New Zealand Look Through Companies

The New Zealand Look-Through Company is an entity providing all the advantages of separate corporate identity and limited liability, but with look-through treatment for tax purposes.


The criteria for Look-Through Company status include:

  • The Company must be New Zealand tax resident and must not be treated as a non-resident under any Double Tax Agreement.
  • Shares in the Company can only be owned by individuals, trustees or by another Look-Through Company.
  • All shares must be of the same class providing the same rights and obligations to each shareholder.
  • There must be five or less look-through counted owners.
  • Shareholders within two degrees of relationship are counted as a single look-through counted owner.
  • Special rules apply for determining the number of look-through counted owners where shares are held on trust.
  • Look-Through Company status ceases on revocation or as a result of no longer meeting the eligibility criteria.

Taxation of Off-Shore Shareholders

As a Look-Through Company is not taxed at company level, all its income flows through to its shareholders, much like a partnership.

This means that non-resident shareholders pay no tax in New Zealand provided the Look-Through Company does not derive New Zealand sourced income.


In summary, the key advantages of a New Zealand Look-Through Company include:

  • Corporate identity;
  • Limited liability;
  • No tax liability at Company level; and
  • Flow through taxation to shareholders and trustee shareholders.


The New Zealand Look-Through Company is a tax efficient and straightforward vehicle for shareholders looking for the advantages of corporate identity, limited liability and an entity operating out of a stable and well respected jurisdiction.

For more details, please contact us at

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

The partners at Jones Law are internationally qualified and practise in the areas of cross-border tax planning, estate planning and acquisition structuring.

We invite you to contact us at to discuss your specific circumstances.

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