3 Ways to Explore
Business Services
You’ve determined that the time is right to strike out on your own and start a business. While it carries risk unlike a salaried position, you know you’re ready, plus you’re living in a great pro-business community that appreciates and rewards those who take chances in pursuit of better opportunities. Here, you’ll find fewer taxes, a responsive local government, an established infrastructure including transportation, telecommunications and an educated workforce. The information in this section will help you establish your business presence in this unique and welcoming region.

If you are considering establishing your own business, you’ve come to the right region, where you’ll find plenty of assistance from the local business community as well as city government.You’ll find information on business laws and requirements, real estate and business services as well as a checklist for starting a business. You’ll learn that the Las Vegas metro area is free of many taxes found in other locales, and you’ll appreciate the many amenities that exist in the region.

The cost of living, which is lower than in many comparable U.S. cities, has made Las Vegas a highly desirable place to call home. Housing costs are now at their lowest levels in many years, making it a great time to enter the market. Another plus – there is no personal income tax, and property taxes are moderate.

Here is a growing list of reasons why Southern Nevada is a great place to operate a business:
• Business-friendly state and local government
• No state corporate income tax
• No personal income tax
• Excellent state incentives
• Educated, expanding and cost-effective workforce
• America’s finest telecommunications and technology infrastructure
• UNLV Harry Reid Research & Technology Park
• Fee local government supported seminars
• Affordable commercial property
• Desirable destination for business travel
• No inventory tax
• Competitive Sales and Property Tax Rates
• Minimal Employer Payroll Tax
• Incentives that never expire
• Dependable, expanding energy base
• McCarran International Airport – America’s seventh busiest
• Foreign Trade Zone #89
• Las Vegas is an Inland Port of Entry

The economic development incentive programs offered at the state level include:

Sales and Use Tax Abatement: An abatement of sales and use tax on eligible machinery and equipment is available to businesses with operations consistent to Nevada’s state plan for economic diversification and development. Qualifying criteria include a commitment to doing business in Nevada, minimum job creation, employment health plans and wage requirements.

Sales Tax Deferral Program: The state of Nevada offers a sales and use tax deferment program to qualified industries that purchase specific types of capital equipment in excess of $100,000. Taxes can be deferred interest-free for up to five years.

Personal Property Tax Abatement: An abatement of personal property tax is available to new and expanding businesses. Qualifying criteria include a commitment to doing business in Nevada, minimum job creation, employment health plans, minimum capital investment and wage requirements.

Property Tax Abatement for Recycling: Real and personal property tax abatement is available to qualified recycling businesses. At least Fifty percent of the material or product must be recycled on site. 50 percent of real and personal property tax can be abated for up to 10 consecutive years. An acknowledgement from local government entities and a commitment from the company to stay in Nevada are required.

Industrial Development Bonds: Nevada is authorized to use tax-exempt IDB’s to provide low interest financing of new construction, improvements, rehabilitation, or redevelopment of qualified projects, which include manufacturing facilities and certain other projects organized under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Service code.

In addition, the state of Nevada offers many business assistance programs designed to encourage the growth and development of private enterprise. Some of the most popular programs are:
• Green Building Abatements.
• Renewable and Energy Storage Abatements.
• Nevada Hub Zone Development.
• Train Employees Now.
Source: Nevada Commission on Economic Development (January 2008)

For more information, contact the Nevada Commission on Economic Development at (702) 486-2127 or visit online at www.expand2nevada.com.

The city of Las Vegas is serious about attracting business to Las Vegas and provides an easy-to-read, streamlined guide to aid the process. You’ll find below the six steps with contact information. Visit online at www.lasvegasnevada.gov, where you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Create a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship Legal Organization. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC) created must file Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization with the Nevada Secretary of State.

Contact: Nevada Secretary of State Office
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 2900
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-2880

Step 2: Obtain a Fictitious Name Certificate (DBA). If you choose to use a name other than your own, you must file a fictitious business name with the Clark County Clerk’s Office to identify the owner(s). This action applies to all forms of ownership: corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships and partnerships.

