How to Get Business Licenses in Nevada | A Comprehensive Guide

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Nevada Business License

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it’s essential to understand the various licenses required to operate legally within Nevada. Forming an LLC in Nevada requires licenses, as different industries and locations have specific regulations. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to Nevada Business Licenses, helping you navigate the process and ensure your new venture complies with all necessary requirements. By understanding the permitting landscape in Nevada, you can ensure that your business is fully prepared to succeed while avoiding potential legal pitfalls.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you easily obtain a business license in Nevada. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

What is a Business License in Nevada?

A business license is a legal authorization, permit, or document that allows a business to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city, county, or state. Nevada business licenses are issued by Nevada Secretary of State and ensure businesses comply with applicable laws, regulations, and standards in their respective industries.

A business license protects public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring businesses operate responsibly and lawfully. Acquiring a business license often involves registering the business, paying applicable fees, and meeting specific requirements or qualifications for the type of business.

Business licenses can vary greatly depending on the location and nature of the business. Some common types of business licenses include:

1. General Business License: This is a basic license required for most businesses to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city or county.

2. Professional and Occupational Licenses: These licenses are specific to certain industries or professions, such as healthcare, construction, real estate, or cosmetology, and are typically issued by state licensing boards or agencies.

You must have a professional and occupational license to form Nevada General Partnership and offer your service. 

Here are some examples of Professional and Occupational Licenses:

  • Medical License: Physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals must obtain a medical license to practice medicine in a specific state. The Nevada medical board issues this license after verifying the applicant’s education, training, and examination results.
  • Realtor License: To become a realtor in Nevada, you must obtain a real estate license to buy, sell, or lease properties on behalf of clients. Nevada has its own real estate commission or board responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the industry.
  • Contractor License: General contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other construction professionals must often have a contractor license to work in Nevada. 
  • Cosmetology License: Professionals in the beauty industry, such as hairstylists, estheticians, and nail technicians, must obtain a cosmetology license to provide services. Nevada Boards of Cosmetology oversee licensing and regulations for this industry.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License: Accountants who wish to become a CPA in Nevada must designate and provide specific services, such as auditing financial statements and obtaining a CPA license from Nevada’s Board of Accountancy.
  • Architect License: Architects must obtain a license to practice architecture in Nevada. This typically involves meeting education and experience requirements and passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).
  • Attorney License: Nevada Business Attorneys must obtain a license to practice law in a particular jurisdiction, typically by passing the state’s bar examination and meeting other requirements set by the Nevada bar association.

3. Health and Safety Permits: Nevada businesses involved in food service, hospitality, or other industries directly impacting public health and safety may require specific permits from local health departments or regulatory agencies.

4. Environmental Permits: Nevada businesses that involve activities that may impact the environment, such as waste disposal, air or water emissions, or hazardous materials handling, may require permits from local, state, or federal environmental agencies.

5. Sales Tax License: Nevada businesses that sell goods or services may be required to collect sales tax from customers and remit it to the appropriate tax authority. A sales tax license is typically required to collect and remit sales tax legally.

Nevada business owners must research the specific licensing requirements for their business in their jurisdiction and obtain all necessary licenses and permits to operate legally and avoid potential fines, penalties, or legal troubles.

Requirements For Getting Business Licenses in Nevada

If you start an LLC or any other type of business, you must wait until your Nevada business registration is complete. Once you have completed the necessary steps to register your business in Nevada, you must be prepared with the required documents to apply for business licenses.

  • Name of your company
  • Phone number and company address
  • Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your company’s legal structure (Corporation, Partnership, or LLC)
  • Your business strategy, which includes revenues and costs

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How to Get a Business License in Nevada

To get a business license, you must follow the guidelines below, including determining if your Nevada business requires a license or permit, identifying the appropriate licensing agencies, researching license and permit requirements, completing and submitting license applications, and maintaining license and permit requirements.

Step 1: Determine The Required License or Permit

The first step in obtaining a business license is determining if your business needs one. Some businesses may not require a license or permit, while others may need multiple licenses depending on their industry and location. Some businesses typically require some form of licensing or permit:

  • Professional services, such as medical, legal, and accounting
  • Food establishments, including restaurants, bars, and catering businesses
  • Retail businesses, including stores, shops, and online retailers
  • Construction and contracting companies
  • Manufacturing and industrial businesses

State Licenses

The licenses that you must get first are the licenses within the state. Nevada state licenses require individuals or businesses to engage in certain activities or professions legally. The state government issues these licenses and serves as proof that the license holder has met certain qualifications and standards set by the state. The types of licenses vary depending on the profession or activity, including but not limited to healthcare professionals, contractors, real estate agents, and drivers.

