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25 Best Business To Start In New Zealand: What Are The Requirements To Launch?

June 10, 2024

The best business to start in New Zealand are:

  1. Local Lead Generation
  2. Interior Design Firm
  3. Private Tutor Agency
  4. Health and Wellness Coach
  5. Personal Trainer
  6. Insurance Advisor
  7. Peer-to-Peer Lending Services
  8. Cyber Security Agency
  9. Business Analyst
  10. Business Coach

Starting a business in New Zealand comes with required licenses and agreements. Certain businesses for professional services require Level 3 to Level 5 certificates. However, New Zealand also has associations lead by the government such as the Institute of IT Professionals and Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand (AAPNZ). These associations help professionals to stay up to date on their industry practices.

According to Heritage Foundation, New Zealand ranks 6th on the 2024 Index of Economic Freedom. Stats NZ also reported that the country's unemployment rate is 4%. These data suggest that New Zealand has a stable economy with livable wage. The country also has a firm commitment to zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2050. So, businesses must prioritize sustainability to appeal to New Zealand market.

In this article, we're listing 25 best business to start in New Zealand, why it's one of the best business ideas in New Zealand, and the startup costs and requirement. We also included how to start a business in New Zealand from market research to legal requirements. At the end, we will recommend the #1 best business idea to start in New Zealand.

1. Local Lead Generation

Local lead generation is directing leads to local service providers through niche websites. The websites rank in search results through SEO practices. It is the best business to start in New Zealand since its service industry is the biggest contributor to its economy. According to Stats in NZ, the service industry contributed 66% to the country's GDP.

You can start a local lead generation business with $500. This cost includes the website hosting, domain and phone call system. With local lead generation, you're not running ads to get leads, so it requires less startup capital. Leads are already looking for the services, and you'll only help them find one. Local lead generation has a success rate of 35% and it increases the more websites you create.

2. Interior Design Firm

An online interior design business offers home and office designs online. This business model satisfies clients who want a professionally designed DIY space. It is particularly attractive for tech-savvy customers who want the flexibility of online meetings and purchasing.

The New Zealand interior design industry has a market size of $280.30 million NZD, according to Statista. The Interior Design Institute reported the average income of an interior designer is $65,244 NZD per year. Although it depends on experience and background. Clients prefer degree holders in interior design, architecture or spatial design. The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand offers a free Level 4 certification on interior decor.

3. Private Tutor Services

A private tutor agency offers educational support to kids and adults on specific subjects. According to the Ministry of Education, there is a high demand for tutors for academic subjects like Science, Math and English. The average income of a private tutor in New Zealand is $60,372 NZD per year.

According to Wintec, there is no formal requirement to start private tutoring. However, clients will prefer tutors with specific expertise or currently taking a degree to master it. The Teaching Council of New Zealand provides a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) for experts who are not registered teachers. LAT enables experts to teach on subjects or skills with a shortage in teachers.

4. Health and Wellness Coach

A health and wellness coach helps clients improve and maintain their health and lifestyle. Health coaches provide customized dietary plans and exercise routines to individuals. Based on Glassdoor’s report, health coaches’ average income per year is $56,260 NZD.

According to Statista, the health and wellness coaching industry in New Zealand is projected for a compound annual growth of 8.06% from 2024 to 2028. The data shows upward demand for health coaches. Statista mentioned this is because of COVID 19. New Zealand residents started to look for convenient and personalized fitness solutions. The Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association (HCANZA) offer certification programs.

5. Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is a professional that guides individuals to achieve their fitness goals safely. They teach people the proper form of exercising and create customized workout plans. Fitness conscious people prefer online personal trainers since they can show up before work or during lunch, without travel time.

There are no mandatory requirements to be a personal trainer in New Zealand. But most trainers are registered in the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). REPs monitor members to ensure they meet industry standards. According to, the average salary of a personal trainer is $79,727 per year.

6. Insurance Advisor

Insurance advisors explain insurance policies, conditions and benefits to clients. Insurance advisors are expected to calculate insurance premiums and get their client information. For this reason, they should be knowledgeable in relevant government policies like taxes, accident compensation and laws like the Privacy Act.

