Since November 2019, we've launched five services and nearly 30,000 businesses have registered to use Business Connect – and we're only getting started.
Why we're here
Business Connect was developed based on Better for Business research with over 18,000 businesses. This research showed that there are clear benefits to using consistent and coordinated online licence, registration and permit application forms.
Businesses tell us that they spend a lot of time and effort trying to navigate complex and fragmented government services – just so they can make sure the compliance box is ticked.
For example, a small cafe requires seven different licences from multiple government agencies to be able to operate. These forms are often paper-based and request the same or similar information. Once these are submitted, they don't know the status of their application.
Other common complaints include:
- needing to repeat the same information over and over
- that rules and processes are too complicated to understand or follow, and
- that coordination between government agencies is limited.
Businesses also tell us that the most important services to them are the licences, registrations, certificates and permits that 27% of businesses across New Zealand legally require to operate.
Dealing with compliance also takes a significant amount of time – time businesses could be spending working to reach their goals.
We're starting with delivering easy-to-use, compliant, standardised forms for the hospitality sector.
New Zealand has 22,000 hospitality businesses with 164,000 employees, these businesses have a higher employment rate than the New Zealand average, and they regularly deal with government.
We're working with Hospitality New Zealand and local councils to design forms for:
- food business registration
- alcohol licences
- trade waste licences
- special event licences
- outdoor dining.
Many of our team members have been small business owners in the past and understand the frustrations in interacting with and complying with government. We know that we can do better, and our team is passionate about improving the compliance experience for businesses to give them back time in their day to spend how they want.
We'd like to work with councils interested in using Business Connect as a digital channel for their business customers.
Here's what we'll need from you to get started:
- Time from key people in your team, for example regulatory staff and IT
- Access to a business owner or decision-maker
- Some pieces of information specific to your district, for example bylaws and fees
- A signed Memorandum of Understanding.