Legal requirements for starting a new company

Starting a new company is a very exciting endeavour but it takes a lot of time and planning. You have to pay attention to all parts of starting a new company; from the logistics to the finances. One of the most important things, if not the most important thing, you need to take care of are the legal requirements. Without meeting these, you won’t be able to start your new business and make your dreams come true. What you have to understand is that the legal requirements for starting a new business are different country to country. Here, you’ll find out what it takes to open a business in New Zealand and Australia.

1. NZ: get insurance

Even though the cost of insurance makes most new business owners think about not getting it at all, you need it just in case. You need to consider all the possibilities and that includes the bad ones. You should opt for different types of insurance or find one that covers it all. Namely, you’ll need to ensure the property you’re working on, as well as the vehicle you’re using for work.

Public and professional liability will also need to be insured, as will the business continuation. You also shouldn’t forget about key person insurance and shareholder protection. Once all parts of the new company are insured, you’re safe to get on with work.

2. NZ: write a business plan

Writing a business plan is basically like writing a road map of your business. You know where you need to be, all that’s left is to write down the directions. Even though this is a scary and challenging task for most, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. The most important thing is to remember that you don’t need to have all the details figured out right away.

This is because two types of business plans exist. The first one is the lean one-page plan which allows you to build ideas and makes it easier for you to get going. The second is the more formal long plan, which is necessary for anyone who wants business funding. The content of both plans is broadly the same. You’ll need to state your target market, why they need your business, how you’ll reach them, who your competition is, and how much money you expect to make.

3. NZ: register your business

Registering a business in New Zealand is very important in order to actually open the doors of your new company. There are a few departments that need to know your business exists before it can become official. These are the MBIE, IR, and ACC. 

When you’re officially in business, the MBIE will give you an official business number. The tax office will need to know about you as you will probably need to pay income tax and GST. Finally, the ACC provides cover for workplace accidents regardless of what your workplace is. You could be the sole employee and your home could be your office, but you’ll still need to pay a levy.

Legal requirements for starting a new company in Aus or NZ
Photo: Fauxels, Pexels.

4. AU: decide on a business structure

In Australia, there is a set of common structures which investors use when they want to establish a business. There are four most common types of structures, and they are partnerships, trusts, companies, and sole traders. When deciding which type of structure the new business belongs to, investors need to go over every detail and carefully consider where they will put the new business. 

As well as that, they need to decide what structure suits their business needs best. In the end, the type of structure they opt for will determine what licenses are needed to tax and operate the business. As well as that, all of the legal implications will be clear. This is a very important step in establishing your own business as it will help you figure things out further and start strong. After this, everything else will come easier as you’ll know exactly what steps to take.

5. AU: don’t forget the ASX listings

As Australia has a modern and active stock market, it means that there are plenty of trading opportunities available with the Asia-Pacific region. The main stock exchange is the Australian Securities Exchange, otherwise known as the ASX. It doesn’t matter if you’re an international or Australian company- both can apply for it.

Obtaining asx listings, as well as maintaining them, means that companies will need to meet some requirements. These requirements are set out in the listing rules. Among them are the disclosure and reporting requirements. You don’t want to miss out on all the amazing trading opportunities you can get simply by getting on board with the listings. 

6. AU: register a trademark and domain name

Just like anywhere else in the world, you’ll want to register your new company’s trademark and domain name. This is important because it prevents other people from using your name and products. As well as stealing from you, people can make knock off versions of your products if you don’t protect them. This can significantly affect how people see your company, as they won’t know the knock offs aren’t yours. That leads them to believe your quality is much lower than it actually is, making you lose business.

You can read up on Australian Intellectual Property laws and protect your company easily. Make sure to protect every part of the manufacturing process so that no one can take advantage of your products in any way. Once that is done, you’ll be able to run your business with a peace of mind.


As you can see, starting your company in either of these countries will be tough. With some patience and hard work, though, you’ll be opening the doors to your new business in no time. The legal requirements mentioned here are just the basics of starting a company, so make sure to hire local help to help you iron out the details.  

Emily Wilson
Emily Wilson
Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing & design. Researching, exploring and writing are her favourite things to do. Besides that, she loves animals and travelling.
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