How to Apply for a Business License in Nevada

Nevada welcome sign near Hoover Dam Nevada

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Kevin McGrath
Written by Kevin McGrath
Written byKevin McGrath
Updated October 17, 2023
Edited by Carlos Serrano
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Nevada boasts a thriving business landscape for ambitious individuals. Did you know that Nevada’s economic development thrives on its world-renowned tourism and hospitality sector, anchored by the famous Las Vegas Strip?[1] In this step-by-step guide, we’ll navigate the requirements, provide valuable insights, and empower you to obtain your business license in the Silver State.

Nevada Business License: Key Takeaways

  1. All businesses operating in Nevada, except for specific exemptions, must obtain a State Business License annually. This is true for partnerships, sole proprietor businesses, limited liability companies, or your nonprofit. The license fee varies based on the business entity type and must be renewed on time to avoid penalties.

  2. Before applying for a business license, it is crucial to determine the jurisdiction of your proposed location in Nevada. Each jurisdiction may have its own licensing and building permit requirements. Additionally, businesses must ensure proper zoning approval and compliance with building codes before finalizing a location.

  3. Swyft Filings is a unique service provider assisting with Nevada's business filings, compliance, and licensing requirements. They can help businesses navigate the complexities of filing accurate and timely documents, ensuring compliance with state regulations.  

Navigate Nevada Business Licensing with Ease

Ensuring you have the right business licenses and permits is crucial. Let us manage the complexities for you, so you can stay focused on what you do best — running your business.

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What Is a Business License?

A business license in Nevada is an indispensable permit that grants legal authorization for businesses to operate within the state. Compliance with Nevada’s regulations is crucial for companies to function legally and maintain good standing. Nevada’s business licensing process involves adhering to specific requirements and guidelines set forth by the state. 

The licensing landscape may vary depending on the type of business and industry. Distinguishing between obtaining a business license and registering a company is vital for entrepreneurs in Nevada to ensure legal compliance and operational success.

Benefits of a business license in Nevada:

  1. Legal authorization to operate a business within the state of Nevada

  2. Compliance with state regulations and guidelines

  3. Enhances credibility and trust with customers, suppliers, and partners

  4. Eligibility for state-specific incentives, grants, and support programs

  5. Access to networking opportunities and resources provided by the state of Nevada

Get Your Nevada Business License in 7 Steps

Venturing into the business world in Nevada? Cracking the business license process is essential for legality and prosperity. Discover the essential steps involved in obtaining a business license in Nevada. Explore the specific licensing requirements you need to fulfill, such as state licenses and occupational tax certificates, to thrive in the bustling business landscape of the Silver State.

Step 1: Apply for Nevada General Business Licenses

All businesses in Nevada must obtain a state business license annually through a business license application, as state law mandates. This license proves compliance and allows businesses to operate legally in the state. 

The business license fee is $500 for corporations and $200 for other business entity types, and it must be renewed on the last day of the anniversary month in which it was initially filed. You can use the Nevada Business Entity Search to verify a business license’s status.[2]

Step 2: Apply for Federal Licenses for Nevada Businesses

Specific industries may require federal licenses or permits alongside state and local licenses in Nevada. Identifying the federal agencies that oversee your industry when establishing your business is essential. For instance, if you operate a TV or radio station, compliance with regulations set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is crucial. 

Transportation businesses moving animals or plants across state lines may require permits from the Department of Agriculture. Familiarize yourself with the federal licensing requirements relevant to your industry to ensure compliance and meet all necessary obligations for your Nevada business.[3]

Step 3: Search for Nevada Permits and Licenses

Starting a business in Nevada requires understanding the permits and licenses specific to your industry. Here are examples to consider:

  • Contractor's License: Construction contractors may need to obtain a contractor’s license from the Nevada State Contractors Board based on the type and scope of construction work.

  • Alcohol Beverage License: Businesses involved in the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages, such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, must obtain an alcohol beverage license from the Nevada Department of Taxation.

  • Special Event Permit: If you plan to host a special event or temporary gathering, you may need to obtain a special event permit from the local municipality or county where the event will occur.

  • Fire Marshal Permit: Certain businesses, particularly those involving fire safety risks, may need permits or certifications from the Nevada State Fire Marshal’s office.

  • Health Department Permits: Establishments serving food, such as restaurants, food trucks, or catering businesses, require health department permits to ensure compliance with food safety regulations.

