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How to Get a Business License in Nevada: A Guide

5-minute read

Man and woman looking at a wall during a project. Woman pointing to wall, man wearing tool belt.
Kat Ambrose

Kat Ambrose

12 October 2020

Are you a small business owner in Nevada? In that case, it’s more than likely that you’ll need a Nevada business license.

We get it: Obtaining a business license sounds like a daunting task, and as a small business owner, you don’t need something else on your plate.

In Nevada, in particular, there are several steps small business owners need to take to get their business license. These steps can make it challenging to determine what exactly you need to do and when. Plus, some requirements vary from county to county. Talk about confusion.

Fortunately, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you!

This guide entails most things you need to know about how to get a business license in Nevada, including where and how you’d typically apply .

If you’ve been putting this off, don’t stress — this guide will help you through the process.

Do I Need a Nevada Business License?

According to the Nevada Secretary of State, state law mandates that every person or entity doing business in the state of Nevada get a business license annually. In other words, it’s required if you’re doing business in the state of Nevada.

Whether you sell handmade candles or run a marketing consulting business, you likely need to have a Nevada business license. Registering your business with the state is vital because it helps the government identify your business, specify your annual taxes, hold you accountable for any legal actions brought against you, and more.

Without a license, your business might be out of compliance. If you’re not in compliance with state law, your business could be subject to several challenges at the hands of the government, like fines and penalties, or the inability to open additional business locations. What’s more, the government reserves the right to padlock your business, which would deny you access.

Those are some major repercussions, especially for a small business.

When it comes to running your business, having a current Nevada business license benefits you in several ways, including:

  • Reassures customers that you’re a trustworthy business
  • Gives you an air of credibility and professionalism
  • Makes it easier to market your business
  • And more

So, we’ve covered the why behind getting a business license in Nevada. Now, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to do just that.

How to Get a Business License in Nevada

1. Gather your business details.

It’s best to have the following information on hand when applying for your Nevada business license to make the process as seamless as possible:

  • Your business name
  • Your Federal Tax ID or EIN, or Social Security number if you’re a sole proprietor
  • Your business entity
  • Your personal address and phone number
  • Your business’s address and phone number (if different from your personal information)
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your seller's permit number, if you sell goods
  • Your business plan, including details like anticipated revenue and expenses
  • Your Certificate of Insurance (COI) for your business insurance policy

Collecting this information before applying for your license will make it easier and faster when completing the paperwork. Also, it’s best to apply for your state of Nevada business license on a desktop or laptop computer, as some city and county websites may not work well on a mobile device.

2. Navigate to your county’s website.

In Nevada, business licenses are usually issued at the county level. The county you live in will determine how to get your business license.

We recommend confirming your county requirements by referring to the state’s Guide to Starting a Business in Nevada. Please note that you may need to obtain a license with the city and/or county where your business is located in addition to every city and/or county where you will operate.

Nevada’s SilverFlume business portal is where you’ll apply for your specific business license(s).

3. Apply for a Nevada State Business License.

No matter the type of business, unless you meet a specific exemption outlined on the state website, if you’re operating in Nevada, you must have a State Business License issued by the Nevada Secretary of State.

To apply online or download the forms, visit the Nevada Secretary of State website.

4. If required, apply for a retail sales permit.

All new businesses must verify with the State Department of Taxation whether they need a resale permit or an exemption certificate, or if they are subject to use tax. If you’re selling a product or a particular service, it’s more than likely that you’ll need this type of permit.

To apply for this permit or to learn more, visit the State of Nevada Department of Taxation website.

5. Apply for a local license

From here, complete your city or county’s specific application. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to submit a Fictitious Firm Name form if you are doing business under a different name from your legal name.

Because there are several nuances and specifics around each city and county, it’s essential to pay attention to these details. To apply for a local license, visit the website of your city or county for additional information.

6. Consider other licenses you may need, depending on the nature of your business.

For example, if you’re a contractor, run a childcare business or a business that requires additional licensure, you’ll likely need to apply for an additional permit as well.

Visit the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry website for more information.

Nevada State Business License Costs

The cost of a Nevada state business license is $500 for corporations and $200 for other business types. All businesses are required to renew their state business license each year. Keep in mind, this is the information that's current in present time (when the article was published), so we suggest you always double check the fees charged by the state before moving forward.

The cost of a Fictitious Firm Name permit varies, depending on the city or county where you’re operating. Renewing this permit also may vary by city or county, so be sure to contact your local office to confirm.

Getting a Nevada Business License Will Benefit Your Business in the Long-Term

Obtaining a business license is par for the course when running a business in Nevada. Without one, it may be challenging to prove your business as “official,” not only in the eyes of the state of Nevada, but to your customers as well. Besides, having a proper business license can potentially help you avoid fines or penalties for being out of compliance.

As part of doing business in the state of Nevada, you may be required to carry business insurance as well, like general liability insurance or workers compensation insurance (if you have employees). For example, if you’re a contractor, you’ll likely be required to show proof of insurance to receive a Nevada contractors license.

I know what you may be thinking — another thing to add to the small business owner’s never-ending to-do list! But having business insurance, especially if you have employees, is a critical part of growing your business.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of having business insurance:

  • It can help you grow your customer base and network
  • It can help ensure you don’t have to pay out of pocket for expenses like damages and lawsuits
  • It can help keep you compliant with Nevada’s business requirements
  • It can help you open another location if you choose to do so
  • It can help legitimize your business in the eyes of your customers and investors

If you’re interested in learning more about obtaining a general liability insurance policy or a workers compensation policy, or if you have any questions on how to get a business license in Nevada, our team is happy and ready to help.

The application process may be tedious, but it’s worth securing your Nevada state business license so you can keep doing what you do best — running your business!

Applying for an NV Business License?

You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.

That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $25.95/month.*

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* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Kat Ambrose

Written by

Kat Ambrose

I’m a writer who specializes in creating value-packed blog content for eCommerce and SaaS companies and small businesses. When I'm not writing, I’m probably out running, checking out a thriller novel—or two—from the library, or trying to pet the nearest dog.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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