Insurance advisors are required to have a New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5. They are also required to register on the Financial Service Providers Register. According to IBIS World, there is a decline in commercial clients for insurance advisors. This is due to the number of companies which fell because of COVID 19. However, IBIS World projected the industry will pick at 2.3% growth until 2029. Insurance advisors usually earn between $60k NZD to $100k NZD as per Careers in NZ.

7. Peer-to-Peer Lending Services

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services provide a platform for lenders and borrowers while minimizing risks and offering better rates. P2P is also known as social lending or crowdfunding. According to Moneyhub, Squirrel, the 2nd largest P2P service in New Zealand, earns up to 3% of the loan balance. Squirrel’s loan range is $500 NZD to $2 million NZD.

Peer-to-peer lending in New Zealand is regulated by the Financial Market Authority (FMA). It is not required to get licensed by FMA, but lenders prefer licensed P2P providers. According to FMA, the licensing fee is $6,238.75 NZD.

8. Cyber Security Agency

A cyber security agency ensures the protection of networks, programs, devices and systems against malicious digital attacks. These attacks aim to access, destroy or change sensitive information. There is a high demand for cyber security in New Zealand. According to Kordia, New Zealand businesses with more than 100 staff were victims of cybercrime in 2023. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported 70% of business owners are willing to pay to restore their systems.

According to Payscale, the annual income of a cyber security expert is $96k NZD. To start a cyber security agency, Sprint Law said it’s important to register your business to the Inland Revenue. And then you can apply for New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). Redditor antmas cautioned a fresh graduate from starting cyber security right away in a New Zealand subreddit. He said businesses want cyber security providers with experience of the system or business should be protecting.

9. Business Analyst

A business analyst helps businesses improve processes and services through software and data analysis. They assess the integration of technology within the business and make recommendations. According to Seek, the average annual income of business analysts ranges from $90k NZD to $110k NZD.

Business analysts are expected to know the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge BABOK® Guide by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). Clients also expect a background on data science, statistics, information technology or business administration. Once you’ve established your business analyst business, you can join the IIBA New Zealand and build your network.

10. Business Coach

A business coach helps business owners, executives and entrepreneurs develop skills and improve performance to achieve their goals. According to Wifitalents, the demand for business coaches in the past 5 years increased by 33%. It’s a business idea on the rise in New Zealand. There are no requirements to be a business coach. However, you can take a certification in International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited institutions. According to the Economic Research Institute, the average income of a business coach is $102,045 NZD.

11. Business Consultant

A business consultant identifies a business’s strengths and weaknesses, then creates strategies for the efficiency of the organization. Business consultants can niche down and pick a field as their expertise. According to IBIS World, the leading niche for business consultants is corporate strategy while the least competitive is human resource consulting.

If you have a background in business administration, finance and law, you can start a business consultant agency. You can join the Institute of Management Consultants New Zealand to expand your network. Most consultants also take the Certified Management Consultant certification. According to Payscale, the average income of a business consultant is $65,202 NZD per year.

12. IT Services

Information technology services provide businesses the tools to create, optimize and manage information and business processes. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the digital technology sector contributed $7 billion to New Zealand’s GDP in 2021. It is a big part of the country’s economy with an annual growth rate of 10.4% since 2016.

You can start an IT service business if you are skilled in fixing computer hardware and software, and programming. A degree in Information Technology is advantageous and certifications like the CompTIA Security+. IT service providers can register at the Institute of IT Professionals.

13. Rental Market Platform

A rental marketplace platform enables people to lend and borrow items for a fee. According to Rentman, the profit margin for rental marketplace platforms range from 10% to 50%. It depends on the industry, with party equipment rentals at 50% profit margin.

When starting a rental marketplace platform in New Zealand, it’s important to be familiar with laws around it. According to Legal Vision, online rental marketplaces must ensure they abide the NZ Consumer Law, the Privacy Act and if they have merchants outside the country, to pay for the GST as every sale.

Toby Skilton’s Mutu is a rental marketplace to rent and lend items like outdoor equipment, bikes and electronics for New Zealand residents. The app received 25,000 users and was valued at $2 million NZD by a group of New Zealand private investors. According to Toby, the app aims to lessen the waste and encourage people to borrow instead of buy items that will be used once or twice only.

14. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides services to companies and end users through a cloud. Thus, the services are accessible anywhere through the internet. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the New Zealand SaaS sector contributed $2 billion NZD in revenue in 2021 alone. It is a rising industry within the country and starting a SaaS business can be profitable.

