Business relationships and support

Finding professional business support

Business owners walk a lonely path, which is why it’s important to have a support team you can trust. There’s a huge amount of professional help available for businesses in New Zealand – some free, and some not.

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In this article

Establish a strong support team

Having a trusted support network helps you succeed from day one. No doubt you’ve got friends and family to give you advice, offer help, and bounce ideas off – but nothing beats a strong team of professionals. Your lawyer, accountant and bank manager are essential members of that team. 

Find a lawyer

Your lawyer isn’t just there for when things go wrong. 

Your lawyer can advise you on:

  • Intellectual property
  • Potential liability
  • Safeguards
  • Employment matters and more. 

They’ll also help you create terms and conditions and other key business documents. 

Look for a lawyer who knows your type of business (your family lawyer may not be the best choice). Someone with similar clients to you should have a good appreciation of the challenges you face. Feel free to ‘interview’ potential lawyers – you need to feel comfortable with them, their support staff, and the offices you’ll be meeting them in.

Tips for working with your lawyer

When you’ve chosen your lawyer, make sure you allow them some time to get to know you and your business. This is well worth the fees, because it sets the scene for your future relationship and helps your lawyer give you the best advice possible.

Talk to them before entering any:

  • Lease
  • Contract
  • Agreement
  • Partnership.

For example, get their advice before making an offer on property or a major purchase of plant or equipment.

Legal essentials for small to medium business owners

Our guest speaker, Jonathan Norman from Sainsbury Logan & Williams law firm, shares some legal tips on topics such as limited liability protection, terms of trade, employment laws, and branding protection.

Find an accountant

As a key member of your support team, your accountant will be on call to help with regular tasks or the unexpected. 

They’ll advise on:

  • Budgets
  • Forecasts
  • Financial reporting.

They can also offer a different perspective on many business issues – from planning, strategy, and performance targets, to streamlining processes and systems.  They’ll also make sure you’ve got the tools you need to administer your accounts, and that you and your staff are able to handle accounting requirements or new software.

Whether you prefer a bigger firm or a small, family-owned business, choose an accountant who’ll deal with your business affairs promptly and accurately. 

Tips for working with your accountant

As you embark on your new relationship with your accountant, make sure you:

  • Follow their advice to meet your tax obligations – complying correctly the first time round means you save time and avoid worry
  • Give them access to your accounting software package reports – this will make things more efficient, which should save you money
  • Keep them up to date with your business, especially if you’re going through a tough patch. 

Your accountant can help throughout the year, not just at year-end or when your GST is due. With regular contact, your accountant can help you anticipate changes or actions that will make a difference to your bottom line.

Engage a business banking specialist

Like all members of your support team, your business banking specialist wants your business to succeed. An ANZ Business Specialist will help you get the right banking solution for your needs, and can suggest products and services to keep your business on track – from business accounts and credit cards, to merchant facilities such as EFTPOS.

Beyond banking

Your business banking specialist is a resource who can assess your business idea from a finance perspective and discuss funding options . They can also cast an eye over your  financial statements, cash flow forecasts, and profit and loss statement.

If they’re not qualified to help, your ANZ Business Banking Specialist will point you to other sources of information (such as online resources); or they might refer you to specialists who have expertise in areas such as offshore trade, insurance, wealth, or merchant facilities. They’ll also invite you to attend webinars or networking events that can help inform and guide you toward meeting your business objectives. 

Communicate with your support team

Consult your support team as soon as a problem arises, or you see changes ahead. Your lawyer, accountant, and business banking specialist can offer guidance, point you to useful information, and help you see things from another perspective.

Familiarise yourself with their terms of engagement so you know your obligations and what they’ll do for you in return. It’s also a good idea to understand how they’d like to be contacted – for example, can you flick them an email or text for a quick piece of advice? or are regular catchups needed?

Connect with each other

Introduce your lawyer, accountant, and business banker to each other by email. When they know the other members of your support team, they can connect and coordinate your business arrangements when needed.


If you’re concerned about discussing your new idea with an adviser, asking them to sign a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement can be a sensible precaution to take. Talk to your lawyer about the best ways to protect your idea.

Useful websites

Searching online will uncover a range of useful websites that provide lots of information. Here are some we recommend you visit:

  • Brings together free resources, tools, and information to help you start, manage, and grow your business.
  • Statistics New Zealand: Provides demographic information and many more useful statistics.
  • Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand: For details about protecting your business, including patents, trademarks, and useful IP information.
  • Inland Revenue: Everything you need to know about tax, including valuable information and tools on KiwiSaver.
  • Business Mentors New Zealand: A mentor service who can help you once you’ve been in business for more than six months.
  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Provides information and resources to help businesses, industries, and regions to develop and grow, especially in the export sector.
  • Callaghan Innovation: Works in partnership with government agencies, business incubators and the venture capital community, tertiary institutions, Crown research institutes, and industry associations.
  • Business NZ: Represents New Zealand business in local and national government.

Contact an ANZ Business Specialist

Our specialists understand your kind of business and the challenges you face as a business owner. We can help you figure out how to make your business grow and succeed.

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Important information

We’ve provided this material as a complimentary service. It is prepared based on information and sources ANZ believes to be reliable. Some of the materials in this article (including the webinars) are provided by third parties.  ANZ does not warrant the quality of such materials, or the suitability for your particular circumstances. The content is information only, is subject to change, and isn’t a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice, which you should seek before relying on it. To the extent the law allows, ANZ doesn’t accept any responsibility or liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any act or omissions by any person relying on this material.

Please talk to us if you need financial advice about a product or service. See our financial advice provider disclosure at

This information is current as at 16 January 2024 and is subject to change.

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