Tamsyn Parker

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Govt business ID plan launched

Economic development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Mark MItchell
Economic development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Mark MItchell

The government has launched a new system where businesses will be assigned a unique number allowing them to provide information to government agencies in one place rather than having to contact them individually.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce and commerce minister Craig Foss today officially launched the New Zealand Business Number and opened public consultation on who should be assigned the numbers.

In December last year all companies were assigned the unique identifying number. But around half of New Zealand businesses are not a company.

"...By 2016 businesses will only have to provide government with their information once, which will automatically be shared across government agencies."
Steven Joyce

The consultation will ask if businesses think the number should be extended to sole traders, partnerships and trusts.

A legislative change would be required to roll it out to the other entities.

The consultation also asks what company information should be public, what should happen to the number if a business is sold and if there are reasons why the information should not automatically be available to government agencies.

The unique number will allow information to be easily shared across eight government departments including the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs Service, ACC, Inland Revenue, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Statistics New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

Joyce said having one number would make it easier, quicker, and less complicated for businesses dealing with the Government.

"Having a single business number means that by 2016 businesses will only have to provide government with their information once, which will automatically be shared across government agencies."

Consultation is open until 11 April 2014.

Feedback can be provided online or sent to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

For more information click here.

- NZ Herald

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