About us

The NZBN Register is administered by the Companies Office, a business unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. NZBN is part of the government’s programme to enable the public sector to become more efficient, innovative and focused on delivering what New Zealand businesses want.

What is the NZBN Register?

The NZBN Register is a mechanism that pulls publicly available business information from other sources into a central place. Anyone can use the NZBN Register to search for public information about a business in New Zealand.

You can currently search the NZBN Register for information relating to:

  • all registered companies
  • sole traders, partnerships and trusts that have registered for an NZBN.

Find out more about the NZBN Register

What is a New Zealand Business Number?

NZBN transforms how businesses share their key information and interact with each other. Communicating with a range of other businesses (including suppliers and government agencies) is crucial, and can be difficult when everyone has different systems. NZBN changes all that, providing a universal identifier which enables businesses to easily update and share information.

NZBN will make it possible for businesses and government agencies to link information about a business in a secure and authoritative way. Businesses have requested a universal identifier for many years and similar business identifier systems operate in other 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.

Find out more about NZBNs

Legislation

In 2013, 1.1 million companies (on the New Zealand Companies Register) were allocated an NZBN. On 31 March 2015 the New Zealand Business Number Bill was introduced into Parliament to extend the allocation of the NZBN to all businesses, such as sole traders, partnerships and trusts. The Bill was passed by Parliament on 12 April 2016, with unincorporated entities – sole traders, partnerships and trusts – able to register for an NZBN from 12 December 2016.

The New Zealand Business Number Act 2016 sets out the entities eligible for an NZBN, how an entity can apply for an NZBN and how government agencies can use the NZBN. The Act also sets out the type of data the NZBN Register can contain for an entity, and the rules about collection, access and sharing of primary business data (PBD) and protections for private information. It also creates the role of the NZBN Registrar, including specific enforcement powers.

You can read the New Zealand Business Number Act 2016 on the New Zealand Legislation website.