According to McKinsey’s study, SaaS companies have a 20% success rate. The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise government body hosted the kiwiSaaS for SaaS owners in the country. kiwiSaaS is a community of SaaS owners with networking events and masterclasses. Based on Payscale, the average income of a SaaS developer is $82k NZD per year.

15. Data Analyst

A data analyst provides information from gathered and analyzed data to solve a specific problem. They employ techniques such as data mining, mapping and modeling. According to Careers in NZ, there is a shortage in data analysts in the country. And Hays NZ reported the average data analyst earns $80k NZD to $100k NZD per year.

You can be a data analyst if you have a degree in Statistics, Computer Science, Economics or related fields. However, Seek advice to gain experience through internship or entry-level jobs around data sets and software. According to Randstad, there is a demand for all data analysts since their skills are needed in multiple industries.

16. DevOps Engineering Firm

DevOps engineering firms ensure the smooth process of integrating new system changes to day-to-day IT operations. DevOps engineers are IT generalists who handle release engineering, system security and administration. According to the Economic Research Institute, DevOps engineers annual income is $128,831 NZD with an average of $5k in bonus, commission and profit share per year.

If you have a background in software development or a degree in computer science, you can start a DevOps engineering business. According to, it’s better to master one programming language and learn different operating systems.

17. Software Development Agency

A software development agency writes, maintains and upgrades computer programs. Software developers are skilled at computer software and systems, programming language and software development processes. According to Careers in NZ, the income range of software developers is between $110 to $160k NZD annually.

Grow Think reported that the startup cost of a software development agency is $30k. According to Institute Data, software developers in New Zealand need to be skilled in Java, C++ and Python. Software developers can also get a certification from the Institute of IT Professionals.

18. Graphic Design Firm

A graphic design firm creates printed or digital artworks that communicate a message to its audience. Graphic designers use computer-aided design (CAD) and creative software to apply color and design theories. According to Design Wanted, a signature color increases brand awareness by 80%. When starting a graphic design firm, Legal Vision advised having Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement for every original design.

Businesses prefer versatile graphic designs. According to Careers in NZ, it includes video, print and digital. In a recent report, Yahoo Finance named New Zealand as 15th of the 15 highest paying countries for graphic designers. According to Payscale, the average yearly income of a graphic designer is $58,163 NZD. These suggest New Zealand is of the countries ideal for starting a graphic design firm.

19. Digital Marketing Agency

A digital marketing agency employs various tactics, tools and strategies to improve the visibility, revenue and reach of businesses through online channels. According to Interactive Advertising Bureau of New Zealand (IAB New Zealand), the country’s digital marketing revenue grew by 4.3% annually. It’s a growth rate that can support a lucrative digital marketing business.

To start a digital marketing agency in New Zealand, Sprint Law advises to register the company in the New Zealand Companies Office. IP protection and Data Breach Response Plan are suggested to have in place. According to Talent, digital marketers’s annual income is $75k NZD.

20. Social Media Marketing Specialist

A social media marketing specialist plans, writes, and publishes content on social media for engagement. Social media specialists grow the brand’s audience, boost sales and build brand awareness. According to Statista, 89% of the New Zealand population are active social media users. Brands want to reach their target audience, and social media marketing specialists is one sure way to go in New Zealand.

According to Glassdoor, social media marketing specialists receive $63k NZD per year on average. You can be a social media marketing specialist in New Zealand if you have a degree in marketing, business economics or commerce. You can also take certifications and build a portfolio of successful clients. According to Careers in NZ, you can be a member of NZ Marketing Association and keep up with trends and industry practices.

21. Content Writing

Content writing service is writing, editing and publishing content to inspire the audience to take desired action. According to the Institute of Digital Marketing New Zealand, Kiwis consume an average of 7 hours of online content per week. Nielsen Consumer Media Insights (CMI) revealed 8 out of 10 Kiwi actively consume news once a week. These data show New Zealand residents are looking for quality and information content. Hence, content writing is one of the best businesses to start in New Zealand.

There is no mandatory requirement for content writers in New Zealand. However, a degree in Marketing, English or Journalism is an advantage. According to Randstad, the average income of a content writer is between $60k NZD to $70k NZD.

22. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an online retail business where customers purchase from the seller online and the supplier ships the product directly to the customers. The sellers act like a middleman and never handle the product. According to Statista, 88% of New Zealand shoppers purchase online. There are also trusted dropshipping suppliers in the country like Doba. So, it’s a primed market for dropshipping. In a JustAnswer thread about tax and dropshipping, products brought into the country are subjected to Goods and Services Tax (GST). New Zealand GST is charged at 15% rate.

23. Virtual Event Planning

Virtual event planning is overseeing the technology, logistics and execution of an online event. These events are usually webinars, meetings, conferences, trade shows and networking parties. According to tech Report, 93% of virtual event attendees considered it a success. And it is projected to increase 16.6% from 2023 to 2033 by Future Marketing Insights. 

If you have a background in event planning, you can start a virtual event planning service. There are also bachelor degrees available in New Zealand universities or workshops on educational platforms like The Knowledge Academy. Virtual event planners are expected to create and present event concepts to clients. According to Talent, the average income of an event planner is $62,350 NZD per year.

24. Blogging

Blogging is writing, editing and publishing written content in a specific niche. Blogs are often informal and frequently updated encouraging engagement. The average blog length contains 1,000 to 2,500 words. According to Nielsen CMI, around 3.4 million Kiwis read online content weekly. And Optinmonster reported that globally, 60% of marketers struggle to make engaging content. This is a gap bloggers can fill. 

There are no requirements to start blogging in NZ. But according to Legal Vision, it’s best to get familiar with copyright law and how bloggers can use copyrighted content. Yvette Webster, the blogger behind Wayfaring Kiwi earns from her travel blog through ad revenue, travel consultation, affiliate sales and working with travel brands.

25. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant supports the specific needs of an executive or a company. This typically includes handling email accounts, phone calls, and vetting potential clients or projects. According to Sabrina O’Flaherty, CEO of Good Line NZ, the big companies of NZ are starting to commission virtual assistants in the last year.

There are no requirements to be a virtual assistant in New Zealand. But you can take New Zealand Certificate in Business (Levels 4 and 4) or the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 5). You can also join the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand (AAPNZ) and continue to develop your VA career. According to Indeed, the average income of a virtual assistant in New Zealand is $50,714 per year.

How To Start a Business in New Zealand?

  • Research Your Market - The New Zealand market focuses on sustainability in the products and services they avail. So, it's important to include this your business plan and operations. According to Stripe, the 52+ age group is also a resilient market. They don't fear spending on discretionary goods and services compared to younger age groups.
  • Register Your Business - It is mandatory in New Zealand to register your business in the New Zealand Companies Office. Once you're registered, you will receive a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). The registration can be done online. You'll also have to open a RealMe account to transact to most government agencies. 
  • Understand Business Obligations - New Zealand businesses must have an address in the country. If it's operating online, the address should be where the books and records are secured. New Zealand businesses also need local accountability, so there must be one or more New Zealand resident in the directors or business owners. The businesses over $60k NZD in annual turnover must register for good and services (GST) tax, which is 15%.
  • Comply with Legal Requirements - Online businesses must comply with the Data Protection Law. This includes visible Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions guidelines on your websites. If you're planning to expand and hire an employee, you're required to have an employment contract and register in Inland Revenue as an employer.

My #1 Recommendation For Making Money Online in New Zealand

My #1 recommendation for making money online in New Zealand is starting a local lead generation business. According to Statista, the service industry accounted for $249.04 billion NZD of the country's GDP in 2023. It is the biggest contributor to New Zealand's economy and local lead generation leverage service business. Local lead generation creates website for local service providers. The websites are optimized for search engines, and once its ranking, you can rent it out to local businesses.

A local lead generation business is also simple compared to other business ideas that require certifications and degrees. You can register as a solo trader instead of a company which would only require an Inland Revenue Number (IRN). It also requires less maintenance, so you can expand without hiring an employee and preparing employment contracts.

Case in point, the local lead generation site I created for tree care in 2015 regularly generates me $2k per month up to this day. And I only have to do minimal maintenance on it ever since. The local lead generation business is also more scalable compared to other business ideas. There are 50+ niche services you can create websites for. So, if you're looking to make money online, local lead generation is the best option to start.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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