NZBN – The most important number you should know in New Zealand

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is the most important number everyone should know when you want to do business in the country. The country does not just have the shortest period of insolvency turnaround, it also has one of the countries in the world that has the easiest access to government information. To help businesses streamline operations and maximize profits, the New Zealand government created the companies register, which requires Kiwi companies to have the unique number.

NZBN used for doing business

The NZBN identifies every Kiwi business, including the self-employed, contractors, tradespeople, landlords, sole traders, partnerships, trusts, limited liability companies, and the public sector. It is faster to do business using the number because it links to the following core business information (known as Primary Business Data):

  • Trading name
  • Email
  • Legal business name
  • Phone number
  • Physical address
  • Business Industry Classification Code
  • Registered business address
  • Website

This means that anyone you do business with, including foreign companies that do business in New Zealand, can easily, quickly and digitally access all the details they need about your business in order to work with you.

Having an NZBN offers the following benefits:

  1. It stays the same and everyone is aware of who exactly they are dealing with
  2. Business is conducted with confidence and certainty
  3. A digital register for every Kiwi business provides transparency
  4. Easier interactions with government

The NZBN establishes legitimacy because each number is a Global Location Number (GLN), supplied by GS1 New Zealand, that uses the GS1 global numbering standards, the same standards used to create bar codes. GLNs are also an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard and part of a credible international system used widely in international trade, supply chain logistics and electronic messaging systems.

Moreover, the NZBN can cut the cost of prospect foreign business partners’ due diligence prior to formalising a partnership because the foreign company need not spend thousands just to do a site visit and assure the legitimacy of the Kiwi business. As long as you have the NZBN, all you have do to is go to the NZBN Register, input the number, and you can get the Primary Business Data. Moreover, the Register also has a process where you can connect your business systems directly to the Register using, for example, the NZBN API or your software provider. This is time- and cost-saving especially for larger business dealing with multiple suppliers and customers with NZBNs.

Having an NZBN and having your business searchable on the Register gives prospective clients confidence that your business, and not another company with a similar name, is the business they intend to do business with. On your part, you can also be certain as to who you’re working with if the prospect partner is a New Zealand business. All types of businesses in New Zealand, are required to get an NZBN and register. You can also create an NZBN Watchlist and receive automated alerts of changes to business information. This is particularly helpful when you are a foreign company collecting debt from a Kiwi business partner.

Government agencies are also required to get an NZBN, giving contractors and suppliers, including those abroad, confidence that their business transactions will not fall through. There will also be less time for businesses in time-consuming manual work of sending out new information to all partners because once you update your information in the Register, your partners will be alerted of those changes by the Register itself.

You can also link your customers’ payments and orders using their NZBN. You can use the data on their buying habits to create customised consumer care and offer outstanding service. Moreover, the NZBN can help you create new products and services and use the information to drive your CRM (customer relationship management).

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