The government is replacing the current Long-Term Business Visa with a new points-based Entrepreneur Work Visa.
Immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said the status quo had not been significantly changed since 1999 and had attracted a large number of low-quality applications.
Extra points are awarded to those expanding or starting businesses outside of the Auckland region.
Points will also be offered for criteria including job creation, export potential, and business experience.
A minimum capital investment of $100,000 will be required.