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Sole traders: Got your NZ Business Number?

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a globally unique identifier available to all Kiwi businesses, including sole traders, and it comes with a growing list of benefits.

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier available to every business in New Zealand. It provides an easy way to identify different businesses, and to share and update business information.

New Zealand companies and public sector agencies are automatically given an NZBN. Sole traders, partnerships and trusts can register for one.

Information about each business is listed in a secure online register, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

It’s free to get an NZBN. Any business operating in New Zealand can get one – whether you’re a sole trader working from home, or a multi-national organisation. An NZBN:

  • identifies you as a real NZ business
  • should save you time by reducing the number of places you need to update your business information when something changes
  • makes it easy to check details for new suppliers or clients
  • is a globally recognised number, so when you use it, anyone across the world can recognise you.

As more businesses get and use their NZBN, it will get easier to invoice customers, pay bills and apply for credit. You won’t have to repeat the same basic information multiple times, saving you time and money.

What it means for sole traders

If you’re a sole trader, you can use your NZBN to:

  • prove that your business is real and valid
  • easily share and update your business information
  • speed up your interactions with government agencies such as Inland Revenue, ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • auto-fill your business information in online forms that require your NZBN.
4. Getting a logo or website

Case study

A smooth process

Michael sells hand-made peanut butter at farmers’ markets in Dunedin. He’s just been offered a new contract supplying his peanut butter to a chain of gourmet supermarkets.

During the on-boarding process, head office request Michael’s NZBN so they can pull his core business information from the NZBN Register. This saves Michael time, because he doesn’t have to repeat the information that’s already available on the Register.

Six months later, Michael changes his phone number and updates the NZBN Register. The supermarket is automatically notified of the change.

When another potential client wants to run a credit check on his business before taking him on, they use his NZBN to verify his business and run the check. He soon finds out he’s been approved and starts supplying his peanut butter to them.

How to get an NZBN

Some types of businesses, like registered companies, are automatically given an NZBN. Sole traders, partnerships and trusts need to sign up for one separately.

To get an NZBN, you’ll need a RealMe login.

Get a RealMe login (external link) — RealMe

Then you can register for your number on the NZBN website.

Get your NZBN (external link) — NZBN

Do you have a question about the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)?

Do you have a question about the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)?

Contact NZBN by phone at 0508 696 926 or by email at

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