In a nutshell, starting a business in Nevada is quick, requires a bit more upfront costs and paperwork initially than most states, and has great benefits, such as no state income tax or franchise tax.
More specifically, starting a business such as an LLC or corporation in Nevada requires filing at least three documents with the Secretary of State: the formation documents, a State Business License, and an Initial List (where you report member, manager or officer information). The processing of your business formation documents will take about a business day if you file online, with LLC formation running you $425, and incorporation a bit higher at $725. Every year you won’t need to worry about state income taxes or franchise taxes like most other states, but you will need to pay somewhere between $350 – $550 for annual maintenance, depending on the entity type you form.
Your Guide to Starting a Nevada Business
Nevada brings some surprising and uniquely lucrative benefits and opportunities to its business owners, and we’re more than happy to help you uncover all these perks on your entrepreneurial journey in the Silver State!
In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the specific Nevada laws for each step of the way in starting a business. We’ll show you why both the state of Nevada and Nevada Registered Agent LLC are significantly popular choices among entrepreneurs.
As you go through the journey of starting your own business, it’s important for business owners like yourself to build relationships with professionals who can help you through the different aspects of your business. At some point during your normal business operations, you’ll probably end up needing assistance from accountants, lawyers, and tax or insurance professionals.
We can serve as your Nevada registered agent service for only $35 per year, your business formation service, or both—why risk losing time and money from filing any documents incorrectly? Our friendly and experienced staff are in the business of helping Nevada businesses succeed the first time out. Hire us today!
Understand the Steps: Set up Your Nevada Business
Wherever you may be in the process of launching your new Nevada business out into the world, we’ll have it covered somewhere in the following steps:
- Choosing Your Nevada Business Structure
- Picking a Name For Your Business
- Appointing a Nevada Registered Agent
- Getting a Nevada Business Address
- Filing the Nevada Business Formation Documents
- Writing Your Bylaws or Operating Agreement According to Nevada Law
- Applying for a Nevada EIN
- Registering for City, County, or State Business Licenses & Permits
- Looking Into Business Insurance Requirements in Nevada
- Opening a Business Bank Account in Nevada
- Conducting Your First Company Meeting
- Registering with Nevada’s Department of Taxation
- Forming a Holding Company in Nevada
Choosing Your Nevada Business Structure
The state laws and statutes that define an LLC specific to Nevada or corporation specific to Nevada can make or break a decision on choosing one or the other.
LLC vs. Corporation
- Easier to maintain annually and day-to-day
- Pass-through entity tax advantage (no double-taxation)
- Major flexibility for things like profit distribution and management
- Double-taxation allows for reinvesting profits into the business & special tax deductions
- Investors prefer corporate stock (making it easier to raise capital)
- Highest level of prestige
- Limited liability protection
- Credibility and permanence
- Business is a separate, legal entity
Nevada LLCs vs Nevada Corporations
- Expensive Fees. Start-up fees are $425. This is a bit higher than most states. The renewal fees are $350 per year—again, a bit higher than most states. Keep in mind this still might be beneficial and outweigh what state income and franchise taxes could potentially add up to if they were imposed in Nevada like they are in most other states.
- Expensive Fees. Start-up fees start at $725. While this is a one-time cost that shouldn’t have a huge impact on your decision, keep in mind there will also be a $650 annual maintenance fee to renew the business license and file the annual List of Officers.
- Privacy. Unlike a majority of states, a Nevada corporation’s shareholders and some Nevada LLC members can remain off the record (although officer and manager names are not private).
- Exceptionally Strong Liability. Nevada provides a “charging order protection” for its LLCs and corporations. Creditors (a person who is owed funds or assets by a debtor) only have one remedy against the debtor of a multi-member LLC, which is a charging order that puts a lien on a debtor’s interest (funds and assets) and creditors then have a right to receive any distributions made to the debtor from the LLC, if the LLC makes a distribution. Often times, this leads to the creditor ending up with nothing, since creditors can’t order the LLC to make distributions.
