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5th Annual Company Formation Guide - New Zealand Q&A

1. Industry research suggests that China will soon rank first in the world as a source of clients. Have you experienced an increase in demand for your company incorporation services from this region?

Most incorporation has been in relation to cross-border business rather than domestically focused operations. Over the last 18 months the number has increased by approximately 100%.

2. What is the single most important advantage your jurisdiction provides for Chinese clients?

Probably the most important is the protection we offer the client. This is backed by strong legislation and courts that will take action when required by the client.

3. What is your jurisdiction’s unique selling point in setting up offshore companies for Chinese clients?

New Zealand is open to do business with China – we are the first western nation to have a free trade agreement with China, and we are always looking for ways to do business with our biggest trading partner.

4. It has been suggested that price remains a major factor for consideration for Chinese clients. Do you agree with this statement, and how do you think this will change in the years to come? Are you noticing a shift in emphasis on price to an emphasis on the quality of offshore structures? 

Price is important to the client, but I believe the Chinese client is very sophisticated in that, while price is important, most important is the relationship. Value for money is perceived not just in the lowest price possible, but also through the delivery of service, loyalty and tangible benefit to the client. This will continue to play an important role in the future as the clients only become more sophisticated.

We already see an emphasis on quality, and pricing is part of that. 

5. Do you agree that as the industry comes under increasing regulatory pressure, Chinese business will gravitate to jurisdictions that are perceived as more transparent?

I believe the Chinese client will gravitate to the jurisdictions that are business friendly and not tied up with regulation for regulation’s sake. The Chinese client wants to see that their service provider is in a place that provides protection, but does not want to spend so much time on compliance for no reason other than the rules say so. This is not a trend just from China – it is a growing trend throughout the world.

6. Opening a bank account for newly set-up companies has been a challenge for some jurisdictions in the past few years. Is this the case in your jurisdiction? How quickly can a company in your jurisdiction have their bank account set up?

New Zealand has become extremely difficult to set up a bank account in if the beneficial owner is not located here. However, that actually works to the client’s advantage, given the New Zealand tax regime on structures: a New Zealand bank account will mean tax is payable in New Zealand. We have the ability to easily set up a bank account for clients in a friendly and safe jurisdiction, within three to five working days.

Source: Helmores Wealth Ltd.

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