In the report Doing Business 2017, the World Bank Group examined several factors to determine markets where the burden of doing business is lowest on entrepreneurs. The report looked into labor regulations and tax requirements, as well as ease of accessing electricity, receiving credit, and resolving insolvency. Of the 190 countries included in the report, New Zealand’s company-friendly environment came out on top. For companies that hope to successfully begin doing business in New Zealand, these five tips can help them into this thriving nation efficiently.
Learn Local Laws for Doing Business in New Zealand
New Zealand’s labor laws guarantee several minimum rights for employees, including but not limited to the following:
- Four weeks of paid holiday
- 11 public holidays a year
- Time and a half pay for work on public holidays
- Guaranteed paid sick leave
- Three days of paid bereavement leave
- Up to 52 weeks of parental leave
If an employer violates these requirements or any New Zealand employment laws, they are listed as a non-compliant employer and thus, cannot sponsor work visas for international workers. This can be a major obstacle for multinational companies looking to develop a solid team overseas.
New Zealand offers several options for business visas depending on the reason for entry. These visas are available for those looking to start a business as well as for hiring foreign employees. Like most countries, foreign entrepreneurs and employees must prove that they have the skills and means to improve New Zealand’s economy before they are able to work in the country.
Understand New Zealand’s Local Market
If a company hopes to prosper in any country, it needs to be familiar with the local business environment. The government of New Zealand provides an easy-to-use website full of useful statistics about business, the economy, and people in the island nation in order to help companies determine their potential in the market. This site also provides data to help companies, policy makers, and employees understand trends that are driving consumer and business decisions in New Zealand.
In addition, the New Zealand Treasury Office releases an annual report, the New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview, which provides an excellent introduction to the economy. This in-depth analysis is a great way for companies to begin the research process as they build their expansion strategy for New Zealand.
Embrace Maori Business Culture
The Māori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand and the largest minority group, making up 15.4% of the population. Because the Māori have such a large presence, it is important for companies to know Māori business culture and how it affects the way their company will do business in New Zealand. Simple business practices, like bilingual business cards with Māori on one side and English on the other, are simple ways to show respect to their culture.
The Māori worldview not based on Western ideals, so their cultural foundations are different from that of most North American and European groups. One prime example is their preference to lease land rather than sell it. This practice comes from a connection to the land that holds more importance to the Māori than economic benefits. This is one reason why the New Zealand government must approve the purchase of large areas of non-urban land by foreign investors. If a company plans to bring their business into New Zealand, then it is important for them to learn the aspects of Māori culture that can affect how they do business in order to prevent misunderstandings.
Build a Platform for Business in the South Pacific
Doing business in New Zealand can act as a platform to expand to other nations in the South Pacific. New Zealand has free-trade agreements with 16 other World Trade Organization members in the region, including attractive markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
If a company plans to expand into the region, doing business in New Zealand can help the organization gain easier entry into surrounding countries. New Zealand’s low regulatory burden, developed economy, and primarily western culture make the country an excellent platform for Western nations to jump into the region.
Consider Using a Local Partner
Businesses based outside of New Zealand should consider developing a local partnership with a global expertise to help them achieve more fruitful operations in the country. Local partnerships can provide expertise, share costs, and make entry into New Zealand much easier.
If a company needs to get into a market quickly and needs help establishing a legal presence or obtaining work permits for New Zealand, it can work with an International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) provider. These employment solution providers help companies gain a legal presence in-country without the risks of in-house compliance maintenance. In addition, they help companies gain a better understanding of the local labor climate to help them stay compliant, mitigate risks, and develop more prosperous business operations in New Zealand.
When expanding into New Zealand, these tips can help you craft a strategy to do business on this island nation compliantly and successfully. Contact Velocity Global to learn about the benefits of using our International PEO solution for your global expansion to New Zealand.