You can visit the Nevada Secretary of State's website for a comprehensive list of permits and licenses applicable to Nevada businesses.[4]

A road runs through Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas Nevada

Step 4: Search for Nevada City or County Business License Requirements

In Nevada, various cities and counties may have additional licensing requirements beyond the state-level licenses. Usually, these licenses will be the purview of the county clerk. Here are a few examples:

Las Vegas 

The city of Las Vegas may have specific licensing requirements based on the nature of the business. For instance, companies involved in short-term rentals or vacation rentals must comply with licensing regulations from the Las Vegas Planning Department.[5]


Depending on their operations, Reno may require businesses to obtain specific permits or licenses. For example, establishments serving alcoholic beverages must comply with the licensing requirements of the Reno City Clerk’s office.[6]


Henderson, another prominent city in Nevada, may have licensing requirements for businesses within its jurisdiction. For example, home-based businesses in Henderson may need to obtain a Home Occupation Permit from the Henderson City Planning Division.[7]

Step 5: Search for Nevada Professional Licenses

Nevada has various professional licensing requirements across industries to ensure consumer protection and professional competency. Professions such as doctors, nurses, attorneys, real estate agents, contractors, and cosmetologists typically require specific professional licenses. 

For example, healthcare providers must be licensed by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. At the same time, attorneys must be admitted to the State Bar of Nevada. If you are entering a regulated profession, it is essential to research and obtain the appropriate professional license from the relevant licensing board in Nevada to practice legally and maintain professional standards.

Step 6: Apply for a Nevada Home-Based Business License

In Nevada, home-based businesses may be subject to specific licensing requirements depending on the regulations of the local city or county where the company operates. It is essential to consult with your local city or county government to determine if a home-based business license is required for your specific location. 

Step 7: Maintain Your Nevada Business License

In Nevada, business license renewal requirements may vary depending on city or county regulations. Some businesses in Nevada may need to renew their licenses annually. In contrast, others may have different renewal periods, such as quarterly or biennial. 

Nevada business owners must stay informed about the specific renewal requirements and timelines set by their local jurisdiction. Contact the local city or county offices where your business is located to obtain accurate information on the renewal process and schedules for business licenses in Nevada.

Sunset high angle time view of the Henderson cityscape at Nevada

Apply for a Nevada Business License Online

Are you ready to take the next leap in your entrepreneurial journey? We understand the challenges you face when obtaining a business license: the intricate requirements, the overwhelming paperwork, and the limited time you have to navigate. 

Swyft Filings is here to empower you. With our seamless online application platform, we’ve simplified the process, allowing you to apply for your Nevada business license easily. Say goodbye to the headaches and roadblocks of bureaucracy. Take control of your business destiny with Swyft Filings.  

Click here to apply for your Nevada business license now.

Stay Compliant in Nevada Without the Hassle
  • Focus on Your Business: Dive into your passion while we handle the intricacies of acquiring the necessary local, state, and federal business licenses and permits.

  • Simplify Your Paperwork: Complete our straightforward questionnaire, and we’ll handle all the required filings for you, accurately and promptly.

  • Stay Compliant: Avoid the risks and severe repercussions of non-compliance. We’re here to ensure your business remains in good standing.

Begin My License Application Today

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a business license in Nevada? 

To obtain a business license in Nevada, you can start by visiting the Nevada Secretary of State’s website or contacting the local county or city government where your business will operate. They will provide the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a business license.

Does Nevada require a general business license? 

Yes, Nevada requires most businesses to obtain a general business license. This license is typically processed by the Nevada Secretary of State's office. However, certain professions or industries may have additional licensing requirements specific to their field.

Can you sell things in Nevada without a license? 

No, having a business license to sell goods or services in Nevada legally is generally required. Operating without a permit may result in penalties or legal consequences. Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial to comply with state regulations.

Do I need a special license for an online business in Nevada? 

The need for a special license for an online business in Nevada depends on the nature of your business. Certain online companies, such as those selling tangible goods or regulated services, may require additional permits or licenses. It is recommended to consult with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office and the local government agencies to determine the specific licensing requirements for your online business.

Can I collect sales tax in Nevada without a license? 

No, to collect sales tax in Nevada, you must obtain a sales tax permit from the Nevada Department of Taxation. This permit allows you to legally collect and remit sales tax on behalf of the state.

How much does a Nevada business license cost? 

The cost of a business license in Nevada varies depending on factors such as the type of business, location, and annual revenue. Checking with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office or the local county or city government for specific fee information is recommended.

What's the penalty for not having a business license in Nevada? 

Operating a business without the required license in Nevada can result in penalties and legal consequences. Penalties may include fines, suspension of business activities, or other enforcement actions. It is crucial to comply with licensing requirements to avoid these penalties and maintain good standing with the state.


  1. Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development. "Starting a Business." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  2. Nevada Secretary of State. "State Business License - FAQ." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  3. Federal Trade Commission. "Business Guidance." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  4. Nevada Secretary of State. "State Business License." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  5. City of Las Vegas. "Business License." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  6. City of Reno. "Business License." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

  7. City of Henderson. "Business Licensing." Accessed June 25, 2023. 

Originally published on August 04, 2023, and last edited on October 17, 2023.
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