NZ business number NZBN. Cost, procedure and need-to-knows

Roberto Efflandrin

Are you a foreigner about to set up a business in New Zealand, or have you just done so? You may need to apply for several things, including an NZ business number.

In this quick guide, you'll find out if you need it, how to apply, and what the requirements are. You'll also learn about the Wise Business account. The account you need to make your international business hassle-free.

💸 Looking for a stress-free international business account, with multiple cards, mid-market rates, bank and accounting service integration as well as mass payments?

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Business account

The NZ business number, aka NZBN

The New Zealand business number (NZBN) is a globally unique identifier available to all businesses based in New Zealand. ¹

To make it easy to conduct business with others, it provides them with your transparent details, known as your primary business data. This information consists of the following:

  • Legal business name
  • Trading name
  • Registration status
  • Registered address
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Email

Registered companies are automatically provided with one as the companies registrar shares this information with the NZBN register. ²

Sole traders and partnerships need to apply directly. It’s not compulsory to have one yet, but some companies may refuse to work with you if you don’t have one. ³

Read more: Best Business Bank Accounts in New Zealand

How to get an NZBN

You may already have one; the first step is to check here. You’ll likely need to add/update some details if one exists.

You can apply online via the NZBN website if you don't have one.

Before starting, you’ll need a RealMe® username and password and a MyNZBN account.

Once you have those, you can begin the process. The NZBN site recommends you use a browser rather than a smartphone, as some of the online tasks are best done with a desktop.


Can you get an NZBN from abroad or online?

You can apply for an NZBN from anywhere in the world via the website. Depending on your business type, you may be asked to provide additional documentation.

What are the requirements to get an NZBN?

There are additional requirements based on the entity.⁴

  • Sole traders and self-employed: You’ll need to provide your NZ Inland Revenue Department number (IRD number) and a copy of your passport.

    You may need to provide other documents, and a representative will contact you after applying, if necessary.

  • Partnerships: you’ll need your IRD number, your partner’s details, and proof of the partnership.

  • Trusts: you’ll need your IRD number, trustee details and proof of trustee status.

If, during applying, you discover you don’t have all the required documentation, don’t worry. You can save it and complete it later.

Read more: Setting up a business in New Zealand

The cost to get an NZ business number

There is no charge to apply for an NZBN. The process is straightforward. However, if you’ve employed an accountant or tax agent to complete this for you, they may charge a fee.

Resources to learn more about this process

While not compulsory for some entities, the New Zealand Business number makes transacting with other NZ companies much more uncomplicated.

Some useful resources for further information are:

Wise Business

You’ve got your NZBN, and your business is ready to operate. Next, you’ll need a way to manage your finances.

The Wise Account benefits you, especially if you’re transferring funds to and from abroad. You can receive money, pay suppliers in multiple currencies, and even pay international salaries.

Sending money overseas is done using the mid-market rate plus a small fee, made clear at the time of the transaction.

Businesses can use the batch tool to make end-of-the-month supplier payments. For simplified reporting, the Wise Account integrates with accounting software like Xero.

The Wise Business Debit Card allows for in-store or online purchases wherever the Mastercard sign is displayed.

For ease of paying international suppliers, the Wise Account offers a local AUD account and local account details in a further 9 other major currencies.

Find out more about how much Wise could save your business, check out the Wise Business account. You can sign up online with a few clicks — in minutes.

Open your Wise business account
in minutes 🚀

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


  1. About the NZBN
  2. NZ company registration
  3. NZ government business advice
  4. NZBN requirements

Sources checked on: 29 November 2022

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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