How One German Set up A Small Business In New Zealand
I write this article to try and encourage other Germans who might migrate to New Zealand to consider the possibility of setting up a small business. I’ve done so successfully and thought I would relate a little of my experience to others who might consider trying to do the same thing.
That’s because I was very intimidated by the prospect of setting up a small business. Everything in New Zealand is different from the way it is in Germany. All of the rules and regulations are different, the finances are different, the taxes are different and there’s so many new things to get your head around as an immigrant.
And of course you’ve got to find a good business niche to get involved in. As someone who has not lived in New Zealand for very long it’s not easy gathering up sufficient understanding of the local market to find a viable niche in which to start a business.
My business was in forklifts. When I got to New Zealand initially I began work with a company that had a large number of forklifts in use in their warehouse. All day long you’d see forklifts buzzing up and down moving stock around the warehouse.
I got to know some of the forklift drivers quite well and spent quite some time with them finding out about what it takes to become a forklift driver. I assumed initially that it was just time spent on the job however after speaking to them for some time I realised that it was a skilled task which required quite specific training, and a specific licence. And getting a forklift licence, whilst not extremely difficult, is a very important part of the process because all forklift drivers are required to be licensed.
So I did some research into forklift training courses and forklift licensing, here. It seemed to me that there was an opening in the market for a company offering forklift training courses and forklift licences and so I began my business, after employing a suitably qualified person to work with me, offering forklift licence training.
It’s not an easy thing opening a business in New Zealand when you’re German. I approached a number of banks for finance and was turned down by all of them because I had no history in New Zealand. I didn’t need a whole lot of money but I did need a small loan to tide me over, and ended up taking out a much more expensive installment loan for a small amount of money. It’s only a small loan and I hope to have the loan repaid very soon. I didn’t plan on an installment loan as it has a very high interest rate but just couldn’t get anything else.
It ended up being a very clever decision to open a business offering forklift licence training. I’ve promoted it on the Internet and locally and I’m now getting a steady stream of new hopeful forklift drivers undertaking my forklift training course and its working.
It is not particularly difficult running courses for forklift drivers and it’s not very expensive so the profit margin is quite high. I rent premises and my premises aren’t particularly expensive because I don’t need a high profile location, so I was able to find an old disused warehouse where I could run my forklift training courses at a relatively low cost.
As a new resident of New Zealand, who came from Germany, I was quite intimidated by the process of setting up a new business. Refreshingly I found it much easier to do than I had initially expected and have now been able to set up a business that is running profitably and which is providing me with a worthwhile income.
So my advice to any German coming to New Zealand who is considering setting up a small business here is to go for it. It might seem intimidating at first however many of the imagined problems melt away once you get stuck into the details and it’s quite possible to establish a small business successfully here in New Zealand. Here’s a good place to start.
Don’t let the details put you off, get it started and you’ll have your own small business running successfully before you can imagine.
What Are The Gun Laws In New Zealand?
If you’ve just come from to New Zealand from Germany and are interested in buying a firearm, for example because you’d be interested in learning about hunting, then the first thing you need to do is to learn all about the New Zealand gun laws, because they may be very different from German gun laws.
The first thing to observe about owning a firearm in New Zealand is that you must be licensed to use your firearm independently.
We use the word “independently” because there is an exception. The exception is that anyone can use a firearm without a licence if they are under the “immediate supervision of a licence holder”. Immediate supervision is defined and means that the “licensed person is within reach and can control the firearm”. It is also required that the licensed person must not be using another firearm at the same time.
A firearm is also defined. It is defined as “anything from the which any shot, bullet, missile or other project can be discharged by force of explosion”. This covers just about anything.
If you are visiting New Zealand from Germany for less than a year you can get visitors licence, if not you need a full licence.
Getting a gun licence is not simply about filling in a form. You are required to sit firearm safety course and then to pass a gun safety test. These can be applied for at your nearest police station.
Only after that can you apply for the firearms licence. There is also a fee involved.
Not all firearms are approved for ownership in New Zealand, for a comprehensive list of approved firearms click here.
Are you required to have a gun safe?
Of course owning a firearm has various responsibilities beyond simply obtaining a gun licence. One of those responsibilities is the moral responsibility to ensure that your firearm is not used irresponsibly by yourself or anyone else. One of the ways of ensuring this is to have your firearm securely locked away in a safe such as a quality gun safe or in a concrete store room or other type of lockable and safe place. It’s also possible to disable a firearm when not in use.
There are regulations governing firearm safety including the necessity to keep a firearm in a quality gun safe, steel and/or concrete strongroom or other secure location.
The gun can also be kept in a gun safe which is defined as a “steel safe or steel box or steel cabinet (being in every case a safe, box or cabinet of sound construction and of a type approved in writing either generally or in the particular case by a member of the police). There are also requirements about how the gun safe should be fixed to the building.
A gun safe, particularly a high quality gun safe (because not all gun safes are of high quality, read some gun safe reviews here http://www.gunsafeadviser.com/gun-safe-reviews/ to find quality safes) is an essential requirement for any private firearm owner in the absence of a strongroom. A quality gun safe which adheres to the regulations prevents the possibility that a burglar can steal your weapons. And a fireproof gun safe will also reduce the risk of losing those weapons in a house fire, though of course that’s not guaranteed.
Learn more about buying a quality gun safe here.
There is no fireproof gun safe which is rated against fire for an indeterminate period of time, all fireproof gun safes are rated to a temperature and length of time.
So if you’re visiting New Zealand from Germany, or moving here to live, and wish to purchase a firearm, it’s essential that you carefully research your legal obligations before you do so. Get a licence and purchase a gun safe. Those are important.
Keep your Trucking Business Alive in New Zealand
For trucking companies or truckers who are interested in working in New Zealand, working in this industry is sometimes difficult to break in to in the region. For this reason, it is important to understand how to keep your business alive, what you have to do in order to strive, and where to turn to when you want your business to grow in New Zealand.
Join the trucking association
Joining the New Zealand trucking association is the first thing you should do when you are building your business in the region. An association has the ability to protect you in the event of a claim, to protect your business if a lawsuit is filed against it, and has the resources to represent you in the event of such suits. Further, once you are a member, the association has resources to help your business grow. From marketing, to helping you find new local clients, they have the resources that you do not have access to, nor have the money for, when you are trying to build your business in the area.
Find work that is needed
If you are in the business of transporting goods, you have to find companies that are looking for truckers to transport goods. If you work in the farming industry, you have to find clients who need assistance in transport or work with trucks. Regardless of the line of work you are in, it is important to acclimate your business, in order to meet the local demands. No matter where you choose to work, if you do not have the resources the locals are looking for, and if you do not offer the services they are looking for, it is going to be hard for your business to thrive and for you to make a living in the area.
The right equipment
Of course you need the right equipment in order for your business to thrive as well. It is important to have the trucks that are presentable, which you can transport goods for your clients in. If you need local offices, you have to find facilities that offer rental units for your business. Regardless of the type of trucking business you are in, or what type of clientele you would like to do business with, when you are in New Zealand (or any other region of the world), you have to use the local resources, and purchase equipment locally, to ensure it can be used to perform the work tasks you have to perform.
Because working in this area is different than in Germany, you must understand the local needs. In order to grow and build a business that is going to thrive, a company has to offer the services which the locals are in need of, and also has to provide services for an affordable rate. Working with a local trucking association is a great way to begin your business, and to help it grow, when you are new to the trucking business in New Zealand.