Contact: Clark County Clerk
500 South Grand Central Parkway, Sixth Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89155
(702) 455-4431

Step 3: Obtain a State Business License. All businesses operating in Nevada must obtain a state business license issued by the Department of Taxation. You also will need to obtain a sale and use tax permit and seller’s permit, and complete the Nevada Business Registration and Supplemental Application forms. All of the necessary forms, as well as detailed information, can be obtained from the Department of Taxation.

Contact: Department of Taxation
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 1300
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-2300

Step 4: If Required, Obtain a Retail Sales Permit. Every business owner must check with the Department of Taxation to determine if a resale permit and/or an exemption certificate is required, or if the business is subject to a use tax. All of the necessary forms, as well as detailed information, can be obtained from the Department of Taxation.

Contact: Department of Taxation
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 1300
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-2300

Step 5: Obtain a Local Business License. In the state of Nevada, all new businesses are required to obtain a license within the city/county in which they operate. From the city of Las Vegas Web site, www.lasvegasnevada.gov, you can complete and submit the business license application.

Contact: Department of Finance and Business Services
400 Stewart Avenue, Third Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 229-6281

Step 6: If Required, Obtain a Special Permit. As a new business, you may be required by the city to obtain additional permits from the health, police, fire or building and safety departments.

Additional Contacts:
State Contractors Board
2310 Corporate Circle, Suite 200
Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 486-1100

Transportation Services Authority
2290 South Jones Boulevard, Suite 110
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 486-3303

Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management
500 South Grand Central Parkway, First Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89155
(702) 455-5942

Elder Care/Other Care-Related Businesses
Business State Department of Human Resources Bureau of Licensure
4220 South Maryland Parkway
Building D, Suite 810
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 486-6515

Restaurants/Food Service
Clark County Health District Plan Review
625 Shadow Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 759-1258
Source: City of Las Vegas Office of Business Development (January 2008)

Nevada is considered to be very liberal with respect to the formation and maintenance of corporations and tracks that of Delaware, which attracts a large number of corporations. In Nevada, there are no IRS information-sharing agreements, stockholders are not public record and annual fees are nominal. The only actions necessary to keep a corporation in good standing are to maintain a resident agent in the state and to file a list of current officers and resident agents annually with the Secretary of State before the anniversary date of the formation of the corporation.

The Articles of Incorporation do not require a specification of the exact nature of the business to be conducted. A statement that a business will conduct lawful activity is considered sufficient.

The name of a corporation cannot be the same or deceptively similar to the name of any existing corporation in the state; however, clearance may be obtained in advance from the Secretary of State as to the acceptability of a proposed name, which may be reserved for a period of time upon payment of a small fee.

There are provisions for professional corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, for profit corporations and non-profit corporations, the rules of which are similar to those in most other states.

Before proceeding with the actual formation of a corporation, applicants may wish to consult with an attorney to assure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. International companies relocating to Las Vegas should hire an immigration attorney and use respective embassy or consulate commercial sections for help with industry-specific products.

Contact: Secretary of State
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 2900
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-2880
Source: Nevada Secretary of State Profit Corporation Fee Schedule (January 2008)

A license is required to operate a business in the city of Las Vegas and other nearby areas. Each of the following government entities has its own agency that issues licenses to businesses located within that particular jurisdiction. The location, type of business and mode of operation will determine the necessary license and where it should be obtained.

City of Las Vegas
Department of Finance and Business Services
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 229-6281
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday

City of North Las Vegas
Business License
2200 Civic Center Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
(702) 633-521
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday

Clark County
Business License Department
500 Grand Central Parkway,Third Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 455-4252
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday

City of Henderson
Business License
240 Water Street
P.O. Box 95050
Henderson, NV 89009
(702) 267-1730
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday

State of Nevada (business license)
Nevada Department of Taxation
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 1300
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-2300
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday

City of Mesquite

City Hall – Mesquite
10 East Mesquite Boulevard
Mesquite, NV 89027
(702) 364-5295
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M – F

A business license allows operators to engage in the business for which they are licensed. Within 30 days of opening your business, you must apply for a general license. Within the city of Las Vegas, applications for a home occupation business may be filed at the Development Services Center at 731 South Fourth Street.

