(775) 786-6141
Starting a Business Checklist

1) Select your legal entity

2) Register with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office

Businesses interested in incorporating, along with non-Nevada businesses seeking permission to do business in Nevada, need to register with the Secretary of State’s Office. The Secretary of State’s Office handles commercial recordings (incorporation, securities, notaries, trademarks and election information). Many online services are now offered through the Secretary of State’s website including online filing. For more information from the Nevada Secretary of State on starting a business click here.

In order to incorporate with the State of Nevada, you will need:

Nevada Secretary of State’s Office
101 North Carson Street, Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 684-5708
(775) 684-5725 – fax

3) Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number

Use IRS Form SS-4 to apply for an employer identification number (EIN). An EIN is a nine-digit number assigned to sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, including online.

Internal Revenue Service
(800) 829-4933 (Business Tax Line)
(800) 829-3676 (Tax Forms)
(855) 641-6935 – fax
(866) 255-0654 – E-Help

4) Fictitious Name Certification

Businesses that plan to use a name different than their legal or corporate name are required to obtain a fictitious name certificate. You can search on the County Clerk’s online DBA database to determine if the fictitious name desired is available. You can download DBA forms from the County Clerk’s website, however, the forms must be notarized so they cannot be submitted online.

Washoe County Office of the County Clerk:

1001 E. Ninth Street, Bldg. A
Reno, NV  89512
(775) 784-7287

893 Southwood Blvd.
Incline Village, NV 89451
(775) 784-7287

5) Nevada Department of Taxation

Every new business is required to register with the Nevada Department of Taxation. This is the principal agency for obtaining information on Nevada’s state business license, sales tax or use tax permits. You can register, file, and pay most taxes online through the Nevada Tax Website.

Sales and Use Tax Registration

Sales tax is imposed at the retail level. Generally, use tax is imposed on tangible personal property purchased for storage or use in Nevada on which sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase.

Modified Business Tax

Employers who are required to pay a contribution to the Employment Security Division are subject to the Modified Business Tax. The Modified Business Tax is a quarterly payroll tax that is based on gross wages less qualified payments for health insurance/health benefit plans for employees. There is no cap or limit on the gross wages. Effective July 1, 2015, if the sum of all taxable wages, after health care deductions, paid by the employer does not exceed $50,000 for the calendar quarter, the amount of tax is 0.0% of the sum of those wages. If the sum of all wages exceeds $50,000 for the calendar quarter, the tax is 1.475% X wages that exceed $50,000.

The Modified Business Tax Return can also be used for claiming a Commerce Tax credit.

Commerce Tax

Each business entity whose Nevada gross revenue in a taxable year exceeds $4,000,000 is required to file the Commerce Tax return.

Nevada Department of Taxation:

4600 Kietzke Lane   Bldg. L, Suite 235
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 687-9999
(775) 688-1303 fax
1550 College Parkway, Suite 115
Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 684-2000
(775) 684-2020 – fax

6) Business Licenses

State Business License

Generally, all businesses that perform a service or engage in a trade for profit must obtain a State Business License. With few exceptions, the annual State Business License Fee is $200. All non-profit 501(c) organizations and governmental entities are exempt from the license requirements and the fee. The application can be completed online or returned to the office of the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State
101 North Carson Street, Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701-4201
(775) 684-5708

Washoe County Business License

A Washoe County Business License is required if your business location address is in unincorporated Washoe County or your business is mobile and you will be doing business in the unincorporated area of Washoe County. You can find more information on the Business License Home Page.

Washoe County Community Services Department
1001 East 9th Street, Bldg. A
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 328-3733
(775) 328-6133 – fax

City of Reno Business License

All persons or companies conducting business in the City of Reno must obtain a business license prior to commencement of such business, whether operating from a fixed location in the City or coming into the City from an outside location. Applications packets can be downloaded from the City’s website, but must be submitted in person or by mail. You can find more information on the application process from the City of Reno’s Business License Division.

City of Reno Business License Division
One East First Street, 2nd Floor
Reno, NV  89501
Mail to:    PO Box 1900
Reno, NV 89505
(775) 334-2090
(775) 334-1212

City of Sparks Business License

All persons or companies conducting business in the City of Sparks must obtain a business license prior to commencement of such business, whether operating from a fixed location in the City or coming into the City from an outside location. Fees vary by license types. Applications packets can be downloaded from the City’s website, but must be submitted in person at City Hall or by mail. For more information you can go to the City of Sparks’ Business Licensing page.

Sparks City Hall- Business License Department
431 Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89431
(775) 353-5555
(775) 353-7802 -fax

7) Additional Requirements for Employers in the State of Nevada:

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

An employer who has one or more employees must, by law, obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage unless certified by the Commissioner of Insurance as a self-insured employer. Some employees are excluded due to unique criteria.

Nevada Employment Security Division

An employer must register with the Employment Security Division within 30 days after becoming subject to the Nevada Unemployment Compensation Law. An employer becomes subject to the law once $225 in wages has been paid (or is liable to pay) in any calendar quarter. The unemployment insurance (UI) tax rate for new employers is 2.95% (.0295) of taxable wages. In addition, all employers must pay a tax for the Career Enhancement Program (CEP) of .05% (.0005). Taxes are paid on wages up to the taxable wage limit for each employee. The taxable wage limit for 2023 is $40,100. There is no unemployment insurance tax paid by employees.

Nevada Employment Security Division
1818 E. College Parkway, Suite 103
Carson City ,NV 89706
(775) 684-3849
(775) 684-3850 – fax

W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate

All employees hired need to complete IRS Form W-4  so the employer can withhold the proper amount of income tax per pay period. Any change in the employee’s tax status requires a new form (all employees should update their W-4 form annually). A hard copy must be filed with the IRS when directed to do so in a written notice or pursuant to specified criteria set forth in future published guidance.

Internal Revenue Service
(800) 829-4933 (Business Tax Line)
(800) 829-3676 (Tax Forms)

Department of Homeland Security Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

All U.S.employers are required, at the time of hire, to obtain a completed, signed and dated Form I-9 for each employee.  Employers must retain the completed Form I-9 while the invidual works for the employer and the form must be retained either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.

Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

8) State Labor Laws

All employers must comply with Nevada’s labor statutes and post notices (the Rules to be Observed By Employers and the Notice of Limitations Affecting the Application of Lie Detector Tests) at each place of business with employees.

Office of the Labor Commissioner
1818 College Parkway, Suite 102
Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 684-1890
(775) 687-6409 – fax

9) Personal Property

Nevada law also requires all persons, firms or businesses owning, renting, leasing, holding a business license or controlling business personal property to file annually a list of the property with the Assessor’s Office. Personal property declarations can be filed online.

Washoe County Assessor’s Office
1001 East 9th Street
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 328-2213

10) Special Permits

A new business may be required to obtain additional permits for the Health, Police, Fire or Building Departments. Inquire with the appropriate licensing agency.

If you need further assistance, please contact either:

Teela McCullar, CPA
David Schaper, CPA


Barnard Vogler & Co.
100 W. Liberty St., Suite 1100
Reno, NV 89501

T: (775) 786-6141
F: (775) 323-6211


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