Cash 1 Blog
Starting a Business in Nevada
When you think of Nevada, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Gaming? Divorce? Mining? A reasonable conclusion since those are Nevada's top three industries. But while Las Vegas has been expanding its gaming spaces and upgrading its resort destination casino hotels, many places in Nevada have been quietly - and in some cases, not so quietly - transitioning to an industrial-based economy for the last ten to fifteen years, and it is paying off in multiple and beneficial ways.
To an extent, Nevada has always been a business friendly state; with reasonable property taxes, no income tax, and relatively low sales taxes, businesses are finding Nevada a place to call home.
You may have heard that electric automobile manufacturing giant Tesla has opened what they call a 'gigafactory'; a massive production facility manufacturing batteries for their cars as well as batteries for other practical purposes, such as home power needs, etc. The choice to build in Nevada was an easy one, according to company founder Elon Musk; the tax climate and geographical location are perfect for the logistical end of the spectrum, while the labor pool is plentiful, yet leaves just enough free jobs to attract more residents to the state.
More residents always means more need for services, and that leads to more opportunities for small businesses; everything from home cleaning businesses to restaurants to convenience stores. If you've always wanted to own a small business, this may be a golden opportunity for you.
But how would you know for certain? There are a few questions you need to ask yourself, to find out whether or not you are a candidate for a Nevada small business. Starting a business in Nevada is not easy, but compared to other places, especially California, it is not as difficult as you might think. Let's start with the basic questions first.
Be Realistic: Can You Be a Business Owner in Nevada?
I’m basically asking if you have what it takes to be a business owner in general. Owning a business means not always making quick money and putting in many more hours than whatever job you currently have. You will be working seven days a week and often times for more than 10 hours a day. Are you willing to give up your weekends to put in the time to make a successful business? Is your business something that you are passionate about that you would be willing to put in extra hours for? If so, Great! The more passionate you are about your business the easier it will be to want to put in the time to make it something that you’re proud of and can cherish.
Are You Willing to Move?
Even if you already live in Nevada, you might consider the best places to live in Las Vegas or elsewhere in the state. Be prepared to relocate if you are determined to open a business in Nevada, as some business opportunities are more readily available in the Northern part of the state (i.e. the Reno/Carson City area) than they are in the south. You know what they say are the three most important factors in opening a small business: Location, location, and location. Make sure you do your research before you set out on the road to small business ownership.
What Kind of Business Do You Want to Own?
If you have a specific business in mind, then it's best to find out if you that particular business will work in Nevada. Let's say you are looking to start a house cleaning business. Will it thrive in Nevada? Would you be able to expand to include office cleaning? What of you open up a coffee shop (and actual coffee shop instead of a restaurant). Will you be able to locate it in a high traffic area? Would it be possible to make mass batches of coffee at home and deliver them to the business districts? What about investing in a food truck that catered specifically to coffee drinkers? What about a manufacturing business? Do you make something that people want? Have you considered starting in your own home and gradually moving into a shop or a warehouse as your business grows, and would it be better to start in the city where your warehouse will eventually be located?
Next Up, Can Your Business Idea Actually Be Successful?
Even if it is something that you are really passionate about, is it something that you can actually make into a business or is it more of a hobby? Well the short answer is it probably can be made into a business but you might have to develop a new business model so that you can profit from it. There are so many small business startups that fail because they have a bad business model, but not necessarily a bad idea. Come up with some way to turn a profit and be ready to adapt in the case that it isn’t working out.
Now that you’ve got your idea, it’s time to come up with a business name. Think of something catchy, or don’t… In the end it doesn’t matter that much as long as you can brand it well and you can be proud of it representing your business. When you are naming your business it is vitally important that you make sure there aren’t any other businesses already using that name. Even if licensing bureaus approve your name doesn’t mean that it isn’t already taken, they are glad to just take your money and let you deal with the consequences of infringing on another companies name. Even if they haven’t trademarked their name, doesn’t mean that you can use it. Merely by using that name in commerce, which is a fancy way of saying that they are using it in conducting business, gives them protection under the law. Although if you do decide to have your name trademarked that will provide additional protections. For more information on these protections see: United States Patent and Trademark Office. Furthermore, you cannot steal someone’s name by registering it with USPTO if they had already been using it to conduct business operations.
If you want to check to see if your name has already been taken, try to Google it first then you can check license bureaus. Yes, I know what that you are thinking that I just told you that the licensing bureaus want to take your money to register your name even if it’s already taken; but you can still check to see if that name has been taken through their databases. In the end, it is your responsibility to make sure you aren’t infringing on someone else’s name and avoid a lawsuit.
Another important thing that you might not have even realized you should do before starting your own business is getting a business address. This can be your home address or an actual office, but it’s important that you have this to start with because it can be costly to change your business address later down the road not to mention all the paperwork that you’ll have to fill out. (Some businesses do get away with having a box at a mail store be their business address but licensing bureaus don’t like this and some don’t allow this. Be sure to check the laws in your jurisdiction).
What Kind of Corporate Entity Will You Need to Create for Your Business?
We hear all the time about the benefits of a limited liability corporation and why Nevada is the best business climate to locate your limited liability corporation. Need to know more? Check out these facts at the Nevada Secretary of State Small Business webpage. The particulars of starting a business will be described there as well as all of your options in which kind of corporation entity you wish to form.
Should You Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) Number?
Yes, that would probably be a good idea. You are required to have an identifying number for your business; if you opt not to get an EIN then you would have to use your social security number which can be a concern because of the growing number of identity thefts in recent years. It is also a good way for you to distance yourself from you business. It is really simple to get an EIN, the IRS has a quick application that you have to fill out and voila! You’re done with that step.
The next thing that you need to get is a business license. Wherever you are located there are going to be different ways to register depending on the jurisdiction field. If you are going to be doing business in multiple jurisdictions, that means you’ll have to be licensed in every jurisdiction that you plan on doing business in. That means a lot of paperwork… If you are planning on doing business out of your home, you’ll have to fill out another permit called the Home Occupation Permit which basically states that you either own the home or have the permission of the person who owns the home to do business there. And because you live in residential zoning, you have to promise that conducting business there won’t have cars or people lining up outside of your house and that you won’t have any advertising that could potentially disturb your neighbors. Last but not least, MAKE sure you apply for these licenses as your business entity; you yourself aren’t the one that is applying for the license. This means that you have to make sure that the entire business name is written out on ALL of the documents you fill out. Make sure you don’t leave off LLC or whatever business entity you decide to go with. (See previous section if you don’t know what an entity is.)
How Good Are You at Promoting Your Own Interests?
Most people think advertising is the only way to get the word out about your business, but these days there are many more options that can be utilized. Let's say you want to make mass batches of good, quality coffee in your home and deliver them to the business district locations near you. Might be more profitable to go into each of those districts and leave a flyer, or a menu, and then let your services do the rest of the talking. Craigslist is another way to increase knowledge of your business. Targeting specific sections of Craigslist can be far more helpful than taking out a potentially expensive ad on the radio. For instance, if your business is musical instrument repair, then you would post weekly announcements in the 'musical instruments for sale' section of Craigslist in order for that specific target audience to be made aware of the service you provide.
These are just a few questions and ideas about what it might take to start a small business in Nevada. If you are seriously considering it, make sure you visit the Secretary of State Web Page link above for more information, and good luck on your new endeavor.
Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.
With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.
When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.