What's an NZBN?

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a single, unique identifier specifically for your business. It’s a way for your business to identify itself both in New Zealand and globally. Come and explore the NZBN and see how and why it’s a business asset, not just a number.

Check out our video, it explains more about the NZBN.

Who can have an NZBN?

The NZBN is for all Kiwi businesses – large or small - including:

  • Self-employed people (otherwise known as sole traders) such as midwives, lawn-mowing contractors, landlords etc.
  • Partnerships
  • Trusts
  • Companies
  • Public sector entities – such as government agencies and local authorities
  • Other corporate and public entities

If you’re in business in New Zealand, an NZBN is for you.

New Zealand companies and public sector entities already have their NZBN.

If you're not carrying out business in New Zealand you can’t get an NZBN.

Whether your business operates from the kitchen table at home, or you’re a large multi-national with global interests, you can get an NZBN.

Getting and using your NZBN can make it easier and faster to inform, connect and transact with other businesses and government, by helping to streamline time-consuming business processes such as invoicing and procurement.

How an NZBN works for you

Your NZBN links to your core business information (called your Primary Business Data), which is held securely online on the NZBN Register. The more information you make publicly available the better your NZBN can work for you, and the less work you’ll have to do to keep everyone informed.

One central register for your business information

Other businesses and government agencies can use your NZBN to access your core business information, since it’s all in one place on the NZBN Register. This not only identifies yours as a legitimate business, but will save you time and money – you won’t have to repeat the same information over and over again.

You’ll be able to plug into a shared network of information, opening up all sorts of business possibilities and saving you time. You can also see and use other organisations’ NZBN details, speeding up many business processes, such as procurement and invoicing.

More NZBNs - easier business

As more businesses begin using their NZBN and start to share information, it will open up a new world of possibilities. You’ll be able to see supply chains, build trusted networks, find and assess providers, improve customer service and a whole lot more.

The more core information you make publicly available, the easier it will be for other businesses and government agencies to connect with you, which ensures you get the most out of using your NZBN.

Using your NZBN will also reduce the time and energy you spend providing government the same core business information multiple times in a variety of ways. For example, over time when you’re dealing with ACC and Inland Revenue, you’ll update your business information just once, via the NZBN Register, where government agencies can access it.


Here’s more about why you should have an NZBN. Take a look at how other businesses use the NZBN.

Get your NZBN and take advantage of the opportunities it creates.



You’re in business if you acquire or supply goods or services, or acquire or dispose of land (but not if you do this as a consumer, employee, or as an individual member of an unincorporated entity).

A business can be non-profit and can also be carried on free-of-charge.


Government agencies include:

  • a Crown entity under section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004
  • a department under section 27A(1) and (2) of the State Sector Act 1988
  • the New Zealand Defence Force:
  • the New Zealand Police
  • the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
  • the Parliamentary Counsel Office
  • the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
  • the Parliamentary Service


Other corporate and public entities - includes businesses on public registers, such as:

  • Building societies
  • Charitable trusts
  • Limited partnerships
  • Friendly societies and credit unions
  • Incorporated societies
  • Industrial and provident societies

The definition also includes:

  • Other bodies corporate and corporations sole
  • Other entities declared by regulation to be a corporate or public entity.


Public sector entities - includes most of the entities subject to the Public Audit Act, for example:

  • Government agencies
  • Local authorities
  • Licensing and Community Trusts
  • Statutory vocational registration boards

… and many more

Simply selling or supplying into New Zealand (for example by accepting orders via a website) does not qualify an overseas business for an NZBN.