The Budget is providing further funding of $12.1 million for the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) initiative, which provides a unique identifier for businesses to use in their interactions with government agencies and each other.
The NZBN is part of the Government’s Better Public Services for business (Result 9) programme, which aims to reduce by 2017 the cost to businesses of interacting with government by 25 per cent.
According to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith, all key government agencies that work regularly with businesses will be required to recognise and use the NZBN by the end of 2017.
Today’s announcement follows the recent introduction of legislation that extends the NZBN to all business entities, including sole traders, partnerships and trusts with around 1.1 million companies receiving unique NZBNs in late 2013.
Joyce says Budget 2015 provides an additional $3.5 million capital and $8.6 million operating funding over four years.
This operating funding is drawn from a mix of new Crown funding ($2 million operating) and existing registry fees ($6.6 million).
According to the Government, this will be made available to expand the register to include sole traders, partnerships and trusts and improve services to all businesses.
"Businesses will benefit from the NZBN through having to share their key information with government agencies only once,” Joyce says.
"Once this new register is built, core business information will be publicly viewable and searchable."
According to Goldsmith, Kiwi businesses will no longer have to keep updating their information with various government databases.
"If they have an address change, for example, entering it once using their NZBN will update the Companies Office, ACC, the IRD, Statistics NZ, NZTE, Callaghan Innovation and so on, saving businesses time and money," he says.
"The NZBN will also enable innovative time-saving administration solutions between businesses, their suppliers and government, giving them more time to focus their effort on productivity, growth and exporting."