With more consumers resorting to online buying today, setting up an online business is the perfect business opportunity. It involves low initial as well as operational costs and will allow you to market your products or services to a much larger audience online. What you need to start off with is a good business idea and a plan of action for how you intend to grow your business.
Starting your online business in New Zealand is especially a great idea because of the amount of support you’re likely to receive. The government makes it easy to set up and register your small business in New Zealand. The registration process is simple and can be completed in about a day. The pleasant climate of the region and its diverse culture make it attractive to local as well as foreign investors.
Here’s all that you need to know to start your online business in New Zealand. The registration process for your online business will be pretty much the same as what you would have to do to start any small business in New Zealand. We’ve covered this in detail in another article. Here’s a quick recap of everything that it involves:
- Make sure you have a good business idea and plan
- Make sure you’ve done enough market research to know your competition and target customers
- Pick the right name for your online business after checking the New Zealand government’s ONECheck tool.
This will give you access to information about name availability, domain names, social media usernames, and even trademark.
- Choose a business structure most suited to your needs. You can operate as a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited liability company. Each type has pros and cons to it so make sure you take a decision after carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each type.
- Register the business name with the New Zealand Companies Office if it is a company. Register a sole trader or partnership business with the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).
- Register your domain name with authorized registrars.
- Go through compliance issues and legal regulations, especially with regard to:
o Fair Trading Act
o Consumer Guarantees Act
o Food preparation standards
o Health and safety
The Compliance Matters tool of the New Zealand government will give you access to details about issues pertaining to the specific industry you are looking to operate in.
- Create a RealMe log in and apply for a SPA report (search and preliminary advice) on the Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) website. Get your report and then register your trademark with the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ).
- Secure your business with the right small business insurance policy. By getting insurance for small business online, you will be reducing the loss you suffer in case any issue arises in the future.
- Meet your tax obligation by checking the specifics that apply to your online business with Inland Revenue.
Setting up your online business involves a lot more than just registering your business. There are specifics that you need to take care of for an online business in NZ. These include:
Your online presence
You first need to check if you’re ready to take on the responsibility of operating your business online. It’s rewarding but it does require you to put in the effort.
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Will you choose an existing marketplace or your own website?
To sell to customers online, you need to have an online presence. You can either choose to sell on an existing marketplace or create your own website for customers to interact with your business directly.
The existing marketplaces in New Zealand include:
- Trade Me
- All Goods
- Storbie Market NZ
- Two Doors Down
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There are also international options like:
- Facebook Marketplace
While existing marketplaces can put you on a platform where there are already interested buyers, branding and personalization becomes difficult. People focus on products on these platforms and not so much the brand selling the product. You will also have to pay for listing and commission on sales.
Creating your own website is a more effective way to ensure you get the level of branding and personalization needed for customers to remember your online business. Running a website can be time consuming and will require more investment than an existing marketplace, but with some effort, it will yield better results. It will give you the opportunity to be in direct contact with your customers. You can build customer loyalty more effectively and have greater control over data storage and protection.
It is important that you secure your website and understand the privacy obligations that you have as a business. Choose payment options like payment gateways, microfinance gateways, or manual bank transfers to make it easy for your customers to make payments.
You should also set up analytics for your website, to help you keep track of growth and monitor KPIs. Integrating your website with social media is necessary in today’s digital world.
Develop a marketing strategy and start marketing your business online to boost growth.
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What are you waiting for? Begin the simple process to register your online business today and start selling to customers. Realizing your passion and pursuing it is just one click of a button away.