State licenses assure the public that the license holder has undergone the necessary training and education to perform their duties safely and competently.

Federal Licenses

Federal licenses in Nevada are granted by federal agencies and are required for certain activities and industries that fall under federal jurisdiction. These licenses ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations and are necessary for individuals or businesses engaged in the following services.

  • Agriculture: License issued by The U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Aviation: License issued by The Federal Aviation Administration
  • Alcohol & Tobacco: License issued by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Ammunition, Explosive, & Firearms: License issued by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
  • Commercial Fisheries: License issued by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Mining & Drilling: License issued by The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Nuclear Energy: License issued by The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Radio & Television (Broadcast): License issued by The Federal Communications Commission
  • Transportation by Sea: License issued by The Federal Maritime Commission
  • Wildlife & Fisheries: License issued by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Obtaining a federal license in Nevada involves meeting specific criteria and adhering to federal laws and regulations, which can vary depending on the activity or industry.

City-Based License

City-based licenses in Nevada are granted by local municipalities and are required for certain activities or businesses operating within the city limits. These licenses ensure businesses comply with local regulations and ordinances and typically cover business operations, health and safety, zoning, and permits.

City-based licenses vary depending on the location and the nature of the business, but examples may include restaurant licenses, liquor licenses, taxi licenses, and street vendor licenses. Obtaining a city-based license in Nevada involves submitting an application, paying the necessary fees, and meeting specific requirements set by the local government.

Home-Based License

Home-based licenses in Nevada are required for individuals or businesses that operate from their residential property. These licenses regulate and permit activities conducted within a residential setting, such as home-based businesses or rental properties. Home-based licenses ensure these activities comply with local regulations, building codes, zoning requirements, and health and safety standards.

The specific requirements for obtaining a home-based license in Nevada can vary depending on the type of activity and the local municipality but typically involve submitting an application, paying any necessary fees, and meeting specific criteria set by the local government.

Professional License

Professional licenses in Nevada are mandatory for individuals pursuing specific careers or professions that require specialized knowledge, skills, and expertise. The state government grants these licenses and serves to regulate and ensure the competency and ethical practice of professionals in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, teaching, and accounting.

To obtain a professional license in Nevada, individuals must meet education, experience, and examination requirements specific to their profession. These licenses assure the public that they receive services from qualified professionals and protect consumers from potential harm or malpractice.

Step 2: Identify the Nevada Licensing Agencies

Once you’ve determined that your business requires a license or permit, you must identify the appropriate Nevada agencies responsible for issuing these documents. In Nevada, numerous agencies oversee licensing and permitting, including:

  • Nevada Secretary of State: This office is responsible for issuing licenses for many professional services, including legal, medical, and accounting.
  • Nevada Department of Health: Food establishments, healthcare providers, and other businesses related to health and safety may require licenses from this department.
  • Nevada Department of Taxation: If your business sells goods, you may need a sales tax license or permit from this department.
  • Nevada Department of Labor: Businesses that involve construction or contracting may need licenses from this department.
  • Local City or County Governments: Depending on your business’s location, you may also need to obtain licenses or permits from your local government.

Step 3: Research License and Permit Requirements

After identifying the appropriate agencies, research the specific requirements for each license or permit your business needs. This may involve reviewing the Nevada agency’s website, contacting their office directly, or consulting a legal or business professional. Some common requirements for obtaining a business license or permit include:

  • Completing an application form
  • Providing proof of insurance or bonding
  • Passing background checks or inspections
  • Paying application fees

Some licenses or permits may have ongoing requirements, such as annual renewals, inspections, or reporting.

Step 4: Complete and Submit License Applications

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and documents, complete the application forms for each required license or permit. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided by each Nevada agency, as incomplete or incorrect applications can lead to delays or denials.

In addition to the application forms, you may also need to submit supporting documentation, such as:

Proof of Business Registration

You can find it on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website. There should be a search feature specifically for businesses. This will often be labeled “Nevada Secretary of State Business Entity Search“. In the search feature, enter the name of the business you are looking for, and once it appears, you will now have proof of your business registration.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Aside from opening a bank account, you must have an Employer Identification Number in Nevada to file and submit for a business license. An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, file taxes, and hire employees. 

