Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Commerce Minister Craig Foss this week formally launched the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) at Xero in Wellington.
The NZBN is a core initiative of the Government’s Better Public Services for business (Result 9) programme, which is designed to make it easier for businesses to work with government.
It is proposed that a single identifying number is assigned to all businesses, government agencies and commercial entities in New Zealand.
New Zealand Business Numbers were initially allocated to companies in December last year; and the Government this week announced a month-long consultation on options for extending coverage to other businesses, including sole traders.
“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," Joyce says.
"That will make it easier, quicker, and less complicated for businesses dealing with the Government.
“While the initial allocation of NZBNs to companies is a significant step towards making it easier for them to work with government, around half of all New Zealand businesses are not companies.
"Public consultation on the NZBN will help us determine which businesses should have one and how those who don’t currently have a NZBN will be able to get one.”
Businesses have been requesting a universal identifier for many years and similar approaches are used in other developed countries, including Australia and Singapore.
Commerce Minister Craig Foss says it’s important that businesses provide feedback on how they would like to see the NZBN working for them.
“Ultimately the NZBN is all about ensuring businesses can spend more time on their business and less time having to interact with government. We would like to hear from businesses their views on who should be allocated an NZBN, what information should be linked, the rules around using the number and how to ensure information is protected,” Mr Foss says.
Feedback can be provided online at www.nzbn.business.govt.nz or sent to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
The Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs Service, Accident Compensation Corporation, Inland Revenue, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Statistics New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation and MBIE have been working closely to implement a single identifying number for all businesses and are committed to the using of the New Zealand Business Number with business customers in future.
Consultation is open until 11 April 2014.
For more information go to: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/better-public-services/nzbn