When applying for a business license, the applicant will be asked for copies of the following documents as applicable: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Fictitious Firm Name, State License Documentation, Insurance Binder or Letter of Intent, Original Bond, a letter of authorization, and a lease for use or proof of ownership of the business location.

In addition, applicants representing corporations should have the name, title, Social Security number, date of birth, citizenship, residential address, telephone number and percent ownership in the company of the top three corporate officers and the local manager. The name and address of the corporation’s Nevada resident agent is also needed.

Most business licenses in the city are general business licenses that can be issued within 30 days. Privilege licenses, which are licenses that require special approval by City Council, can take 60 days or more to acquire. These include licenses for: liquor, gaming, secondhand dealers, pawnshops, child care, locksmiths, burglar alarm services, gun sales and distribution, massage establishments, martial arts, psychic arts, pawnbrokers, auctioneers, mobile food vendors and mobile ice cream vendors.


Assorted government agencies have specific jurisdiction over various functions related to starting a business in Nevada. Refer to the list below to determine which government entity to consult for assistance:

— State Government
Forming a New Corporation
Nevada Secretary of State

Registering a Foreign Corporation
Nevada Secretary of State

Worker’s Compensation
Nevada Division of Industrial Relations

Written Workplace Safety Program
Nevada Division of Industrial Relations

Sales Tax
Nevada Department of Taxation

Business Tax
Nevada Department of Taxation

Other Taxes
Nevada Department of Taxation

Unemployment Insurance
Nevada Employment Security

Contractor’s License
Nevada Contractors’ Board

Motor Vehicles
Nevada Department Motor

— County Government
Property Tax
Clark County Assessor

Air Pollution Permits
Clark County Air Pollution

Fictitious Name
County Clerk

— Local Government
Business Licenses
Respective Licensing Agencies
Source: City Of Las Vegas Finance And Business Services, City Of Las Vegas Office Of Business Development (January 2008)

Nevada is an “employment-at-will” state, meaning that an employer may terminate the relationship at any time and without any reason. The employer cannot discriminate based on sex, race, color, national origin, age, religion or disability. An employer is not required to give notice when an employee is terminated, and an employee is not required to give notice to an employer.

— Minimum Wage in Nevada
Effective July 1, 2009, the minimum wage in Nevada is $6.55 per hour with insurance and $7.55 per hour without insurance.
Source: U. S. Department of Labor

Regarding overtime, generally in Nevada an employer must pay time and one half of an employee’s regular wage rate whenever an employee works more than 40 hours in any scheduled workweek. In addition, employees who are paid a base rate of one and one half times the minimum wage or less per hour may be entitled to overtime if they work more than 8 hours in any workday. There are a number of exemptions to this rule and federal wage and hour rules may apply. For more answers to commonly asked labor questions, visit www.laborcommissioner.com/faqs.htm.
Source: State of Nevada, Office of the Labor Commissioner

— Immigration and Nationality Act
Who is Covered: The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) includes provisions addressing employment eligibility, employment verification, and nondiscrimination. These provisions apply to all employers.

Basic Provisions/Requirements: Under the INA, employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. The employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of anyone to be hired, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Employers must keep each I-9 on file for at least three years, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer. For more information, visit www.dol.gov/compliance/guide.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

— Equal Employment
The Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) oversees the state’s equal employment opportunity program, handling employment discrimination complaints relating to race, national origin, color, creed/religion, sex (gender and/or orientation), age, and disability (ADA). NERC works with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate and bring suit for complaints of discrimination. NERC also has jurisdiction in Nevada over discrimination in housing and public accommodations.