The application of an EIN in Nevada can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

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Proof of Insurance, Bonding, or Worker’s Compensation Coverage

To have a business license, you need proof of insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation. You need to obtain a certificate or policy document as additional documents for your proof of insurance. Also, there is a database of businesses with worker’s compensation coverage or require businesses to register their insurance or bonding information. Visit your Nevada Department of Labor, Department of Insurance, or another relevant agency website for information about the business’s coverage.

Professional Certifications or Licenses

As I have mentioned, if you will form a general partnership and offer your service, you must have professional certifications or licenses. 

Submit your completed applications and the Nevada business license fee, which ranges from $50 – $300. The processing times for license and permit applications can vary, so plan accordingly and allow ample time for approval.

Step 5: Maintain License and Permit Compliance

Once you’ve obtained the necessary licenses and permits for your Nevada business, it’s essential to maintain compliance with all requirements. This may include:

  • Keep your Nevada licenses and permits current by renewing them on time, typically annually.
  • Reporting any changes to your business, such as a changing Nevada LLC address. You may amend your Nevada Articles of Organization if you change anything in your Nevada business.
  • Maintaining proper insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation coverage.
  • Complying with any inspection, reporting, or record-keeping requirements.

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Additional Considerations

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when navigating the Nevada business licensing process:

  • Licenses and permits are often industry-specific, so research your business type’s requirements.
  • Some businesses may need licenses or permits from multiple agencies at the state and local levels. Be sure to research and comply with all necessary requirements to avoid complications.
  • If your business operates in multiple locations or across state lines, you may need to obtain licenses or permits for each jurisdiction in which you operate. You can form Nevada Foreign LLC
  • Stay informed about licensing and permitting requirements changes, as regulations can change over time.

