NZBN numbers grow to support response to COVID-19

Over 788,000 New Zealand businesses, including 60,000 sole traders, now have a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), making it faster and easier for them to connect with government and other businesses.

This significant increase comes as a result of the integral part the NZBN played in the delivery of the Government’s COVID-19 Business Support packages. As the reliable unique identifier for New Zealand businesses, it enabled the efficient, seamless and reliable sharing of validated business information, for initiatives including the Ministry of Social Development’s Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Inland Revenue Department’s Small Business Loan Scheme.

The NZBN is now being further developed so New Zealand businesses are ready to embrace new opportunities in the growing digital economy.

In early October, work began to add a Māori identifier to the NZBN Register. The Māori Identifier will help improve the measurement of Māori economic activity, and the effectiveness of government policies for Māori economic development. It will also make it easier to identify opportunities for investment and collaboration with Māori businesses.

In another initiative, businesses will soon be able to extend beyond their NZBN to identify different parts of their business by branch, department, or location. This will help to streamline processes, automate systems, and create digital pathways, eg from the paddock to the plate. This functionality was used to produce COVID-19 QR code posters for the Ministry of Health, and in future, it will support the delivery of digital initiatives including e-Invoicing, e-Procurement and services provided through Business Connect.

As technology and businesses continue to evolve, the NZBN is becoming increasingly central to unlocking new opportunities, transforming the way we do business in New Zealand.