Registering a company in New Zealand is a simple on-line, one-step process taking about two minutes to complete. Little wonder then that New Zealand routinely takes out first place in the World Bank survey for ease of starting up a new business.
- a New Zealand company registered to a vacant driveway in Auckland being party (along with companies incorporated in the UK and Belize) to a US$1.2 billion money laundering scandal in central Asia
- a New Zealand shell company linked to an alleged fraud involving more than US$150 million in the Ukraine and Latvia, and
- New Zealand (and Russia) being blacklisted off an EU banking and corporate “white list” because of weak money laundering controls.
a requirement that all New Zealand incorporated companies either:
- have a director resident in New Zealand or in an approved jurisdiction, or
- appoint a “resident agent” who will be responsible for ensuring that the company fulfils its administrative requirements and will be liable for any breaches in record-keeping or filing requirements
- increased powers for the Registrar of Companies to investigate and deal with non-compliance under the Companies Act, including a power to “flag” companies which are under investigation, and
- the ability to deregister companies for failing to provide accurate information or for persistent failure to comply with their legal obligations.