What are NZBNs?

What are New Zealand Business Numbers?

New Zealand Business Numbers (NZBNs) are unique identifiers allocated to businesses in New Zealand. In time, their use will transform how businesses share their key information and interact with government and with each other. Each NZBN is a 13 digit Global Location Number (GLN) provided by GS1 New Zealand. They can be used worldwide.

What is the benefit of NZBNs to business?

NZBN is part of the government’s Better for Business Programme to make it easier for businesses to deal with government. It is estimated that the benefits for businesses from the NZBN Programme once fully implemented will be around $60 million a year.

How will that look?

NZBNs will, in time, become the main identifier for businesses to share key information with government and other businesses. NZBNs will reduce the time and energy businesses spend providing government the same information in different ways. Ultimately a change to NZBN information (primary business data) will change the same information on other databases held by government. This means businesses will spend less time on admin and will have more time for business.

NZBNs will enable new services

NZBNs will enable integrated services between government agencies and the creation of innovative private sector services. NZBNs make consistent identification of individual business possible. This makes it possible to build a common language between software systems as a basis to deliver new services. For example software suppliers want to use NZBNs to design and deliver services to more efficiently manage the information businesses provide to government agencies, suppliers and customers.

Who has NZBNs?

All businesses in New Zealand are now able to have NZBNs. Companies, public sector entities and other business types registered in New Zealand, including incorporated societies and charitable trusts, have already been allocated NZBNs and can be searched for on the NZBN Register.

Unincorporated entities (sole traders, partnerships and trusts) can now register for an NZBN.

Is there a cost to register for an NZBN

There is no cost to register your business for an NZBN.

Will the NZBN replace other business identifiers?

Over time, the NZBN will replace other business identifiers, such as the Company Registration Number and will become the primary number businesses will use to interact with a range of other businesses and government agencies.

What does this mean for government agencies?

Government agencies will gradually use NZBNs to improve data quality and reduce duplication. Key agencies working regularly with businesses will be required to recognise NZBNs by the end of 2017. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment along with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation and Statistics New Zealand have already started using NZBNs.

What is some of the background to the NZBN?

New Zealand businesses have requested a universal identifier for many years and similar business identifier systems operate in countries including Australia, Singapore, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, India and Malaysia. The NZBN and ABN (Australian Business Number) will be mutually recognised in each country.

Options for unique identifiers considered included the IRD number and other international number systems.

GLNs were chosen because they are globally unique and part of a credible international system, with strong links to trade and supply chain logistics. The other numbers had drawbacks, including larger compliance costs, or privacy, legislative or sovereignty hurdles. 

Learn more about GS1NZ on the GS1NZ website.