Nevada law prohibits discrimination. Employers and businesses offering services to the public may not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, sex (gender and/or orientation), religion or disability. Landlords may not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or familial status. For more information about types of employment discrimination, visit the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation at www.nvdetr.org/Nerc_pages.
Source: Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

— Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation laws provide money and medical benefits to an employee who has an injury as a result of an accident, injury or occupational disease on the job. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers and their dependents against the hardships from injury or death arising out of the work environment. It is intended to benefit the employee and employer alike. The employee receives money (usually on a weekly or biweekly basis) and medical benefits in exchange for forfeiting the common law right to sue the employer. The employer benefits by receiving immunity from court actions against them by the employee in exchange for accepting liability that is limited and determined. The question of negligence or fault is usually not at issue.

The Nevada Department of Business Industry, Division of Industrial Relations promotes and enforces safety in the workplace. Should injury occur, the division ensures the timely and appropriate delivery of benefits. More information can be found at www.dirweb.state.nv.us/index.htm.

Below is a Workers’ Compensation Employer Compliance checklist from the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Nevada Division of Industrial Relations.

• Provide requisite workers’ compensation insurance coverage and furnish a place of employment free from recognized hazards that may cause   death or serious physical harm to employees.
• Prominently display in your place of business the required workers’ compensation information:
1. Informational poster to be displayed by employers. (NAC616A.460, Form D-1)
2. Poster to be displayed by employers with employees who receive tips. (NAC 616A.470, Form D-22)
• Have available at all times and at all locations for inspection by agent of the Division of Industrial Relations or Attorney General:
1. The policy including the declaration page issued by private carrier; or
2. Certificate issued by the Commissioner if self-insured; or,
3. Certificate issued by the Commissioner and a certificate or letter issued by an association of self-insured public or private employers.
Note: Temporary worksites (less than 1 year) must produce the above information within 24 hours. (NRS616A.495)
• Provide forms for employee use and complete injury or occupational disease reporting requirements and forward the required documents in the allowable timeframe:
1. C-1, Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease (Incident Report) and
2. C-3, Employers Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease (NRS 616C.015 & 616C.045)
• Provide immediate first aid to an injured employee (NRS 616C.085)
• Complete the workers’ compensation claim form (C-3) within 6 working days of receipt of the C-4 form from the medical provider and file it with insurer. (NRS 616C.045)
Source: Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Nevada Division of Industrial Relations

One major advantage for starting a business in Nevada is the absence of excessive taxes that stifle economic opportunities. Here are taxes NOT placed on businesses in Nevada:
• Franchise Tax
• Corporate Income Tax
• Unitary Tax
• Inventory Tax
• Personal Income Tax
• Special Intangible Tax
• Admissions Tax
• Sales Tax on Food
• Chain Store Tax
• Inheritance Tax
Source: City of Las Vegas Community Profile 2008

• Sales Tax*: 7.75 percent in Clark County
• Property Tax: $3.2714 per $100 assessed value
• Business Tax: $25/quarter per full-time employee and equivalent
• Unemployment Tax: 2.95 percent of taxable wages
• State Business License: $100 one-time fee

For more specific taxation information, please contact the Nevada Department of Taxation at (702) 486-2300.
*There is no state tax on food for home use or on prescription drugs. Source: Nevada Department of Taxation (January 2008)

Las Vegas supports a range of commercial utility providers that offer services to businesses of all sizes and are detailed below.

— Electricity
NV Energy
(702) 402-5555
NV Energy provides electricity to 2.4 million citizens throughout Nevada and in northeastern California as well as a state tourist population exceeding 40 million annually. Among the many communities the utility serves are Las Vegas, Reno-Sparks, Henderson, Elko and South Lake Tahoe. The utility also provides natural gas to more than 145,000 citizens in the Reno-Sparks area.

