How to file your annual return
Every company in New Zealand has to file an annual return with the Companies Office each year to update its publicly-listed details. If you don’t file your annual return each year your company will be removed from the register (which is known as being struck off).
If you run a company, read on to find out about your obligations before you file an annual return using the Companies Office online services.
On this page:
- What is an annual return?
- How do I file an annual return with the Companies Office?
- What happens after I file my annual return?
All companies, regardless of whether their shares are privately owned or have been publically floated on the stock exchange, must file an annual return with the Companies Office (the national register of companies) which keeps all their details up-to-date. These details are then made public so anyone can find out vital information, such as who the shareholders of a company are.
This is done to maintain transparency. When potential investors in a company need an independent source to verify and assess the information they’re given, they can check the company’s details on the Companies Office register.
An annual return is separate from the tax returns you file with Inland Revenue and the financial reporting you may also be required to carry out for the Companies Office.
An annual return contains a company’s addresses, the names and addresses of its directors and shareholders, and general filing information (such as the month the company files its annual return every year).
To file an annual return with the Companies Office you must:
- Confirm / update the address details.
- Confirm / update the director and shareholder details.
- Provide the date for your company’s last annual meeting.
To file an annual return you first need to have company authority to update the company’s details on the register. New companies have company authority automatically assigned to either:
- the individual who incorporates (registers) the company with the Companies Office, or
- the organisation that individual works for
If you’re unsure of what company authority is make sure you click on the link above to find more information directly from the Companies Office.
To file an annual return you need to:
- Login to the Companies Office website. If you haven’t done this before you will need to set up an igovt login, and a Companies Office account. You only need to do this once.
- Select "File an annual return" in the Do it now section. You can search either on your company’s name or its registration number. Once you’ve found it, you can click on the company name to go to the File Annual Return screen.
- Confirm or update your company’s details.
- You will receive an email confirming that the annual return has been filed.
- You can check if the annual return has been filed by clicking on the “Documents tab” of the Company Summary. You can get to the Company Summary by searching the register for the company and selecting it from the search results.
Find out more about filing an annual return with the Companies Office.