New Zealand Facts and Company Incorporation Details

GENERAL INFORMATION:

New Zealand comprises two main islands, the North and South Islands and other smaller islands. It is located in south-western Pacific Ocean.

New Zealand is a multicultural nation with a population of more than four million. The country is relatively young. The islands were discovered by the ancestors of Māori sometime around the 13th century and European settlement began in the 1840's. The majority of New Zealand's population today are of European descent and there are now also large communities of Pacific Islanders and Asians. Both English and Māori are official languages, although English is dominant and the language of business in the country.

New Zealanders enjoy a comparatively high standard of living. Robust legal and political systems, including open democratic processes and a strong common law system promote a stable economic and political environment. New Zealand regularly ranks as one of the easiest places in the world to do business and is generally favoured as a safe and respectable country in which to invest.

The small population of New Zealand makes export earnings vital to the success of the country. New Zealand's major exports centre around primary industries, in particular, farming and forestry, with dairy being the greatest contributor towards gross domestic product of any export industry. Other significant industries include tourism and education. New Zealand is geographically isolated from the main world's markets and has few manufacturing industries. Future growth is expected to come from investment in information technology, innovative technologies and the financial services sector, which can transcend the obstacle of geographical isolation.

Other basic facts
Location Oceania Continent, islands in the South Pacific, 1,600 kms east of Australia
Land Area 268,680 sq km
Time Zone 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1200 GMT)
Climate temperate with sharp regional contrasts
Population 4,464,060 million (Year 2013)
Language English, Maori & NZ Sign Language
Currency New Zealand Dollar

KEY CORPORATE FEATURES OF NEW ZEALAND LIMITED COMPANIES:

Share Capital
Permitted Currencies Any currencies
Standard currency New Zealand Dollar ($)
Minimum issued capital One (1) share
Authorised capital N/A
Par / Nominal value N/A
Directors
Minimum
One (1)
Corporate directors Not allowed
Local directors requirements N/A
Location of meeting Anywhere
Minimum numbers of meeting As necessary to comply with obligations under Companies Act 1993 and/or Constitution
Publicly accessible records Yes
Shareholders
Minimum
One (1)
Bearer shares No
Corporate shareholders Allowed
Local shareholders requirements No
Location of meeting Anywhere
Minimum numbers of meeting One (1) annually
Publicly accessible records Yes
Company Secretary
Minimum N/A
Requirements N/A
Registered Office
Requirements Local registered office in New Zealand
Accounts
Records Kept in New Zealand
Preparation of accounts Yes
Audit requirements and filing An issuer (any company that has allotted securities to the public) must file audited financial statements. Overseas companies, subsidiaries of overseas companies and large companies with 25% or more foreign shareholders have an obligation to file audited financial statements.
A company is "large" if it satisfies at least two of: (a) total assets exceed $10,000,000; (b) total turnover exceeds $20,000,000; and (c) 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.
Publicly accessible records Yes
Annual Requirements
Annual Return By due date/allocated filing month
Tax Filing Income Year 1 April to 31 March. Income tax returns required by 7 July or following 31 March if the company has a tax agent with an extension of time
Taxation
Corporate tax 28%
Goods and Services Tax (GST) 15%
Capital Gains Tax None
General
Legal System Common Law
Corporate Redomiciliation Permitted
Double Taxation Treaty Access Yes
Exchange Control No
Other Common Entities
Partnership Income and losses passed through and taxed at partner level
Limited Partnership General partner with unlimited liability. Limited partners have limited liability but limited management rights. Income and losses taxed at partner level, subject to loss limitation rules.
Look-through company Limited liability company with flow-through tax treatment, income and losses taxed at shareholder level, subject to loss limitation rules.
Trust Can be fixed or discretionary. Trading trusts often use corporate trustee. Trustee tax rate 33 percent with future distributions tax-free or current year income can be distributed to beneficiaries and taxed at beneficiary's marginal tax rate, subject to limitations on distributions to minors. Different rules apply to foreign and non-complying trusts.

The above article is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

We invite you to contact us at info@jones-law.co.nz to discuss your specific circumstances.

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