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What is a company?
A company exists as a formal and legal entity in its own right. It is separate from its shareholder(s) or owner(s) - the person or group of people who own shares in the company). Companies can be registered (incorporated) online through this website.

The limited liability company has proved to be the most popular and successful form of business structure. Companies help foster confidence in businesses by governing the relationships between investors (shareholders), directors and creditors and by giving stakeholders a clearer picture of who and what they are dealing with.

Every company has certain basic elements:
  • A name which has been reserved by the Registrar of Companies
  • At least one share, one shareholder and one director
  • A registered office where the company records are kept
  • An address for service where legal documents can be served
  • The Registrar also requests an address for communication
A company comes into existence after it is incorporated under the Companies Act 1993. Once incorporated it is recognised in law as an independent legal entity (a body corporate). This means it is treated as being a separate 'person' from its directors and shareholders. It can therefore do many of the same things as a natural person – for example, hold property in its own name, enter contracts, sue and be sued, etc.

Source: New Zealand Companies Office

    What is a company?
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