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Being just a number is good for business

Media statement Thursday, July 17, 2014

Being just a number is good for business

Measures that reduce complexity in dealing with government agencies are welcomed by business, including the proposal to make available the New Zealand Business Number to all firms, not just to registered companies as now, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) Inc or EMA.

All registered companies have been allocated a unique, 13-digit business number last year – a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) – to use in their dealings with eight Government agencies, and more expected in future. This means businesses will soon only have to enter their identifying details once, then refer to themselves by this number with all agencies such as ACC, Inland Revenue, Customs and Statistics NZ.

Now the Government proposes to extend that to all business entities, including sole traders, partnerships, trusts, non-incorporated partnerships and State sector and not-for profit entities.

The chief executive at EMA, Kim Campbell, says, “The NZBN system provides companies with a consistent way of dealing with government agencies, and reduces the time and cost of doing so.

“The extension of entitlement reflects the fact that many New Zealand businesses are small and are not registered companies, but they still have a lot of compliance with ACC, Inland Revenue and so on. All this red tape can be a nightmare for small businesses, so anything that speeds it up is great.

“We are assured the NZBN does not give access to private information such as a company’s intellectual property, and only to key, public information that companies themselves provide.

“Over time businesses will also be able to use their NZBN with business customers and suppliers, which could take the pain out of some documentation requirements.

“It might also be good for exporters if Government extends access to the NZBN identifying criteria to Australian searchers and vice versa, as indicated,” Mr Campbell says.

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