Residence for Business People

New Zealand is considered one of the most business-friendly countries in the world.

Starting a Business in New Zealand

New Zealand ranks first in the world in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business survey for being the easiest place in the world to start a business, do business, register property and get credit. We’re also second in the world for protecting minority investors, and third in the world for dealing with construction permits.

New Zealand’s efficient, market-driven and highly competitive economy is one of the least regulated and most open in the world. It’s also backed by a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure and an efficient and extensive transport network. Whether you’re wanting to export or import, manufacture products or sell a service, the New Zealand Government makes it as easy as possible for you to go about your business.

On top of all this, at the end of the day, you also get to leave work and enjoy the unsurpassed lifestyle New Zealand has to offer.

Exporting from New Zealand

New Zealand is at the forefront of the international free trade movement, and we have preferential access to many large overseas markets as a result of the many free trade and economic co-operation agreements we have negotiated. New Zealand is a committed and active participant in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We’re also the first developed country to have successfully negotiated a free trade deal with China and Hong Kong.

New Zealand’s free trade and economic co-operation agreements include:

New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (NZ-China FTA) – 2008
Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relationship (CER) – 1983
ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) with Australia, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Phillippines and Vietnam.
New Zealand-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (MNZFTA) – 2010
New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership (NZ-HK CEP) signed on 29 March 2010.
New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership (NZTCEP) – 2005
New Zealand-Singapore Closer Economic Partnership (NZSCEP)
P4 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand

Other agreements currently concluded but not yet in force, or under negotiation, include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the NZ – Gulf Cooperation Council FTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the PACER Plus trade and development agreement, and free trade agreements with India, Russia and the European Union.

Importing to New Zealand

New Zealand is a firm supporter of free and open trade and has, over a number of years, reformed its trade rules by removing many barriers to imports, ending most subsidies, and ensuring that the rules relating to foreign investment encourage sound foreign investment in New Zealand. That’s why we are consistently ranked by World Bank as one of the easiest countries in the world to do business.

Tax advantages

With a progressive, flexible and predictable tax system that has been ranked by the US Tax Foundation as the best in the world for personal taxes and second for its competitiveness, New Zealand boasts:

  • No general capital gains tax, other than for some specific investments
  • No inheritance tax
  • No social security tax
  • No payroll tax
  • No healthcare tax
  • No local or state taxes other than property rates

New Zealand has comparatively low personal tax rates. The top personal tax rate is 33% for income over NZ$70,000, while companies are taxed at a flat rate of 28%.

Residence for Business People

If you are an entrepreneur looking for a way to secure New Zealand residence, the Entrepreneur Visa category is worth considering.

Entrepreneurs can secure New Zealand residence by starting or taking over a business venture or investing a minimum of only 25% in an existing business in New Zealand. The route to residence is initially started via a Entrepreneur Work Visa (EWV) which is valid for up to 3 years.

You do not need to actually purchase a business in order to apply for an EWV, but rather only propose to establish or purchase a business.

Once your EWV has been secured, your funds can then be transferred into the business in New Zealand and you may then either

  • grow your business and apply for Entrepreneur residence after 2 years;


  • apply for Entrepreneur residence after a minimum of 6 months if you have invested a minimum of NZ$0.5 million in your business and have employed 3 New Zealanders in it.

Whichever route is selected, once you secure an EWV you will need to be involved in the day-to-day running of your business and also demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in New Zealand, over-and-above your business investment.

To secure an EWV, you’ll need to prepare a detailed business plan that meets immigration requirements for a business proposal, have business experience relevant to your proposed business, show a sound knowledge of the New Zealand business environment and market, and meet English (a minimum IELTS score of 4.0 is required), health and character requirements.

Contact us for advice on gaining residence for you and your family by investing in or establishing a business in New Zealand. The Entrepreneur Visa process is full of a number of fishhooks and requires careful strategising and preparation, and applicants need a combination of expert immigration and business advice. That’s why we work in conjunction with specialist business advisors who not only provide our clients with expert business advice and prepare detailed business plans, but who can also assist them in finding the most suitable business in New Zealand for their immigration requirements.

Useful links

We regularly advise our business clients to check the following websites:

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise which helps international corporate investors invest in New Zealand.

NZ Now – starting a business in New Zealand
For starting and developing your business
A comprehensive guide designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

Kia Ora and welcome to McLeod & Associates – New Zealand’s leading provider of immigration services.

In New Zealand we’ve known for a long time that we live in paradise and with just over four million people living here, there’s plenty of space for everyone. New Zealand is the world's new land of opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, students, skilled migrants and families. It’s the quality of life here that attracts many new migrants to New Zealand and with its unique blend of cultures, New Zealand's cosmopolitan society and migration policies welcome people from across the globe.


With our unique immigration lawyer - consultant combination, we’ve won countless cases for migrants wanting to live, work and play in New Zealand. We get the job done quickly, professionally and successfully. Our professional standards are regulated by the New Zealand Law Society to ensure that our clients receive advice and representation of the highest quality, and our more than 20 years of combined experience has proven to be a winning advantage for thousands of migrants in achieving their immigration plans. 

Residence Categories

If you are looking to migrate to the youngest, freshest, and most dynamic country in the world, our people have the expertise to make your move here trouble-free and successful. We provide high quality immigration services and results for New Zealand migrants in all areas of immigration including:

Temporary Categories


Immigration Problems