- Notably Low Taxes. With no state income tax, no corporate or franchise taxes, and no taxes on corporate shares or profits, Nevada is a tax haven.
Picking a Name For Your Business
Not only should you consider picking a business name that will resonate with your target audience, brand your business type, and will age well, but also consider a couple of unique laws of Nevada regarding business names, listed below.
Specific name endings aren’t required for Nevada corporations. Most states require corporations to have a special name ending designator such as “Inc” or “Corp.” With the exception of a natural person’s name or initials as the business name, corporations in Nevada don’t need to worry about having this designator in their business name.
If you plan to expand your business beyond Nevada, we recommend adding a corporate designator, however.
Nevada LLCs must have a special name ending. Unlike Nevada corporations, Nevada LLCs need to have a proper name designator, such as “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or an abbreviation like “LLC.”
Outside of these special rules, choosing a business name follows the same guidelines as the other states, such as choosing a unique name. Visit the Nevada Secretary of State Business Name Search page to check the availability of your proposed business name.
Domain name availability for your company name.
It’s a good idea to check out domain name availability while you’re choosing your company name. We recommend purchasing the domain name as soon as you’ve officially formed before it gets taken.
Appointing a Nevada Registered Agent
Whether you have a Nevada corporation, Nevada LLC, or an out-of-state entity in Nevada applying for a certificate of authority or registration, a registered agent (previously called a Nevada resident agent) is a legal requirement.
A Nevada registered agent is a person or entity with a physical address in Nevada where they are available during normal business hours to accept service of process and other official state correspondence on a business’s behalf.
We are a Nevada registered agent service that helps keep both local and out-of-state (known as “foreign”) Nevada businesses in good standing with the Nevada Secretary of State and accepts legal documents for your business by acting as your registered agent for just $35 total per year. We upload all legal documents we receive immediately, alert you to all new notices, send you timely important reminders, provide you a secure online account, and provide you one huge unique advantage that our local competitors can’t offer: a Nevada business address to keep your identity completely private and save you an enormous amount of hassle.
Sign up for our registered agent service today and see why Nevada Registered Agent LLC is a popular choice in Nevada!
Getting a Nevada Business Address
A business address is simply a physical address that you can use anywhere an address is required on your business formation documents in place of your personal addresses.
Our services include use of our Nevada business address for free, something our local competitors can’t offer. Using our business address instead of your personal addresses comes with huge perks:
- Keeps your personal address out of the public eye
- Saves you from copious amounts of neverending junk mail
- Saves you from the hassle of changing your address with several companies and agencies when you move
- Appearance of permanence and professionalism instead of having a record of business address changes
While Nevada doesn’t specifically require businesses to maintain a principal business address, you will need to specify addresses on other sections of the formation documents, such as for managers and directors. Our business address can be used on any part of the formation documents, giving you privacy and saving you time and sanity in the long run.
Filing the Nevada Business Formation Documents
Among all the steps involved in starting your own LLC or corporation, the step that creates your business legally into existence is the filing of the formation documents known in Nevada as either the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
Remember, Nevada has an additional mandatory guideline where you must also file a State Business License and Initial List alongside the formation documents.
Filing formation paperwork for an LLC or corporation in Nevada costs $75. For LLCs, there is a $150 filing fee for the Initial List of Members or Managers, and a $200 Nevada Registration License (AKA the Nevada Business License). For corporations, the Initial List of Officers and Directors costs $150 as well, but the Nevada Business License will cost $500.
For Nevada businesses, we recommend filing through Nevada’s SilverFlume online business portal—it’s secure, quick, and user-friendly, and your business will be formed in about a business day.
It can be confusing and stressful to start a business in Nevada due to the multiple required initial filings and high fees. If you hire us to form your business, we will ensure that everything is taken care of correctly the first time out, and in a timely manner!
