Registering a shareholder

Adding shareholders to the Companies Register

At the time you submit your online application for incorporation, you need to register every shareholder in your company. Following incorporation, you must register each new shareholder and update your shareholding details as events occur.

Who can be a shareholder

You can only register a shareholder in your company if they're:

  • an individual person
  • an NZ company, or
  • another legal entity, such as an overseas registered company or limited partnership.

Registering shareholders when you incorporate

When you submit your online application for incorporation, you must register each shareholder.

You must record each shareholder's personal details and state how many shares they hold in your company. Depending on the type of shareholder, you need to provide:

  • for individuals — a full legal name, residential address, and an Inland Revenue number if the shareholder is an New Zealand resident, and you're registering your company for tax.
  • for registered New Zealand companies — a full company name and incorporation or registration number.
  • for trustees — a full legal name and residential address for each trustee jointly holding shares.
  • for other entities — a full legal name, country of origin and registered address.
 

Filing shareholder consent forms

Once you've added a shareholder's details to the Companies Register, we email you a consent form in that person's name. This form must be signed by the shareholder and returned to us within 20 working days.

Preparing shareholder's consents

If you prefer to prepare consent forms ahead of time, download these blank forms.

Registering shareholders after you incorporate

After your company is incorporated, you may decide to issue further shares. When you notify us of a new share issue, you must also register any new shareholders.

Depending on the type of shareholder, you must provide:

  • for individuals — a full legal name and residential address.
  • for registered NZ companies — a full company name and incorporation or registration number.
  • for trustees — a full legal name and residential address for each trustee jointly holding shares.
  • for other entities — a full legal name and street address.

Who can register a shareholder after incorporation

To register a shareholder after your company is incorporated you must have:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the Companies Register
  • authority to act for your company.

1. Add the shareholder's details

To register a new shareholder, log in to your online services account, enter the company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) and follow these steps.

  1. On the Company summary screen, select the Shareholdings tab.
  2. Select Update details and check the box on the Continue on the Acknowledgment screen.
  3. Select Add new shareholder.
  4. Select the type of shareholder — you have the option to:
    • select an available director who is becoming a shareholder, or
    • add a new person, NZ registered company or other entity.
  5. Enter the details of the person or entity.
  6. Select Continue.

2. Allocate shares to the shareholder

You must now add the shareholder to a share allocation, and record how many shares they hold in that allocation.

  1. Select the Share allocations tab.
  2. Select the share allocation to which the shareholder is to be added.
  3. Select the shareholder's name from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Number of shares field, enter the number of shares allocated to the shareholder.
  5. Increase or decrease the number of shares allocated to other shareholders to ensure the total allocated matches the total number of shares available.
Update shares and shareholders

Keeping shareholders' details up to date

You must keep details of your shareholdings up to date on your own company share register, and notify us of changes when you file your company annual return.

You can also update your shareholder information on the Companies Register at any time.

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 7 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

Financial reporting 7 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.

Getting support to use the Companies Register 5 guides

Get help with any technical problems you have using the register, such as uploading documents or searching for companies, directors and shareholders.