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Thread: Starting a small company as a migrant

  1. #1
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    Default Starting a small company as a migrant

    I've been considering founding a startup for a while, a small company offering web services. I had initially thought of going into it as a sole trader/freelancer, as I don't intend to employ anyone else for the time being, but after reading the business.govt.nz website I figured it might be a good idea to go the small company route instead.

    Are there any restrictions on visa status for starting a company? Is an open work visa or resident visa sufficient?

  2. #2
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    Hi. You can't start a business on a work visa. The previous route has been via the Long term Business Visa, but this has now closed. A new visa for people wanting to start a business has been announced and will be available in March 2014. There are no details yet. Watch this space!

  3. #3
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    If you were already a resident, you could start up a business, but as things stand, you'd have to earn the residence in another way first.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, guys. So a resident visa is all you need immigration-wise to be allowed to set up a company... there are no other pre-conditions?

    How about the non-immigration side of business; is it true that technically all you 'need' to start one is $150 for registration and filling up the form? Or are there other things that were not mentioned on the govt website?

  5. #5
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    Have a look at this thread, beachcombers gave shared really good information on startup:

    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=36636

  6. #6
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    Thank you, Sun! Will do.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Phillips View Post
    Hi. You can't start a business on a work visa. The previous route has been via the Long term Business Visa, but this has now closed. A new visa for people wanting to start a business has been announced and will be available in March 2014. There are no details yet. Watch this space!
    Actually thats wrong Karen and as someone who is a license immigration advisor and widely uses this forum, I would have expected you to have know that.

    Holders of a "open work visa" such as partnership work visa's and including WHV holders can start a business here.

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/immigration/k...base/item/1106

  8. #8
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    Oh, that's a bit harsh - work visas aren't the same as open work visas and WHVs, and the question here is coming from somebody who has a work visa and is hoping to move on to residence.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by melange View Post
    Are there any restrictions on visa status for starting a company? Is an open work visa or resident visa sufficient?
    Sorry Karen, but I stand by my words.

  10. #10
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    I can see why you are saying what you said. Technically, you are right. But you can't just get an open work visa, you have to have the right partner, or be under 31, for example, so for most people it is not an option. Even if you have one of these visas and get a business started, unless you can get residence before the visa expires you can get into a big mess. Recent threads have illustrated this. If what I said was misleading, I am sorry. I didn't want to give false hope or set people down a very difficult path, especially when no one knows exactly how the new business and entrepreneur visas are going to work. I was aware of this - but I certainly don't know everything, and would never pretend to. It is good that your comments have raised this issue. No hard feelings!

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