Contract in New Zealand

Contracting in New Zealand - FAQ

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in New Zealand? 

3 to 5%

Yes

How long does it take to get a work permit in New Zealand?

4 to 6 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in New Zealand for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in New Zealand for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depending on your level of expenses 65-75%.

*doesn’t include fee for work permit or other immigration costs

More questions? See the rest of the FAQ for more information on the New Zealand work permit process

Getting Started

Taking a contract in New Zealand means tackling numerous administrative headaches. Before you even begin working as an independent contractor, there are complicated payroll, tax, and immigration issues to work out.

All this complex admin comes on top of any personal matters you need to sort, as well. Even worse, it can be a huge nuisance when you’re already in New Zealand, trying to adjust to a huge relocation – and a new contract!

Streamlining even a few of these obstacles can dramatically improve your experience.

Luckily, there are ways to simplify more than just a few…

Freelance New Zealand Requirements

Visas

One of your first hurdles will be securing the proper work permit. To get one, you usually need an employer to sponsor you. This means they take full responsibility for you while you’re working in the country.

That’s fine for full-time employees, but what about independent contractors?

Many clients won’t offer sponsorship for a temporary worker and, even if they do, you’ll need to apply for a new permit for each new contract. This creates a mountain of paperwork each time you want to work with a new client.

Taxes

Additionally, you need to figure out what you owe (if anything) in taxes for your work in New Zealand.

Of course, there’s also your country of tax residency; you’re likely to owe something on that front, too.

You can take advantage of certain tax structures, but doing so requires a strong familiarity with expat tax law in New Zealand.

Benefits of working through an Umbrella Company in New Zealand

You can outsource a lot of these admin problems to specialists at an Umbrella Company (or contractor management company).

An Umbrella Company basically becomes your full-time “employer,” even though you stay in control of your workload, clients, and schedule. The Umbrella Company simply collects and processes your payments, filtering out social security and any necessary fees.

They can also sponsor your work permit, meaning you get to take on new clients without the aggravation of applying for a new permit each time.

Even better, most specialise in tax law for contractors in New Zealand and can ensure you’re keeping the largest amount of your earnings as possible. They can even assist you with reducing your tax liability back home.

In short, you get all the benefits of a working for an employer, without sacrificing your autonomy as a contractor.

How to get started with the right Umbrella Company

There’s a lot of Umbrella Companies out there; finding the right one for you can be daunting.

We’ve done the research on Umbrella Companies in New Zealand, and know how to match contractors with the perfect company. If you’ve already secured a contract, get in touch with us and let us know your situation. We can get you started with the best Umbrella Company for you, or simply offer feedback on contracting in New Zealand.

Oh, and we don’t charge anything. Drop us a line and get free, honest, simple advice.

Send your details for more information

Additional FAQ - work permits & payroll

Yes

What is the cost of a Work Permit in New Zealand?

$2,000 NZD

What documentation is required for a work permit in New Zealand?

 

Click here for list of requirments.

 

What is the work permit process in New Zealand?

A local NZ company needs to make the application. They will need the candidates documentation (see below), plus the candidates offer letter, then the application is lodged in NZ and once approved the candidate takes the approved work permit to their local NZ Consulate and has the visa stamped in their passport.

Can you transfer from a business visa to a work permit in New Zealand?

No

Can we organise a business visa for New Zealand?

Yes

How long does it take to process a business visa in New Zealand?

5 to 7 days.

How much does a business visa cost in New Zealand?

$200 NZD

 

Can nationals of certain countries enter New Zealand without a business visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?

 

Yes – Australians.

 

 

$6,000 NZD.

 

How does payroll work in New Zealand?

 

Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. There is no social security deductions in NZ for employers or employees - although employees pay an earners levy to cover injuries outside the workplace - called the Accident Compensation Corporation - which equates to 1.7% on income up to NZD 113,768. Your employer will also  deduct income tax - which is progressive and varies from 10.5% to 33% pendant on salary level. These deductions are made at source and paid to the New Zealand tax authorities. Candidates are able to offset their taxable income with relevant business expenses. The World Bank estimates it takes employers in New Zealand 67 man days to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes each year.