Kia Ora Raina – well done on doing this. A few things to think about there:
– there is no Law that requires you to set up a business when you are doing contracting work or setting up your activity – you can still work it through your own personal name e.g. you pay the tax just through your IRD number
– however some people like to ‘separate’ their personal work from their business work, and decide to establish a Company for the purpose – this might be because of efficiency e.g. just easier having a separate Legal Entity and it might also be because of ‘risk’ and that you are worried about getting sued or there being some risk in the business, having the separate Legal Entity can mean you ‘separate’ the personal affairs form the business affairs
– on GST, regardless of whether you do this ‘in your name’ or ‘in the name of a company’ – if you think you will earn more than $60,000 then you are required to register for GST
– for expenses that you want to claim, it makes no difference whether you do it in your own name or the company, you can only claim those costs that are directly related to running your business
When people start out, I say to them to keep it loose and just work in your own name for a period of time, until you have some certainty that this is a thing. When you have the certainty – then you can set up a company if that is what works for you.