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Ministry prepares platform for NZ Business Number rollout

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment is looking for technology to deliver a register of New Zealand businesses.

Plans to introduce a single business number for all businesses in New Zealand are advancing even before supporting legislation is passed.

Business number functions. Source: MBIE

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE), which manages a large number of separate registers, is now seeking registrations of interest from potential suppliers of a "Shared Business Entity Register".

"The goal of the solution is to provide a common platform for the clustering of system functions to support the administration of multiple business entity registers," a registration document says.

The new register will not replace the current register of companies, but will facilitate the rollout of NZ Business Numbers to around half a million businesses not currently incorporated.

MBIE said that while the New Zealand Business Number Bill has yet to be enacted, it is expected to pass into law by the end of the year. That will introduce requirements for sole traders, partnerships, trading trusts, and body corporates to register and receive their own business number and be recorded on a central register.

Once all businesses, government agencies, and commercial entities have unique numbers, services can be to built to facilitate secure and efficient exchanges of information.

"Once the NZBN Bill is passed, an online register is required to facilitate the allocation of an NZBN to eligible unincorporated entities, integrate with the NZBN ecosystem, and manage the life cycle of the entity in compliance with the legislation," the ROI document says.

"This is a corollary to the government's Better for Business initiative; the targets set by government are to reduce business costs from dealing with government by 25 percent by 2017, and that customer service performance will be similar to that of leading private sector firms."

Separately, MBIE is also investigating billing and payment management systems to help it track around five million transactions a year with a combined value of over NZ$350 million.

"This project seeks to resolve the problem of disparate payment systems and inconsistent payment methods across MBIE and the inconsistent payment methods we provide to our customers across different service lines," another ROI says.