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Steven Joyce, Craig Foss

17 July, 2014

Single Business Number for all businesses by 2017

The goal of a single business number for all kiwi businesses to use in their dealings with Government agencies has moved a big step closer with a decision that all key government agencies that work regularly with businesses will be required to recognise and use the new New Zealand Business Number by the end of 2017.

The Government will introduce legislation early in the next term that will confirm the deadline and extend the ability to allocate the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) beyond registered companies to all New Zealand business entities.

"The NZBN will greatly reduce the costs for businesses in dealing with government agencies,” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

"Businesses will no longer have to keep updating their data with a myriad of different government databases, and the NZBN will enable all sorts of innovative time-saving administration solutions between businesses, their suppliers and government, giving them more time to spend on growing their business.

"Extending the NZBN to businesses beyond companies including sole traders, partnerships, trusts, non-incorporated partnerships, and State sector and not-for profit entities means these businesses will also benefit from being able to share their key information with government agencies only once.

“In December we allocated 1.1 million NZBNs to registered companies in a first step towards making it easier for businesses to work with government. These decisions will extend the benefits of the NZBN to the other half of businesses that are not companies, and give government agencies a firm timeline for realising the benefits of the single business number.”

The NZBN is a core initiative of the Government’s Better Public Services for business (Result 9) programme which works in collaboration across a number of agencies to make sure that joined-up government services aren’t a one-off event, but an ongoing commitment from agencies to improve interaction with government.

Commerce Minister Craig Foss says by the end of 2017 businesses will be recognised by their NZBN with all key business-facing government agencies, including Inland Revenue and ACC.

“By the end of 2014, businesses will be recognised by their NZBN by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation,” Mr Foss says.

“This is a crucial step toward allowing businesses to spend less time on administration and more time on what they do best - business.

“Work is also underway to determine how mutual recognition between Australian and New Zealand business numbers can be achieved. This work will mean customers on both sides of the Tasman will be able to search and confirm that a business is a New Zealand business.”

The Government will release a draft of the proposed legislation later this year which sets out details of how the NZBN will work. The purpose of the draft legislation is to give businesses a chance to provide feedback on the detailed rules before the final Bill is introduced.

For NZBN-related information go to: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/better-public-services/nzbn