With no corporate or individual income tax, Nevada is considered one of the ten most friendly business states in the USA. It is no wonder that many entrepreneurs move to Nevada to set up new companies. But starting a business can be daunting, especially if you’ve never started one before. So if you’re new to entrepreneurship, how do you even begin to know where to start?
This detailed guide will cover everything from choosing a business idea to registering your business and more!
Step 1: Choose Your Business Idea
The first step in starting your business in Nevada is to choose a winning idea your company will be based on.
Coming up with a good business idea is easier said than done, but by answering these thought-provoking questions, you should be able to come up with a good business idea:
- What are my hobbies, skills, and passions?
- Can they be turned into a profitable business?
- Do you see yourself enjoying running and working at the business every day?
- Is there a place for my business in the marketplace?
- Are there businesses already open that are similar to yours?
- How does your business differ from theirs?
- What are the needs of your local community?
- Can you benefit the local community and meet some consumer needs?
Answering these questions should help you decide on a good business idea that will work.
Step 2: Pick a Name
The second step in starting a business is picking a name. The name of your business will be the first thing many potential customers will see and hear. Their first impressions and thoughts on will be based on your chosen name, and these impressions can be tough to change. So, it’s imperative that you pick a good name.
In Nevada, you cannot register your business if it has a name already registered by another business. To avoid this, you can conduct an online business search to check if your desired name is available for you. This can be done through the Nevada Secretary of State’s business portal called SilverFlume.
If you are struggling to come up with a good name for the business, try out these easy and helpful methods:
- Use an online name generator. These are free, and they can come up with a random and unique name for your business.
- Ask friends on Facebook for their opinions. You can create a poll to ask for their opinions.
- Hold a brainstorming session with friends and family and bounce ideas back and forth.
- Create a word dump. This is a creative exercise where you list the first words that pop into your head when you think about your business. You don’t need to think so hard about the words.
Step 3: Write Your Business Plan
Once you have decided what business idea to use and your business name, you will need to write up your business plan. While writing a business plan is not required, it is a great idea for organizing your business ideas and strategy.
Your business plan will be a detailed document, paper or electronic, with everything about your business, from starting the business to running the business. In other words, your business plan is like the instructions manual to your business.
A complete and detailed business plan is a great way of attracting investors to your business as well, especially if you include all the necessary financial predictions and calculations.
While there are no set requirements about what needs to go into a business plan, you should at least have the following information:
- Information on your product or services. Describe what services or products you are offering.
- Explain why you have started the business.
- Explain what consumer problem your business solves.
- Explain what makes your business different from those already in the market.
- Describe who your target market is.
- Explain how you will turn them into paying customers or clients.
- Describe your marketing and sales strategies.
- Describe exactly how much you need to start the business, how much you will need to sell to make a profit, how much you will need to break even, and where you will get funding if needed.
- Outline the different roles in the business and what skills you will need to fill them successfully.
There are plenty of free and ready-to-download business templates available on the internet if you are struggling with the format and structure.
Step 4: Get Funding
To start a business, you will need money for all kinds of startup requirements, and if you cannot afford to fund these costs yourself, you will need to get funding from elsewhere. You can do this through a loan, grant, or investor.
The Nevada Department of Business & Industry has several tax-funded grant programs for different businesses. You can visit this website to see if your business qualifies for any of these grants.
If you do not qualify for a grant from the local government, you can always apply for a business loan at your nearest bank. When applying for a loan, pay particular attention to your repayment and interest rate. You can also get loans from your friends and family as well. However, if you choose this route, make sure to get an agreement in writing to avoid any potential misunderstandings.
There is also the option of having someone invest in your business in exchange for some shares. Investors can come in the form of acquaintances, friends, and family.
Step 5: Choose Your Business Structure
The next step in starting a business in Nevada is to choose your business structure. Choosing the right one is essential as each structure has different benefits.
A sole proprietorship is an informal business structure where there is no separation between the owner’s personal assets and the business’s. In other words, the sole owner is liable for the business and its assets. Low-risk businesses that start as hobbies most commonly use this structure.