Writing Your Bylaws or Operating Agreement According to Nevada Law
Fun fact about Nevada: it’s one of the few states that doesn’t legally require businesses to create and adopt either corporate bylaws or LLC operating agreements.
Does this mean you should treat these documents as optional? Definitely not!
Corporate bylaws and LLC operating agreements are arguably the most important documents your Nevada business can adopt. The risks a business takes when it doesn’t adopt these documents can be devastating—whether it’s constant confusion and stress for all the members or shareholders, or the business itself failing because of irreversible damage, conflict, and lawsuits.
Being as important as they are, it makes sense that bylaws of corporations and operating agreements of LLCs should be given an especially high level of care and attention. Visit our Corporation Bylaws in Nevada page or our Nevada LLC Operating Agreements page for in-depth guides on these documents and how they work in the state of Nevada.
When you hire us to form your business, we’ll include free basic bylaws and operating agreement templates, as well templates for initial resolutions, stock certificates, and a resolution to open a business bank account.
Applying for a Nevada EIN
If your LLC or corporation plans to transact any kind of business in Nevada, you’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is a unique identification number assigned by the IRS to a business entity for tax purposes.
Most often, you’ll use your EIN for the following reasons:
- Filing tax returns
- Opening bank accounts or credit cards
- Applying for loans
- Applying for business permits
- Hiring/paying employees
Registering for Nevada State Business Licenses & Permits
If you’re conducting business in Nevada, chances are you’ll need a Nevada State Business License, a regulatory or local business license for your city or county, and possibly a special occupational permit or certificate.
Nevada State Business License
The Initial/Annual List and State Business License are contained on the same document you’ll be submitting to the Nevada Secretary of State when you initially form your company and each year afterwards.
There’s a few types of business entities who are exempt from filing for a State Business License and can instead file a Declaration for State Business License Exemption. These entities include the following:
- Religious nonprofits
- Charitable organizations
- Government organizations
Besides the general Nevada State Business License, you may need have other state business licenses, such as a firearms license or cosmetology license. Head over to the Nevada Secretary of State SilverFlume business portal for further details on state licenses, and to file the Initial/Annual List and State Business License document and other state licenses online.
Regulatory and Local Business Licenses
Once you have your State Business License in place, then you can start applying for regulatory and local licenses and permits. To understand which licenses and permits you’ll need, you’ll need to first understand which business jurisdiction you’re in.
Your business could fall under several different jurisdictions, including Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, or Clark County. Start by using the Southern Nevada Regional Business License Jurisdiction page, which will direct you to the correct jurisdiction’s online business license application.
Special or Occupational Permits and Certificates
The nature of your business can be listed under a wide range of classifications. Depending on this classification, you may need additional certificates or permits, such as a Home Occupation Permit or Resale Permit. Check with your city and county government websites, as well as the Department of Taxation, to learn more.
Looking Into Business Insurance Requirements in Nevada
Workers Compensation Insurance
According to Nevada state law, businesses with one or more employees (defined as a person under a contract of hire) are required to have Workers Compensation insurance. The specific details can be found at the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry’s Nevada Employer Guide to Worker’s Compensation.
Generally, your Nevada business will need to pay Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes as thoroughly outlined at Nevada’s State Unemployment Insurance informational website. This will walk you through your requirements to establish a UI tax account with the Employment Security Division (ESD) and the rules going forward, depending on your business type.
Other Insurance That May Apply
We recommend speaking to an insurance professional about other insurance types that may benefit your business. Here are a few examples of other insurance considerations for your Nevada business:
- General Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Commercial Property Insurance
- Home-Based Business Insurance
- Commercial Auto Insurance
Opening a Business Bank Account in Nevada
It’s important to have a separate business bank account for your company to keep business matters apart from your personal finances. Separating business and personal banking is helpful to maintain limited liability, and preventing piercing of the corporate veil.
For your Nevada business banking needs, choose the bank you prefer and ask them about the paperwork and steps to take to open a business bank account with them. Some banks will want to see more than others, including things like your company’s business plan.
