Keeping company records

The business and financial records companies must keep

All companies in New Zealand need to keep and maintain records about their company and how it's managed. These include company records, such as minutes, as well as financial records and the company's share register.

Why records are important

Depending on the nature of your business, you'll need to report to various government agencies about your business activities. Use the Compliance matters tool to find out what your reporting obligations are.

How long you must keep company records

You must keep the following records for 7 years:

  • minutes of board and committee meetings
  • written communications with shareholders, including emails
  • resolutions
  • certificates issued by directors
  • copies of all financial statements
  • a record of the assets and liabilities of the company.

There are also financial records you must keep for 7 years, including:

  • copies of all financial statements
  • a record of the assets and liabilities of the company, and
  • accounting records, such as:
    • bank statements showing money received and spent each day
    • invoices for all the services you provided or goods you bought.

Meeting minutes and resolutions

You need to keep a record of minutes from board and committee meetings, as well as resolutions from shareholders.

Company constitution

If your company has a constitution, a copy of that constitution must be kept at your company's registered office.

After you incorporate a company, you might decide to amend your constitution or adopt one. Your board must notify us within 10 working days if you adopt, alter or revoke your constitution.

Financial records and audit statements

A company's financial records must:

  • record and explain the company's transactions
  • comply with generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP).

It's the responsibility of the board of a company to ensure the company keeps accounting records. The financial records should be readily available and properly audited if required.

Share register

A company must maintain a share register that records:

  • the shares issued by the company
  • an alphabetical list of the shareholders' names with their residential addresses or registered office, if they're a company
  • the number of shares each shareholder owns and,
  • any restrictions or limitations on the transfer of shares and where to find the details.

You also need to keep a record for the last 10 years of:

  • all shareholders
  • details and dates of any repurchase or redemption of shares for each shareholder
  • details and dates of any transfer of shares by each shareholder.

All help topics

Before you start a company 5 guides

Get an overview of how companies are structured, find out about the company records you need to keep, and what's involved when you incorporate with and report to the Companies Office.

Shares and shareholders 7 guides

When you incorporate, you must provide details of all company shares and shareholders. As changes occur, you must update this information on your own share register and in your company's annual return.

Company directors 7 guides

Directors have responsibilities to their company and shareholders, and under the Companies Act 1993. You must register all your directors with the Companies Office and they must sign a consent form.​

Filing annual returns 8 guides

Find out about filing an annual return — the information you need to update, how to change your filing month or request a time extension — and what happens if you don't file your annual return by the due date.

Complying with the law 11 guides

Restoring a company to the register 4 guides

Only some companies can be reinstated to the Companies Register once they've been removed. Find out who can apply, what evidence to provide and if you should apply to the Registrar or the High Court.

Managing your online account 8 guides