How to Start a Home Business in New Zealand

Home-based businesses are popular because they reduce expensive start-up costs. In New Zealand, almost anyone can set up a business from home, as long as rules set out by the local authority are followed. If you want your business to succeed you should do plenty of research, produce a business plan and be prepared to put in long hours with little or no initial reward.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Work space
  • Dedicated phone line


    • 1

      Choose your business carefully. There are many home business opportunities available if you do not already have your own idea in mind. These can be found advertised in local publications or online. If you are not sure what you want to do, go through each one thoroughly until you find the opportunity that suits your environment and circumstances best.

    • 2

      Research the sector thoroughly. If you decide on an advertised opportunity, ensure it is legitimate and check business forums and review sites for negative feedback. No matter the business type, you can never do too much initial research. As stated at the New Zealand government's business portal, it is vitally important to determine whether your business idea is feasible "before your quit your job, tell all your friends or invest your funds (or other people's)."

    • 3

      Decide on a business structure. As pointed out at, you do not have to form a company to start a small business from home. There are three basic business structures in New Zealand: sole trader, partnership and company. Most home businesses and small businesses start as sole traders, progressing to partnership or company later. This is the simplest way to start.

    • 4

      Produce a business plan. A business plan is essential for all types of new business, including home-based businesses. It maps out the goals and milestones of the business as well as its vision and will help you identify your priorities and keep track of progress. provides detailed instructions on how to produce a business plan:

    • 5

      Find the required start-up capital. Even though you are going to be working from home, you will still find there are start-up costs. It is common to underestimate them. Most home business owners use their own personal equity, such as savings or a loan against their homes, to start their businesses. Your bank may also lend you money. Speak to your bank's business manager about this.

    • 6

      Determine whether you need "resource consent." Local councils have the responsibility of granting or denying this consent to new businesses if it appears their activity will effect the local community and/or environment. Most home businesses do not require resource consent, however, your business activities must fall within rules set out by the local council. Rules pertain to issues such as the maximum number of people allowed to work from the site, noise limits and vehicular movement limits.

    • 7

      Organize your work space. If you are going to be working from home, you need to ensure there is ample dedicated work space available, so you can actually get your work done. Image and professionalism are important if you want your business to succeed so install a phone line dedicated to the business, consider renting a post office box for business mail and rent a conference room when meeting with important clients.

Tips & Warnings

  • Notify the tax department (Inland Revenue) of your "self-employed" status. This will ensure you receive the appropriate tax forms, will help with business expense claims and will also ensure you are eligible for free accident coverage under the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Take advantage of free workshops and seminars provided by BIZ New Zealand.
  • The majority of small business ventures fail. Make sure you are prepared for this possible outcome.
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  • Photo Credit home work place image by araraadt from

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