Confirming your authority to manage information

Confirm your authority to manage a company's information on its behalf.

Before you can manage a company’s records on the register and make transactions on its behalf using our online services, you’ll need to confirm that you have the authority to do so.

Confirming authority to act for a new company

If a person has incorporated a company — for example, as a director or a person acting on behalf of the director(s) — using an individual online services account, authority is applied automatically to that individual.

If a person has incorporated a company on behalf of its director(s) using an organisation account (for example an employee of an accountancy or legal firm), authority is granted to that organisation and, therefore, all users associated with it.

Confirming authority to act for an existing company

Once a company is incorporated, any other individuals or organisations needing to manage a company’s information must confirm their authority to do so. This is explained below.

Who can confirm authority

To confirm your authority using our online services, you will need:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the Companies Register.

How to confirm authority to act for a company

To confirm authority follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Companies Register with your RealMe, enter the company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).
  2. Select ‘Request authority’.
  3. Select whether you are a director or authorised person then choose the option you'd like to use for confirming your authority (see below for details of the available options).
  4. Click on the ‘Submit’ button.

Director

If you are a director, choose one of three ways to confirm authority:

Use the company key

If a company was incorporated before June 2010, it may have a company key. If so, you can use this key to confirm authority instantly. If you've forgotten your company key, you will be directed to our automated service to retrieve it.

Have authority confirmed by an existing authority holder (director or authorised person).

To do this, select a name from the drop-down menu and an email will be sent to that person asking them to accept or reject your request. Please note that it may take some for you to confirm authority using this option.

Confirm authority by verifying your identity

To use this service, you’ll need to provide your New Zealand driver licence or passport details.

If the name on the ID matches your name in the company’s director records, authority will be confirmed immediately.

If the name on your ID does not match your name on the company’s director records, you will need to confirm authority by providing a letter of authorisation which is signed by yourself. Once this is approved, you can log into the register and amend your name, so that it matches the name on your ID.

If you don't have a NZ driver licence or passport, you can upload a copy of another evidence document. This will take longer to be confirmed.

Authorised person

If you are an authorised person, first select whether you are acting as an individual, or as part of an organisation. Then choose one of the following ways to confirm authority.

Use the company key

If a company was incorporated before June 2010, it may have a company key. If so, you can use the key to confirm authority instantly. If you've forgotten your company key, you will be directed to our automated service to retrieve it.

Have authority confirmed by a director

To do this, select a name from the drop-down menu and an email will be sent to that person asking them to accept or reject your request. Please note that it may take some time to confirm authority using this option. The availability of this option depends on whether a director is set up to take these requests.

Confirm authority using the director identification service

To use this service, you’ll need to select a director of the company and provide New Zealand driver licence or passport details that match the details held on the register for that director. You need to make sure that the driver licence or passport has not expired. A driver licence must be the latest version.

If the name and date of birth on the ID do not match the director’s name and date of birth on the companies register director record, you will need to confirm authority by providing a letter of authorisation which is signed by the director. Once this is approved, you can log into the register and amend the name of the director, so that it matches the name on the ID.

If you don't have a NZ driver licence or passport, you can upload a copy of another evidence document. This will take longer to be confirmed.

Confirm authority by providing a letter of authorisation from a director

This involves submitting a completed letter, using a mandatory template, and either uploading it as an attachment, or faxing it to us (number is provided in the header of the letter).

It may take up to three working days for us to process your request.

Use this option only if you're unable to request company authority using the other options.

Request authority

Managing who has authority

Both directors and authorised persons can accept or reject requests for confirmation of authority from others, or cancel an existing authority, but the degree to which they can do this differs.

Directors

By selecting the ‘Authority’ tab on the dashboard, directors with authority can see:

  • all requests for confirmation of authority from other directors, or persons wishing to act on behalf of the company
  • details of all authorised persons
  • Directors who receive an email request can approve or reject requests for confirmation of authority from:
  • other directors
  • authorised persons, such as accountants and lawyers, wishing to act on behalf of the company.

Authorised persons

An authorised person can be someone who has an individual online services account with us (for example, an in-house accountant managing a company’s information) or someone who has an organisation account (for example, an accounting firm with several employees who need access to manage their client’s company’s information).

By selecting the ‘Authority’ tab on the dashboard, an authorised person can see:

  • details of other authorised persons
  • previous requests for confirmation of authority.

Authorised persons can approve or reject a request for confirmation of authority from a director, but only if there is no existing director with authority.

An authorised person can't accept or reject a request for confirmation of authority from another authorised person.

Approving or declining requests for confirmation

If you have authority, you may receive emails from other users requesting confirmation of their authority to act for the company. To accept or reject the request, follow these steps:

  1. Open the email.
  2. Select the link within in the email message.
  3. Read the statement carefully to ensure you're clear who will is seeking confirmation of their authority.
  4. Select either ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’.
  5. If you decline the request, you will need to select a reason from the drop-down box. If you select ‘Other’, provide a reason in the comments box.
  6. Click on the ‘Submit’ button.

An email will be sent to the person or organisation requesting confirmation, advising them of the outcome (including the reason, if it is declined).

Cancelling company authority

Authority can be cancelled under certain circumstances, such as when a director ceases to hold office.

A director with authority:

  • can cancel the authority of an authorised person
  • can’t cancel their own authority or that of another director.

An authorised person with authority:

  • can cancel their own authority
  • can’t cancel the authority of a director or another authorised person.

How to cancel company authority

To cancel your own authority, or that of another person:

  1. Log into the Companies Register with your RealMe.
  2. Enter the company name, company number, or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).
  3. Select the ‘Authority’ tab on the ‘Company details’ screen.
  4. Select a name from the list of those who currently have company authority.
  5. Select the ‘Cancel’ option alongside the individual or organisation's name.
  6. State a reason why authority is being cancelled.
  7. Select ‘Submit’.

Notification of newly confirmed authority

Whenever someone has authority confirmed, the company director(s) and authorised person(s) will receive an email advising them of this.

These emails provide the opportunity to monitor who is gaining access to your company records, and if inappropriate, to take necessary action.

For this reason, it's important for all directors to have an email address as part of their company’s director records on the register.

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