A partnership is very similar to a sole proprietorship as there is also no separation between personal and business assets. The only difference between the two is that this business structure has more than one owner, all with equal shares in the business.
Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company, or LLC, is one of the most popular choices for small businesses. This business structure is desirable to small business owners because it is a hybrid structure. An LLC offers the ease of a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation.
C or S Corporation
A corporation is the most formal type of business structure commonly used by large companies with multiple shareholders. Corporations have many tax benefits that can be attractive.
Step 6: Register The Business
Depending on your business structure, you may be required to register the business before you can begin trading.
This type of business structure does not need to be registered with the state for you to start doing business. However, if you wish to operate under a different name than your personal one, you must file an assumed or trade name with the state of Nevada. You can do this on the business portal, SilverFlume.
To form a partnership in Nevada, you will be required to complete and submit a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form, which can be done on the SilverFlume portal. In addition, if you wish to use a business name different from your or your partner’s legal names, you will also have to file a trade name with the state.
Limited Liability Company
To register an LLC in Nevada, you must complete and submit the Articles of Organization. This is done on the SilverFlume portal and costs $425, which includes $200 for the business license application and $150 for the Initial List of Managers or Managing Members.
Registering a corporation is a similar process to registering an LLC. To do so, you must complete and submit the Certificate of Incorporation on the SilverFlume portal. The fee to apply for a corporation is a lot more expensive at $725. The $500 business license application is included in this cost.
Step 7: Set Up Your Finances & Accounting
Before you open your business for trading, setting up your finances and accounting systems is important.
To set up your finances, you can open a bank account for the business with credit cards and set up a payment method for customers to use. A credit card machine is a popular choice of payment method if you have a physical store or office.
If this is your first time starting a business, consider hiring an accountant to run your payroll software and the business’s accounts. This can help ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you remain compliant with state regulations.
Step 8: Get Business Insurance
The state of Nevada does not require businesses to have insurance. But, running a company without insurance is risky as you never know when disaster will strike and how much it will cost you. Therefore, you should at least invest in a general insurance liability policy. This broad insurance policy will cover what you need in the day-to-day running of your business.
Speak to your local insurance broker about other insurance policies available and get professional advice.
Step 9: Obtain Any Permits or Licenses Needed
All businesses operating in Nevada are required to have a general state business license. If you have registered an LLC or a corporation, your application for a business license is included in the initial application. You will need to apply for a business license separately for the other two business structures.
In addition, you may need other permits and licenses depending on the type of business you have. Contact your local clerk to check what you may need.
Step 10: Build a Website
Having a website for your business is a must-have, especially in today’s online-geared world. When building a website, you have two options: 1) you can either build one yourself using free, ready-made templates, or 2) you could just pay someone to build it for you.
If building your own website, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure your web domain name is still available. There are many search engines you can use to do this for free.
- Make sure your business name is easy to read.
- Make sure that the font you use is neat and not too difficult to read. It should not be too big or too small.
- Don’t fill your web pages with unnecessary images, graphics, and GIFs, as this can slow loading times.
- Include a good call to action button, which could be a “contact us” or “shop now” option.
- Link your other social media to the website.
Step 11: Hire Employees (If Any)
If you hire employees to work for you, you must report them to the Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. This needs to be done within 20 days from the hire date, and there is no fee to do this.
Step 12: Market Your Business
The final step in starting a business in Nevada is to market the business. Marketing has grown over the years, and nowadays, there are so many different ways to market your business to fit any budget.
Here are some effective ways to market your business:
- Advertise on your website.
- Create events and engage with customers on social media like Facebook.
- Run pay-per-click ads online.
- Attend local networking events.
- Run promos and giveaways.
- Hand out business flyers.
- Attend local events and markets.
- Advertise on your local radio and tv station.
- Attend local networking events.
Alternatively, you can always hire a marketing expert to take care of this side of the business for you.