Frequently Asked Questions
Many of the questions we are most commonly asked are addressed here. If you don’t find the information you are seeking, or need additional assistance, please call your nearest NSBDC office.
Measuring Growth and Economy
Starting a Business
- Do I need to write a business plan? Why?
- What are the tax incentives/advantages of opening a Nevada Business?
- Do I need a business license to open a small home based business?
- How do I check to see if the business name I want is available?
- What are the licensing steps required for starting a business?
- What are the steps required to form a Nevada corporation?
- What are the differences between an LLC and “S” Corporation?>
- What are the steps required to form a Nevada LLC?
- Does the NSBDC provide assistance in starting a non-profit business?
- How do I apply for a small business grant, or grants for women an/or minority owned business?
- How do I apply for a small business loan? A Special loan for women or minority businesses?
- Does the NSBDC maintain any kind of a list of potential investors for my business?
- What types of Business Loans are available?
Growing or Managing a Successful Business
- Where can I acquire the skills necessary to manage my business?
- How do I research/apply for a patent?
Research for Business and Government
- Where can I find help designing and carrying out a study to determine the impacts that a proposed business might have on my community?
- How do I research the potential acceptance my new product may find in the marketplace?
Measuring Growth and Economy
- Where do I find statistics on: Traffic counts and patterns; Demographics for an area (age, ethnicity, income); Wage rates?The NSBDC can help you locate, analyze and interpret much of this information though our Geographic Information Services (GIS) and the State Demographer.A great deal of information is also available from the U.S. Census Bureau, Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and the Nevada Labor Commissioner’s Office. Other resources are available for certain locales. Contact your local NSBDC office for additional information.
- Do I need to write a business plan? Why?Writing a business plan is necessary not only to be able to lay out your business to potential lenders, but to give you a guide to follow in your first few year of operation. Most businesses that fail lack a formal, written plan to help guide them through their initial years. Without such a plan, management cannot fully utilize their skills. That’s why the process of developing a business plan is crucial to you. It shows everyone that you have the skills, have done the planning, and can stay on track to success.You can’t obtain a loan from any commercial or private source without a well-researched, documented business plan. The goal is to get a lender or investor as excited about your idea as you are. Anyone applying for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, or any other source of funding, has to produce a document that reflects the ability, knowledge and dedication to start not just a small business but a successful small business.
- What are the tax incentives/advantages of opening a Nevada Business?No state income tax (corporate or personal); low state payroll taxes (employer paid); no inventory tax; no franchise tax. Wages are below the national average for many fields and the cost of living is low compared to most metropolitan areas. The names of stockholders of Nevada corporations are not a matter of public record.
- Do I need a business license to open a small home based business?Yes, you still will need a business license to open a home based business. You will need license and permits from the Nevada Department of Taxation and your local county and municipal government. Your best course of action is to contact the business licensing department of your municipality and find out what the requirements are.
- How do I check to see if the business name I want is available?You can check the Commercial Recordings area at the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office to determine if a Nevada Corporation is using the name you have in mind. You should also check with your county clerk’s office to determine if a Sole Proprietor is using the name or if someone has filed a fictitious name permit using the name.We recommend that you also do a trademark search to see if the name you want has been trademarked. To do this, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Then click SEARCH under the heading TRADEMARKS. Then click the New User Form Search (Basic). Next you can type in the name you want to search. If the name you want is taken we advise that you contact an attorney and discuss your options.
- What are the licensing steps required for starting a business?All businesses are required to get a state business license and a local business license from the municipality (city, county, etc.) in which the business is located. A fictitious name filing is also required in instances where you will be doing business as an entity with a name other than your legal or corporate name.In addition, certain industries require additional licensing and permitting. Examples of such industries are restaurants, bars and gaming. Your local municipality’s licensing office will advise you on which additional requirements your business may have.
- What are the steps required to form a Nevada corporation?The first thing you will need to do is file articles of incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State. You are required to name a resident agent. Subsequently, you will need to file a list of officers and directors. You may want to consider utilizing legal counsel to assist you, especially if you’ve never formed a corporation before.
- What are the differences between an LLC and “S” Corporation?LLCs and “S” Corporations are more alike than different. Both shield owners against personal liability, and avoid double taxation of federal income tax. An LLC is less formal than an “S” Corp. For example, an LLC does not require an annual meeting of stockholders, nor are you required to keep minutes of member meetings.For more details on which business entity is right for you, please contact an NSBDC counselor, your attorney or your CPA.
- What are the steps required to form a Nevada LLC?The LLC is created by filing articles of organization with the Nevada Secretary of State. You must also create an operating agreement governing your LLC. The articles of organization are similar to corporate articles of incorporation and must be prepared and signed by the “organizers” of the LLC. The LLC must also have a resident agent. You may consider utilizing legal counsel to assist you with some of these, especially if you’ve never formed an LLC before.
- Does the NSBDC provide assistance in starting a non-profit business?We do not typically work with non-profits as our focus is on for-profit businesses. To become a non-profit organization you must incorporate as a non-profit at the Nevada Secretary of State’s office and apply for tax exempt (501c) status with the Internal Revenue Service.
There are several Web sites where you can search for grants. Some of them are ( SBA Grants, GrantsWeb, The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) on which one can search for available grant monies. Keep in mind, however, that our experience shows that grant money is rarely if ever made available to for-profit ventures for purposes of obtaining capital. This applies to race and sex-based grants as well.
- How do I apply for a small business loan? A Special loan for women or minority businesses.Generally you would apply for a small business loan at a bank or other traditional lender. For most lenders, you will need to invest 25-30% of the project amount and also provide a business plan and financial projections for the venture. You will also be required to provide copies of personal and/or business tax returns. A personal statement of net worth is quite often required as well. These requirements apply to all applicants, regardless of race or gender.The NSBDC’s counselors can guide you in the creation of your business plan and provide valuable assistance in finding sources of funding which fit your needs. Many workshops and training sessions are designed to provide this type of assistance as well. A great deal of guidance and information is also available from our online documents resource.
- Does the NSBDC maintain any kind of a list of potential investors for my business?The NSBDC does not keep a list or know of any lists available of potential private investors. Private investors do not usually advertise their willingness to participate in new ventures.
- What types of Business Loans are availableAvailable loans would include traditional commercial loans, loans with an SBA guarantee and Microloans. Which type of loan is best for you is dependent on your available cash for investing, collateral, and loan amount required.
Growing or Managing a Successful Business
- Where can I acquire the skills necessary to manage my business?The NSBDC’s Training Programs and Seminars are a valuable source of low cost and oftentimes free instruction and training. These programs also offer unique opportunities to network with people facing similar issues. If you don’t find what you are looking for on the training calendar, call your nearest NSBDC office and discuss your needs with us.
- How do I research/apply for a patent?For patent information, your point of contact is the US Patent and Trademark Office. Their website is www.uspto.gov and you can find additional patent information there.
- Where can I get information on the environmental regulations my business will have to follow?The Nevada Small Business Development Center’s Business Environmental Program can help you with this.
Research for Business and Government
- Where can I find help designing and carrying out a study to determine the impacts that a proposed business might have on my community?The NSBDC’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research can help you with this. All types of entities come to us for information needed to make important decision about their future. They also use us to find the expert decision-makers they could not identify by themselves.
- How do I research the potential acceptance my new product may find in the marketplace?Contact the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the Nevada Small Business Development Center and discuss your needs. They can help you evaluate a new product’s viability.