Not designed for everyone
If you are wanting to start a business in New Zealand, you will need to have an Entrepreneur Work Visa.
To be successful under this visa category, you need to check off three things:
- a good business idea or model that is likely to be seen as high-growth or innovative or export oriented by Immigration NZ; and
- minimum NZ$100,000 (about US$80,000) investment into the business (excluding working capital); and
- you need to be a real, genuine entrepreneur.
According to Immigration New Zealand, successful applications to date included exporting (e.g. food, wine, reformulated animal feeds), manufacturing (e.g. hydrofoil) and high-tech (e.g. biotech, internet startups, software as a service) businesses.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, the expectations are high and not suited for the traditional 'corner dairy' type businesses. This category is not for the faint hearted - to succeed under this category, you need to know what you are doing.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the Entrepreneur Visa category.
- Be your own boss and build your business
- If you have children their school fees will be the same as locals
- Free Trade Agreements with China, Australia and ASEAN countries
- New Zealand is said to be the best country in the world to do business (according to Forbes Magazine 2012)
- New Zealand is said to be the easiest country to start a business (according to 2013 World Bank report)
- Stringent requirements
- Need to run the business for at least 2 years (can be shortened to 6 months if some conditions are met)
- If your business goes downhill, you may have to kiss your residence visa goodbye