Here are a few benefits of having a business bank account:
- Protecting your personal assets
- Identifying business expenses and tax deductions accurately
- Accepting credit card payments
- Easily managing business transactions – writing checks, collect receipts, etc.
Conducting Your First Company Meeting
While not legally required, we recommend businesses in Nevada conduct an official first meeting with all members to discuss and settle all business matters, and tie up any loose ends. These matters can include the organizational resolutions, which are adopted actions related to the organization and incorporation of a company.
Normally, organizational resolutions are required for corporations, such as authorizing share issuance or appointing directors. However, even though LLCs don’t require such resolutions for most decisions, resolutions can still be a good idea for big decisions like purchasing real estate or taking out a bank loan.
Other business matters to discuss and authorize can include the following:
- Finalizing the bylaws or operating agreements
- Electing managers and deciding salaries
- Establishing a business bank account and who will have access
Registering with Nevada’s Department of Taxation
Another one of the many unique requirements of a new Nevada business is registering with the Nevada Department of Taxation. Luckily, registration is free and can be done pretty quickly through the SilverFlume portal.
Pro Tip: In the SilverFlume portal, set up your Common Business Registration (CBR). This will help streamline your basic information between nearly every government agency.
Nevada is known as a tax haven since it doesn’t impose a franchise, corporate, or personal income tax. That being said, it’s important to understand the primary business taxes Nevada does impose. Our Nevada Business Taxes page can give you more details on some of the more common taxes.
The most commonly applicable primary taxes for businesses in Nevada can include the following:
Sales and Use Taxes – The Sales and Use Taxes are imposed on either the sale, transfer, or exchange, or the storage or use, of tangible property (the Sales Tax and Use Tax are counterparts to each other).
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax – The UI Tax applies to almost all for-profit employers.
Payroll Tax – Since Nevada doesn’t have a personal income tax (normally the source of payroll taxes for a state), Nevada levies different types of Payroll Tax depending on the type of business.
Other types of common business taxes seen in Nevada include the following:
- Commerce Tax
- Modified State Business Tax
- Nevada Live Entertainment Tax
The Nevada Tax Center provides a finely-detailed Nevada Tax Information Packet that will provide you with all the nitty-gritty details you’ll need to ensure you have a full understanding of your specific business tax needs.
Forming a Holding Company in Nevada
Businesses of all sizes and across a wide range of industries can benefit from forming a holding company. Holding companies are usually an LLC or corporation, and provide a number of advantages such as protection or privacy. If you’re interested in forming a holding company, there’s a couple of basic and unique characteristics to understand for the state of Nevada.
Anonymity. A common reason for businesses to form holding companies is the advantage of privacy. Unfortunately, Nevada publicly lists the names of officers or managers of its businesses. Just about anyone can jump online and find out the names of the people in charge of an LLC or corporation. States such as Wyoming or New Mexico, however, can provide anonymity.
Expense. Not only is it spendy to form and maintain a business in Nevada due to the annual compliance requirements (Annual List of Members and State Business License) and business formation fees, but bigger companies have their own additional expenses. Nevada’s Gross Receipts Tax hits big businesses who make over $1 million in revenue each year. Property and intellectual property will cost you plenty in taxes and reporting in Nevada.
Forming a holding company in Nevada may or may not be right for your unique business needs, and becomes even more complex for business owners who don’t live in Nevada. For a deeper dive into Nevada holding company laws, check out the information provided at the Nevada SilverFlume Portal and consult a professional agent in your industry to learn the basic facts and realities before making this decision.
Are You Ready to Start a Business in Nevada?
At Nevada Registered Agent LLC, we’re more than happy to help clients like yourself in forming your business from the ground up. We’re an experienced bunch who have been in the business formation game for a long time. We know the ins and outs of what makes a business successful, and we’re excited to watch our clients grow and become as successful as possible. Sign up with us today, and we’ll provide you with lifetime support for your business and can help you with all your questions along the way!