What charities need to know about the New Zealand Business Number

Updated on 28 July 2022

What is the NZBN?

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a globally unique identifier available to every Kiwi business, including not-for-profit charities. The NZBN has been designed to save time and money by making it faster and easier for businesses to connect and transact.

How does it work?

The NZBN links to your core business information (known as Primary Business Data(external link)) which is most often asked for when doing business. This includes things such as your trading name, phone number or email. By using your NZBN, anyone you do business or interact with (such as suppliers or customers) can quickly and digitally access all the details they need about your business to work with you. 

Your NZBN shows others that your organisation is real and gives those who work with you, or donate to you, certainty that you are who you say you are. You might be asked for your NZBN when applying for grants or registering for a new service. An NZBN is also now required if your organisation registers to receive eInvoices.(external link)

Keep your information up to date

Your core business information is a valuable business asset, and it’s important you keep it up to date. This ensures that other businesses you deal with have the information they need to do business with you.

The information held on the NZBN Register can be easily updated at any time by logging in to the NZBN website(external link). If you make a change to your business information, others in your network can be notified by adding you to their NZBN watchlist(external link), making it easy to keep up to date when things change.

How do I get a NZBN?

If you’re a legally incorporated charitable trust or society, or a registered company

You have been automatically allocated a NZBN. Search for your organisation at nzbn.govt.nz(external link) to find your NZBN.

Other types of organisations

If your organisation isn’t legally incorporated but is a registered charity, you are eligible for an NZBN but need to apply for one.

Unincorporated trusts: If your organisation is structured as an unincorporated trust,  you can apply for an NZBN online. You’ll need a RealMe login, the IRD number of the trust and copy of the trust deed to apply. Apply for an NZBN as a trust.(external link)

Other unincorporated groups or societies: If your organisation is an unincorporated group or society, you can apply for an NZBN online. Start your charity’s NZBN application(external link).

Charities Services and the NZBN

In most cases, Charities Services will be able to pre-populate this field for you, and you can confirm it when you file your next annual return. If we are unable to match your data, you’ll need to enter your NZBN as part of your next annual return.

To find out more information about NZBN visit nzbn.govt.nz(external link)  or contact the NZBN team(external link)


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