Nevada Business License

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Last updated:

Nevada Business License

Starting a business in Nevada comes with its own set of rules, which are primarily guided by Title 7 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

Regardless of whether you’re a sole proprietor, part of a partnership, or a member of an LLC, you will be generally required to secure a state license to conduct business legally within the state.

This article will explore the factors that determine whether you need a Nevada Business License. We’ll also outline the steps and costs involved in obtaining one in order to provide you with a clear roadmap and enable you to focus on growing your business.

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Do I Need a Business License in Nevada

In Nevada, businesses are required to obtain various licenses and permits at the local, state, and federal levels. Here’s a general breakdown:

Type of Business

Below, we’ve detailed common ways in which your business type can dictate the licenses you’ll be required to obtain, as well as specific examples of these:

  • State Business License: In Nevada, nearly all businesses are required to obtain a state business license. This license is issued by the Office of the Secretary of State and applies to a wide range of business structures (e.g., corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships, etc.)
  • Occupational Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need specific occupational permits. For instance, a restaurant would need a food handler’s permit, which is issued by the local health department
  • Professional Licenses: For certain professions in Nevada, specific boards issue professional licenses. Medical practitioners, for example, must obtain a license from the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners, while lawyers are required to have a license from the Nevada State Bar

However, this is not the only factor influencing the exact combination of licenses you’ll need — the location of your business within Nevada plays an important role as well.

Location

In this section, we’ve provided a succinct overview of the potential licenses and permits that your business may need due to local, state, and federal requirements:

  • Local: Businesses operating in specific cities or counties within Nevada might need to obtain a local business license. For example, if your business is located in Las Vegas, you will need to apply for a Las Vegas Business License through the city’s Department of Building & Safety. Local permits such as fire department permits or health permits may also be required if your business’s activities are related to food service or public accommodation
  • State:  Businesses in Nevada must register for a Use Tax Account if they plan to purchase tangible personal property for storage, use, or other consumption in the state, as mandated by NRS section 372.220. Additionally, companies planning to sell or rent out certain physical items subject to sales tax are required to sign up for a business tax registration — which is commonly known as a seller’s permit
  • Federal: Federal licenses might be necessary if your business falls within specific industries like aviation, broadcasting, or firearms and explosives. For more information, have a look at the Federal Trade Commission’s Selected Industries page

Since the exact permits and licenses your business will need are entirely unique to your situation, you’ll have to conduct thorough research into your own local, state, and federal regulations to smoothly launch your business.

Alternatively, many entrepreneurs opt to leverage the expertise of third-party services to handle this on their behalf.

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How to Get a Business License in Nevada

In order to get your business license(s) in Nevada, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Form Your Business
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Apply for the Required Licenses and Permits

Below, we dive into this new business checklist in more detail:

Step 1: Form Your Business

Before setting out to obtain a business license in Nevada, it’s pivotal that you first choose an appropriate structure for your business. Sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and corporations are all common choices, however it’s often seen as the most advantageous for small businesses in Nevada to register as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Here are a few reasons for why:

  • Limited Liability: Members are protected from personal liability for business debts, safeguarding personal assets
  • Tax Benefits: LLCs typically enjoy a pass-through tax treatment, avoiding the double taxation that corporations are subjected to
  • Management Flexibility: LLCs allow for flexibility in management structure, either being member-managed or manager-managed based on the preferences outlined in the certificate of formation
  • Ease of Formation: With the Nevada Secretary of State providing the appropriate forms to meet the minimum state law requirements and the option to file online, setting up an LLC is relatively straightforward

Many small business owners opt to avoid the tricky process of forming an LLC by instead leveraging the help of third-party LLC formation services.

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Step 2: Obtain an EIN

The second step you’ll need to complete before applying for your business license is to obtain your EIN. This is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses in the United States so that their financial transactions can be identified and tracked.