FAQs

What is a Nevada business license?
A Nevada business license is a legal permission allowing a business owner to operate their business in Nevada.
Who needs a Nevada business license?
Almost all types of businesses operating within Nevada need a business license, including retail and service businesses as well as home-based businesses.
How do I know if my business needs a Nevada state business license?
Contact the Nevada Secretary of State or the business licensing authorities in your local county or city to determine whether you need a Nevada state business license or a local license, or both.
How much does it cost to get a business license in Nevada?
The cost of a Nevada business license varies, depending on the type of business and your operating location.
Do I need to renew my Nevada business license every year?
Yes, a Nevada business license must be renewed every year.
Do I need a business license to operate my business from home in Nevada?
Yes, even home-based businesses in Nevada need a business license to operate legally.
How do I apply for a Nevada business license?
You can apply for a Nevada business license online or by mail from the Nevada Secretary of State or in-person at your local county or city authorities.
What types of entities must obtain a Nevada business license?
Corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and any legal entities that conduct business activities in Nevada must obtain a business license.
Can I start operating my business before getting a Nevada business license?
No, you must obtain a Nevada business license before starting operations.
How long does it take to obtain a Nevada business license?
Generally, it takes around two to four weeks to obtain a Nevada business license.
What happens if I operate my business without a Nevada business license?
You may face legal and financial penalties if you operate your business without the proper license.
Can I sell food in Nevada without a business license?
No, if you plan to sell food in Nevada, you must obtain a food establishment permit and business license.
Do I need a separate business license for each location in Nevada?
Yes, you need a separate business license for each separate location in Nevada where you operate.
Can I get a Nevada business license online?
Yes, you can apply for a Nevada business license online through the Nevada Secretary of State website.
Can I check the status of my Nevada business license application?
Yes, you can track your Nevada business license application status on the Nevada Secretary of State website.
How often do I need to renew my Nevada business license?
Nevada business licenses need to be renewed annually.
Do I need a county business license in Nevada?
Yes, most businesses operating in Nevada need both a state and local business license, which may include a county business license if you operate within certain counties.
Can I get a same-day business license in Nevada?
In a few specific circumstances, you may be able to get a same-day business license in Nevada. However, it is best to allow sufficient time for the processing of your application through typical channels.
Can a business owner get a Nevada business license without a business address?
No, you need a physical address for your Nevada business to get a business license.
When does my Nevada business license expire?
Nevada business licenses must be renewed every year on the anniversary date of your initial business license registration.
What documentation do I need to provide to apply for a Nevada business license?
Requirements differ among businesses, but typically you will need to show proof of identity, proof of location, and proof of qualifications or certifications if relevant to your business.
Can I expect any penalties or late fees if I renew my Nevada business license late?
Yes, if you renew your Nevada business license late, you may face late fees or other penalties.
How do I register my business in Nevada?
Register your business at the Nevada Secretary of State, and obtain a Nevada state business license from this department or your local county office.
Can I be exempt from certain licenses if I work for a non-profit organization in Nevada?
It is possible to be exempt from certain Nevada business licenses if you work for a non-profit organization.
When should I get a new Nevada business license if I changed the name of my business or ownership or structure?
If you change the name of your business or ownership or composition or increase or decrease your business, then you should apply for a new Nevada business license with the Nevada Secretary of State or local authorities at the earliest opportunity.
Can out-of-state businesses do business in Nevada?
Yes, out-of-state businesses can do business in Nevada after registering with the Nevada Secretary of State and obtaining Nevada business licenses.
What is a sales and use tax permit in Nevada?
A sales and use tax permit in Nevada authorizes businesses to collect sales tax on their taxable sales.
What is a business license?
A business license is a permit issued by a government agency that allows an individual or company to conduct business within a specific geographic area.
How do I obtain a business license in Nevada?
You can obtain a business license in Nevada by filling out an online application through the Secretary of State’s website or by visiting the local county clerk’s office.
Do I need a business license to operate a business in Nevada?
Yes, you need a business license to operate a business in Nevada.
What is the cost of a business license in Nevada?
The cost of a business license in Nevada varies depending on the type of business and location.
How long does it take to get a business license in Nevada?
It usually takes around 2-3 weeks to get a business license in Nevada.
What types of businesses require a license in Nevada?
All businesses operating in Nevada require a license.
Do I need a separate license for every locality I operate in Nevada?
No, you only need one business license to operate in any locality in Nevada.
Do I need to renew my business license every year in Nevada?
Yes, you need to renew your business license annually in Nevada.
Can I operate my business without a license while waiting for my application to be processed in Nevada?
No, you cannot operate your business without a license in Nevada.
Can I get a business license if I have a criminal record in Nevada?
Yes, you can still obtain a business license in Nevada even if you have a criminal record.
What if I change the name or address of my business in Nevada?
You must notify the Secretary of State’s office and update your business license with any changes in name or address.
Do I need a separate business license for each service I offer in Nevada?
No, you only need one business license to operate any type of service in Nevada.
Can I renew my business license online in Nevada?
Yes, you can renew your business license online through the Secretary of State’s website.
Do I need to have a physical location to obtain a business license in Nevada?
No, you can obtain a business license in Nevada even if you work from home.
Can I operate a business as a sole proprietor in Nevada without a license?
No, even sole proprietors must have a business license to operate in Nevada.
Do I need to have liability insurance to obtain a business license in Nevada?
No, liability insurance is not required to obtain a business license in Nevada.
What if I’m not sure which licenses or permits I need in Nevada?
You can contact the Small Business Administration or your local county clerk’s office for assistance.
Can I apply for a business license before I have a business name in Nevada?
Yes, you can apply for a business license before you have a business name in Nevada.
Is there a penalty for operating a business without a license in Nevada?
Yes, there are fines and penalties for operating a business without a license in Nevada.
Do I need to have a registered agent to get a business license in Nevada?
Yes, you must have a registered agent to obtain a business license in Nevada.
How do I update my business information on my license in Nevada?
You must fill out the appropriate form and notify the Secretary of State’s office of any changes.
Do I need a separate license for each employee in Nevada?
No, you only need one business license to operate with multiple employees in Nevada.
Can I get a temporary business license in Nevada?
Yes, you can get a temporary business license in Nevada for a specific event or timeframe.
What if my business has multiple locations in Nevada?
You only need one business license to operate at multiple locations in Nevada.
Can I transfer my business license to another entity in Nevada?
No, you must obtain a new business license if you transfer ownership of your business in Nevada.
Can I operate a business as a nonresident of Nevada?
Yes, nonresidents can operate a business in Nevada as long as they obtain a business license.
What if I don’t know which type of business license to apply for in Nevada?
You can contact the Secretary of State’s office for assistance with choosing the right type of business license for your needs.
Is a business license transferable between different states in Nevada?
No, a business license is only valid within the state of Nevada.
Do I need to pay taxes on my business income if I have a license in Nevada?
Yes, you must pay taxes on your business income regardless of whether you have a license in Nevada.

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Conclusion

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial in starting a new business in Nevada. Following the steps outlined in this guide and consulting with the appropriate agencies or professionals, you can ensure that your business complies with all state and local requirements. This will protect your business from legal issues and help establish your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy business operator.

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