Company authority is the system the Companies Offices uses to control who has permission to update information and complete transactions on an organisation's online services account.
Anyone incorporating a company online (for example, a company director) must apply for company authority as part of the process.
If a person has incorporated a company on its behalf — for example, as a director or an in-house accountant — using an individual online services account, company authority would be granted to that individual.
If a person has incorporated a company on behalf of another organisation — for example, an accounting firm — using an organisation online services account, company authority would be granted to the organisation and, therefore, all users associated with it.
Once a company is incorporated, other individuals and organisations who want to perform tasks or transactions on behalf of a company — for example, an accounting or legal firm — must apply for Company Authority.
Who can apply for Company Authority
To apply for Company Authority, you must have:
- a RealMe® login
- an online services account with the Companies Register.
How to request company authority
To request Company Authority, log in to your online services account, enter the company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) and follow these steps.
- Select Request authority.
- Confirm whether you're requesting authority for yourself or your organisation.
- If you're a company director, select the Individual option followed by the Director option. Select your name from the drop-down menu of directors.
- Confirm your authority — there are 3 ways you can do this.
- If your company was incorporated before June 2010 it may have a company key — if so, you can use this to confirm you should have Company Authority. If you've forgotten your company key, use our automated service to retrieve it.
- Request authority from an existing company authority holder. To do this, select a name from the drop-down menu — an email is sent asking that person to accept or reject your request.
- Apply using the Registrar Approval Service — only use this option if you're unable to request company authority from an existing company authority holder. This service will only appear onscreen if you haven't been able to gain approval from a director.
- Select Submit.
Using the Registrar Approval Service
You can only use this service if you're unable to obtain authority from an existing holder of Company Authority.
We process authority requests within 3 working days and confirm by email whether the Company Authority request has been accepted or rejected.
If you're an individual, you must send us proof of your identity in the form of a driver's licence or passport. You must send this before your request can be processed.
You can send us your proof by fax, or through our online Registrar Approval Service.
Fax: 0508 288 467
If you're requesting Company Authority on behalf of an organisation, you must send us a signed letter of authorisation once you've completed your online request for authority.
The letter of authorisation must:
- be printed on your organisation's letterhead
- state that your organisation has authority to make changes for the company you're requesting Company Authority for, and
- include the company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) for the company you're requesting authority for.
The following template sets out the information you must provide.
You can send us your letter of authorisation by fax, or through our online Registrar Approval Service.
Fax: 0508 288 467
Companies formed as a nominee company for overseas interests
We will request additional information where a request for Company Authority is received from a company which appears to have been formed as a nominee company for overseas interests.
Evidence of consent by proposed directors and shareholders to the transfer of company authority must include:
- certified documents signed on behalf of the company granting your authority. These documents must be signed by a director or person authorised to act on behalf of the company. If that person is not a director, you'll also be required to provide a copy of a certified document appointing that person.
- evidence of identity for anyone who has signed the documents you've provided, in the form of a passport or a certified copy of a person's passport.
If a passport is unavailable, the original or certified copies of 2 of the following forms of identification are required.
- Government issued identity card, with photograph.
- Driver's licence, with photograph.
- Birth certificate.
- Citizenship certificate.
- Use of the trusted referee service — contact us direct if you want to use this service.
Who can accept or reject requests for authority
The level of Company Authority you have determines whether you can accept or reject a request, or cancel someone's Company Authority.
By selecting the Authority tab on their online services account dashboard, directors can see:
- all applications for company authority from other directors or authorised persons wishing to act on behalf of the company
- details of all authorised persons
- previous requests for company authority.
Directors can approve or reject requests for company authority from:
- other directors, and
- authorised persons, such as accountants and lawyers, wishing to act on behalf of the company.
By selecting the Authority tab on an organisation's account dashboard, an authorised person who has Company Authority, can see:
- details of other authorised persons
- previous requests for company authority.
Authorised persons can approve or reject a request for company authority from a director, but only if there is no existing Director with authority.
An authorised person can't accept or reject a request from another authorised person.
Approving or rejecting company authority
If you have company authority you may receive an email notification from another online services account user requesting authority. To accept or reject the request, follow these steps.
- Open the email notification sent to you requesting company authority.
- Select the link provided in the email to go online and process the request.
- Read the statement carefully to ensure you're aware who you're providing company authority to.
- Select either Accept or Reject.
- If you reject the request you need to select a reason from the drop-down box — if you select Other, provide a reason in the comments box.
- Select the Submit button.
An email is sent to the person or organisation requesting authority advising whether their request has been accepted or rejected (including the reason, if it was rejected).
Cancelling (revoking) company authority
Company authority can be cancelled (revoked) when, for example, a director ceases to hold office or an employee leaves the company.
- can cancel the authority of an authorised person
- can't cancel their own authority or that of another director.
An authorised person:
- 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 or another authorised person's company authority, log in to your online services account, enter the company name, company number, or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) and follow these steps.
- Select the Authority tab on the Company details screen.
- Select a name from the list of those who currently have authority.
- Select the Revoke option alongside the individual or organisation's name.
- State a reason why authority is being cancelled.
- Select Submit to permanently cancel company authority.