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Congratulations on coming up with a feasible business idea. For some people, that feels like the easy part. After all, taking a business from concept to reality can be intimidating. There are specific steps to follow, paperwork to be filed, fees to be paid, and taxes to be collected.

But there’s good news. Launching a business in Nevada isn’t super complicated. In fact, with a little guidance, you’ll be off and running in no time, whether you’re forming a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). Just read through these steps to ensure you’re filing all the necessary paperwork that Nevada requires to make everything legal.

As an entrepreneur, you can do almost everything yourself (though you may want to pay a registered agent to accept paperwork on your LLC’s behalf). From filing a formal legal name and ensuring its available to obtaining a tax number from the Internal Revenue Service and filing an annual list, you’ll get the 411 on what it takes to set up a legit business in the Battle Born State.

How is an LLC formed in Nevada?

If you’re ready to legally structure your limited liability company in Nevada, simply work your way through these steps to start on your path to business ownership:

1. Name the company

Think you’ve come up with the perfect name for your business? Great! You just need to make sure the name hasn’t been taken yet. Yes, even that most unique-sounding names may already have been claimed by another business in Nevada. But there’s no need to panic. There are some ways to get avoid heartbreak for a name you’ve fallen in love with. Just heed this advice:

  • In Nevada, every Limited Liability Company name must contain one of these abbreviations: “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “Ltd.,” or “LC” OR the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited-Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or “Limited.” You may also abbreviate the word “Company” as “Co.”
  • The name you’ve chosen for your LLC needs to be distinguishable from those already on file in Nevada. Checking to see if a name is taken is fast and easy; just search the Nevada Secretary of State’s business name database. Once you find an available name, just pay the $25 filing fee and file the name reservation application online using the Nevada web-based business filing portal, SilverFlume. You can also file by sending your application and fee by mail. Names can be reserved for 90 days.
  • Worried the name you chose sounds too formal? You can opt to use a fictitious business name instead of the official legal name. This trade name—which is also sometimes called a DBA or “doing business as”—must be registered with the county clerk in any Nevada county where you do business. Not sure where to file? Start by finding the county clerks in Nevada.

2. Pick a registered agent

LLCs in Nevada are required to have an agent of service, also known as a “registered agent,” in the state. The responsibility of this person or business entity is to receive legal documents on behalf of your business. 

3. File Articles of Organization with the State of Nevada

As with other states, Nevada limited liability companies must create and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. These pieces include the name of your LLC; its dissolution date if applicable, whether its run by members or managers, the name and address of managing members, the registered agent’s name and address, and a Certificate of Acceptance of Appointment that’s signed by the registered agent. 

Finally, the name, address, and signature of the limited liability company’s organizer is needed to complete the form. Your initial annual list (see below) is required to be filed with the Articles of Organization. You can fill out the form online and the filing fee is $75.

4. Create a company operating agreement

Although it’s not necessary to file an operating agreement, most business experts will highly recommend that you create one. The internal document establishes how your business will be managed, including the rights and responsibilities of managers and/or members. It will also help demonstrate to the State of Nevada that your limited liability company is a definitively separate business entity. If you don’t create one, Nevada’s LLC laws will govern how your business operates.

Unclear as to how to create an operating agreement? A quick Google search will give you tips, samples and templates.

5. Obtain an EIN

Even without any employees on the payroll, if your limited liability company has more than one member, you’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Even one-member LLCs need an EIN if you’ll have employees or if you choose to have it taxed as a corporation.

There’s no filing fee to get an EIN and it can be obtained through the IRS website.

6. File an Annual List

While other states may require you to file an annual report, Nevada only requires you to file an annual list. This list includes officers, directors and your registered agent. Your first list has to be filed with your Articles of Organization, but subsequent lists are due the last day of your LLC’s anniversary month. In other words, if you created your LLC in March, every annual list will be due by the last day of March. You can file an online list (and pay a $150 filing fee) using the Nevada Secretary of State’s business filing portal, SilverFlume, or you can download the form and mail it along with your $150 filing fee.

What is a Nevada registered agent?

When you form an LLC, states require you to list a registered agent. This person or business entity is charged with accepting the delivery of important legal documents on behalf of your business.

Do I really need a registered agent in Nevada?

Yes, you’re required to choose and list a registered agent where it’s required on your LLC formation documents. 

Can I be my own registered agent in Nevada?

Yes. All states, including Nevada, allow you to represent yourself as a registered agent.

Who can be a registered agent in Nevada?

Every state has essentially the same criteria to be a registered agent. So, in Nevada, the following requirements must be met:

  • The registered agent must be a minimum of 18 years old.
  • The person or entity is required to have a Nevada street address. Post office boxes are not allowed.
  • The registered agent must be available to accept important legal paperwork during standard business hours, Monday through Friday. 

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

Starting and running a new business keeps you very busy and for most entrepreneurs, every penny counts. Although you may be able to save some money by representing yourself as a registered agent, it’s important to first consider the benefits of outsourcing the job:

  • Local optionsIf you’re launching a new business in Nevada, you may not yet have a storefront, office or house in the state. This means you can’t fulfill the requirements to represent yourself as a registered agent. Luckily, there are lots of affordable options in terms of registered agents in Nevada.
  • AvailabilityTime is sometimes more precious than money when it comes to taking care of business. It’s vital that you consider availability. Many start-ups require the LLC’s founder to attend meetings, run errands, and travel to meet up with investors, contractors, and vendors. Is it really feasible to stay in one spot all day every weekday in order to accept deliveries of paperwork?
  • PrivacyAre you aware that legal paperwork is often hand-delivered by law enforcement? While not all documents are related to lawsuits, anyone witnessing the delivery is apt to use their imagination. Considering that your customers, neighbors, and employees may see uniformed officers showing up at your door, it may be wise to rely on the privacy provided by using a registered agent.
  • ExperienceNow that you’re launching a business, you may feel pretty confident in yourself. As you should! But when it comes to matters of state and federal compliance regulations and deadlines, that confidence may begin to erode. Most registered agents can boast far more experience in these matters than the first-time entrepreneur.
  • Time savingsLet’s play Devil’s advocate and assume you have the understanding to fill out confusing paperwork as your own registered agent. Do you really have the time to do it?

List of Nevada registered agent services 

Need a registered agent in Nevada? To give businesses an idea of what’s available, here are a few choices:

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but they’ve grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company offers worry-free compliance too, to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Incfile: Incfile is another trusted name for business services, including its registered agent services. Business owners can get a registered agent free for a year. That’s right, free. After the first year, the price kicks in at $119. An online dashboard, automatic mail forwarding, and tailored notifications also come with the service.

How much does a registered agent service cost in Nevada?

The range for registered agents in Nevada typically runs from $35 to $99.

How does an owner select a registered agent in Nevada?

After researching a handful of registered agents in Nevada, you’ll need to choose one to list on the LLC formation documents that are filed with the state.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Do you need to change your registered agent? Nevada’s Secretary of State allows you to do so by filling out a Registered Agent Statement of Change form. There is a $60 filing fee whether done online or via postal mail.

What’s a resident agent?

In Nevada, registered agents are sometimes called an agent for service of process.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

Some forms on the Nevada Secretary of State website will ask you to select whether you’ve chosen a commercial or non-commercial registered agent. The general guideline is that if you’ve chosen to represent yourself, choose non-commercial. Choose commercial if you’ve paid a person or business entity to serve as your LLC’s registered agent.