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What is an NZBN?

Each NZBN is a globally unique identifier. Like a fingerprint or a snowflake, or, less abstractly, a barcode, meaning you won’t be confused with any other businesses.

So, if you’re operating as John’s Jeans, you can finally differentiate yourself from your oldest rival, Jon’s Jeans, leaving you more time to focus on great denim.

Do I need an NZBN?

If you operate as a company, yes. You’ll be automatically assigned one and added to the Companies Register.

If you’re a sole trader (hey, by the way, Hnry is great for sole traders!), no. Completely up to you. Especially if you’re just starting out or hustling on the side, you might not feel like it’ll benefit you much. In which case, all good; it’s not mandatory. You can get on with your sole trading without giving it a second thought.

While a company’s NZBN page includes details such as directors and shareholders, there tends to be less information needed for sole traders. If you’ve already got a system for letting people know your trading name, email and phone number (maybe all of this is on your invoices), then, by all means, stick with that.

Okay, but would it still be fun to have an NZBN?

Depends on your definition of fun, but no judgement here.

An NZBN links to the most important information about your business, including your contact details. That’s useful because if any of your important information changes, you can keep your business contacts updated simply by updating your details linked to your NZBN. Your web page will update, and any of your clients who’ve added you to their watchlist on the NZBN site will be emailed automatically - so it might save you some precious admin time!

Some sole traders just feel a bit more professional with an NZBN, especially if they’re doing a lot of work with companies, who’ve all got one by default. If that sounds like you, by all means, wear your NZBN proudly as digital formal attire.

I’ve decided it does sound fun; how do I get an NZBN?

You’ll want to head over to the NZBN website. Have some proof of identity and your IRD number ready, and it should be a breeze.

I’ve got a shiny new NZBN – what next?

Great numbers; feel free to show them off to everyone you know! If you’ve got a Hnry account, update your financial settings and that’ll automatically appear on all the invoices you create.

For more information, read our article on how to become a sole trader.

DISCLAIMER: The information on our website is for general educational purposes only. It doesn't cover all situations and circumstances, and shouldn't be taken as direct tax advice. If you're looking for specific help with your taxes, join Hnry and our team of experts can provide you with assistance tailored to your business needs.

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