An EIN is often necessitated when applying for various permits and licenses as it allows local and state governments to ensure your business is operating within the confines of the law. You can obtain it in a number of ways:

  • Online: You can apply for your EIN on the IRS’s official website by using the EIN Assistant. You should be granted your EIN shortly after completing this application
  • By Fax/Mail: After completing Form SS-4, you can apply for an EIN by submitting it to the IRS via mail or fax
  • By Phone: International applicants and businesses located outside US Territories are required to call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to obtain their EIN — which they should receive during this call

Note: If you are a sole proprietor, you will be able to use your Social Security Number (SSN) instead (as long as you do not have employees).

Step 3: Apply for Licenses and Permits

After settling on the appropriate structure for your business and initiating the application for your EIN, the next step is to focus on securing the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally within your locale and industry.

  • Local Licenses: To apply for local permits and licenses, you will need to visit your county or city office’s website, where you can find a variety of application forms and online portals dedicated to business licensing. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to submit business plans, tax ID numbers, and potentially undergo inspections
  • Statewide Licenses: To apply for a State Business License in Nevada, you will need to go to the SilverFlume Business Portal. This contains all of the necessary forms you’ll need, as well as a process through which you can attach all required documentation and pay the applicable fees
  • Federal Licenses: While the federal government doesn’t mandate licenses for general business operations, if your business falls under any government-regulated category, such as agriculture, fishing, firearms, and alcohol sales, it may be required to obtain additional federal licenses or permits

Note: If you’re starting a new business in Nevada, consider utilizing the New Business Checklist which provides a comprehensive view of required registrations, estimated costs, and even offers an interactive roadmap to guide you through the steps of establishing your business.

Step 4: Renewal of Licenses and Permits

In Nevada, you must renew your state business license online through the SilverFlume portal. The renewal deadline aligns with the last day of the anniversary month when you initially filed for the license.

For Title 7 entities, this renewal coincides with the due date of the initial or Annual List of Officers. Meanwhile, sole proprietors and partnerships must renew their state business license on or before the expiration date listed on the license.

Keep in mind that failing to renew on time can result in monetary penalties, as well as the need for reapplication. This means it’s important that you proactively research your business’s renewal requirements.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party service or a professional attorney for this process. This can be a good choice if you want to ensure that you avoid potential fines, as well as if you want to be as time-efficient as possible.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this process, see our article on How to Get a Business License.

How Much is a Business License in Nevada

The initial cost and annual renewal fee for your Nevada state business license will be dictated by your business structure.

If you’re planning to register as a corporation, your initial cost and annual renewal fee will amount to $500. For all other business entity types, such as sole proprietors and partnerships, these fees are set at $200.

Keep in mind that you may need to obtain additional licenses at the local or city level depending on your business, which will increase your total cost.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the expenses associated with obtaining the necessary licenses, we recommend hiring an external service in order to save time. Alternatively, you can choose to work with a business attorney instead (assuming that you are not operating on a strict budget).

Nevada Business License FAQ

How do I get a business license in Nevada?

To obtain a business license in Nevada, you will need to select a business entity type (e.g., LLC, limited liability partnership, etc), obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and then apply for all necessary licenses. Keep in mind that you may need to register a fictitious firm name depending on your business’s specificities. Interested in finding out more? Check out our How to Get a Business License article.

How much does it cost to get a business license in Nevada?

Your total Nevada business license cost will depend on several factors, such as your business structure and niche. If you’re operating as a corporation (a Title 7 entity organized pursuant to the laws of Nevada), you will need to pay an initial state business license fee of $500. This is $200 for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.

What licenses are needed to start a business in Nevada?

In Nevada, you’ll likely need a state business license issued by the Office of the Secretary of State. Depending on your business type and location, you may also require occupational permits, professional licenses, and possibly federal licenses.

How do I verify a business in Nevada?

To verify a business in Nevada, you can use the Nevada Secretary of State’s online business search tool. This will provide information on the business’s current standing, registration details, and other pertinent information. For more information, have a look at our Nevada Business License guide.

For all related articles, have a look at our How to Get a Business License page.