In the middle of May 2016 the New Zealand Business Numbers Act 2016 came into force. The bill was passed by the government in April 2016. What it does is allow all businesses operating in New Zealand to be allocated a New Zealand business number. This is not a new thing for registered companies which have had numbers since 2013. For other businesses though, including those which are not incorporated such as partnerships, trusts and sole traders, these too can have business numbers by 2017.An example of use of business numbers in operation is the process used by Air New Zealand when registering businesses which sign up online for Airpoints for their business.It is hoped that other businesses might follow suit. Examples given are accountants or banks using the number allocation when developing products and/or software. One of the aims of the Act is to have consistent identification of a business - new services are planned for the future to achieve this. One example is where a change is made to primary data, say a company that changes some details in the companies register, with consistent identification this would see this change updated across all other government agencies.This system forms part of the governments’ Better for Business Programme. The Registrar of companies who is also now the Registrar of New Zealand business numbers says it has been estimated that the benefits for businesses once this programme is fully implemented will be around $60 million a year. They are happy to meet or speak to anyone who needs help to plan for, or use, their New Zealand business number. Google NZBN to access the contact information and read further about this subject.