Customer Service Locations:
Henderson Branch Office
227 South Water Street
Henderson, NV 89015
Lobby Hours: Mon-Fri / 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Laughlin Branch Office
3100 Needles Highway, Suite 500
Laughlin, NV 89029
Lobby Hours: Mon-Fri / 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

North Las Vegas Office
1737 Hunkins Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
Lobby Hours: Mon-Fri / 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Drive-Thru: Mon-Fri / 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

— Gas
Southwest Gas Company
(877) 860-6020

Southwest Gas Corporation is principally engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers in the southwestern United States.

Customer Assistance Office Locations:
Mon - Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pacific Standard Time

Las Vegas
4300 West Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89103

North Las Vegas
1374 West Cheyenne, Suite 107
North Las Vegas, NV 89030

— Water
Southern Nevada Water Authority
(702) 862-3400

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is a cooperative agency formed in 1991 to address Southern Nevada’s unique water needs on a regional basis. SNWA officials are charged with managing the region’s water resources and providing for Las Vegas Valley area residents’ and businesses’ present and future water needs. Due to the area’s location in the Mojave Desert, the community strives to maintain a sustainable supply of water through a series of aggressive conservation programs and restrictions on water use.

Conservation Programs for Businesses: SNWA helps businesses save water and money by offering a number of programs and incentives.

Commercial and Industrial: Reduce your business expenses by taking advantage of a variety of SNWA financial incentives and services. Contact Dave Hunt at (702) 862-3764 for more information.

Golf Courses: Find out how to maintain a golf course while staying within your water budget. For more information, contact Summer Ortiz at (702) 862-3736.

Multifamily: Property managers of apartments, condominiums, homeowners associations and other multifamily properties can save both money and water in their communities. Contact Jeff Meckley at (702) 862-3766 if you manage or own a multifamily complex.

Water Smart Landscapes Rebate: SNWA will rebate businesses $1.50 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with desert landscaping up to the first 5,000 square feet converted per site, per year. Beyond the first 5,000 square feet, the SNWA will provide a rebate of $1 per square foot. The maximum award for any property in a fiscal year is $300,000.

Hotels and Resorts: Hotels and resorts in Southern Nevada can help reduce hotel water use by participating in the Linen Exchange program. For more information about the program, call (702) 258-3836.

Restaurants: Participating restaurants in Southern Nevada can help eliminate unconsumed glasses of water with the Water Upon Request program. For more information about the program, call (702) 258-3836.

Join the Water Conservation Coalition: If you are a business leader who supports water conservation, consider joining the Water Conservation Coalition, a public/private partnership of community leaders. Call (702) 240-2537 for more information.

Other rebates: Rebates for smart controllers and rain sensors also are available to non-single family properties. Commercial and multifamily customers can receive a rebate of $40 per valve up to 50 percent of the cost of a smart controller. The rebate available for businesses on rain sensors is good for 50 percent of the cost up to $25. Fill out the SNWA Interest Form for businesses or contact one of the SNWA representatives listed above to get started.

To learn more, visit the SNWA website at www.snwa.com.

Office Locations:
Valley View Offices
1001 South Valley View Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89153
(702) 258-3930

Molasky Corporate Center
100 City Parkway, Suite 700
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 862-3400

— Telecommunications
Las Vegas’ early adoption of fiber optics and digital switching technologies has made it a sought-after U.S. location for companies seeking competitive advantages in the information age. In addition, the Las Vegas Valley offers the unique benefit of being virtually free of hurricanes, tornados and ice storms. This led to the selection of Las Vegas as the site for the Nevada Network Access Point (NAP), North America’s number one Disaster Avoidance Center. The NAP is a unique facility that provides access to more than 100 telecommunications providers. Las Vegas continues to expand its telecommunications network and is suited to meet the needs of businesses in the 21st century.

The largest telecommunications and networking companies in the Las Vegas area are as follows:

Cox Business

Cox Communications



XO Communications


TelePacific Communications


Connecting Point Technology Center

Communication Electronic Systems

TW Telecom
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