.
In addition to special licensing, companies in this sector are also expected to observe the fees imposed by the Financial Markets Authority as of 1 July 2021, which are set to increase progressively over three years (between 2020 and 2022).
How to incorporate an offshore company in New Zealand
The fast and easy company formation procedure is a characteristic shared by many offshore centers around the world that is also available in New Zealand. Below, our team highlights the main steps needed to start doing business in the country:
- Choose a business form: the choice is between the limited liability company, the unlimited company or the co-operative company;
- Reserve the company name: each company name needs to be checked for availability and reserved before starting the actual registration;
- Prepare the documents: this includes the phase related to drafting the Articles of Association that will specify how the business is structured as well as other important information;
- Submit the documents: the application for registration is completed when all of the documents and the directors’ and shareholders’ consent forms are filed with the Companies Register.
- Register the business: the registration process is complete when the company receives the Certificate of Incorporation.
The process is largely the same for a New Zealand offshore. The country is a favorable location for company formation and for structuring certain offshore operations. While companies are subject to tax on their income (for resident companies it is on their worldwide income and for non-resident companies only on their NZ income), there is no capital gains tax, no surtax and foreign tax relief is available under certain conditions.
According to the Companies Office, there were 684,648 companies registered as of May 31, 2021. Other statistical data includes the following:
- 15,974 registered financial services providers;
- 715,216 company searches performed in the register;
- 234,949 annual returns were filed from January 2021 to the end of May.
The creation of a company used for offshore purposes in NZ can be suitable for certain investors. If you are interested in more in-depth information about the requirements to open a business in New Zealand, as well as the particularities that apply to foreign company owners, please feel free to reach out to our team. We provide both pre-registration and post-incorporation assistance and advice.
Investors who are interested in knowing more about the New Zealand offshore or any other types of business structures can contact us for more information as well as ongoing assistance for incorporation.
For more information about company creation in New Zealand, both for offshore entities and for onshore companies, you can reach out to our team. We answer questions concerning the company’s registration in NZ, its licensing and taxation, as well as other matters such as director and shareholder liability, according to business form. Please reach out to us for details on how to set up a company in New Zealand.