Washoe County General Business License Requirements
If you have registered or are planning to form a new business in Washoe County then apart from the state or general business license, you may also require county business licenses or permits. The type of license required will vary depending on the type of business. The laws and regulations pertaining to licenses required for engaging in business in the county, licensing requirements, fees, renewals etc., are all governed by Chapter 25 of the Washoe County Code.
We at IncParadise understand that the licensing requirements and processes may seem daunting and confusing. Hence, we have created a home or general business license guide for Washoe County to help you identify the important aspects of licensing in the county.
Business Name Documentation
When you are applying for a home or general business license in Washoe County, there are specific licensing requirements that need to be fulfilled. One of the primary requirements is business name documentation. There are two options to consider and they are:
- If you are forming a business corporation then you will be required to register the entity with the office of the Nevada Secretary of State. Once you have received your articles of incorporation, provide a copy of the same or a corporate seal with your general business license application to the license division, Washoe County pursuant to county code 25.017. According to NRS 78.040, you will need to reserve the name of your corporation with the Nevada Secretary of State and a copy of the same should also be attached with the license application.
- If you are planning to use a business name that is neither your own first and last name then you will be required to file a Fictitious Firm Name (DBA) certificate. The DBA certificate has to be filed with the Washoe County Clerk. Once you receive the DBA certificate, you can file the application for general or home business license and ensure a copy of the copy of certificate is enclosed.
Note: If your business is a corporation doing business under a different name then you will have to apply for a Fictitious Firm Name certificate prior to applying for a business license.
Nevada State Business Registration
Whether you are planning to set up an LLC in Nevada or a business corporation, the first step is to register your business with the office of the Nevada Secretary of State. It is important to know that you can apply for a Washoe County general business license only after your business is incorporated or formed in the state. The business formation application is different for different types of businesses like LLC, LLP, corporation etc. The formation documents will also be different for domestic and foreign business entities. The processing time for a business entity in Nevada can vary from 10 to 30 business days.
Nevada State Taxation
A business entity formed in Nevada needs to register with the Department of Taxation prior to filing for a Washoe County home business license. You will have to file the sales and use tax permit online through IncParadise. When applying for a license or permit in Washoe County, you will be required to submit proof of tax registration in the form of a clearance letter, bill, or stamp.
There are different types of taxes that may be applicable to your business and you can read more about it at our Nevada tax guide.
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State Industrial Insurance
A business entity formed in Nevada and planning to apply for a general business license in Washoe County needs to first complete a Nevada Industrial Insurance affirmation of compliance letter. This is applicable for businesses with or without employees pursuant to NV Rev Stat § 616A.010 (2017). The affidavit of compliance is available online through www.nvsilverflume.gov and alternatively, IncParadise can assist you with the process by providing the Nevada State Industrial Insurance Compliance form. The submission of affidavit of compliance along with the licensing application is mandatory for all businesses in the county.
Stormwater Discharge Permits
There are specific commercial and industrial business activities that have to obtain a stormwater discharge permit. This permit is an additional license apart from the general or home business license and is issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The NPDES stormwater discharge permit is required if your business activity discharges stormwater into medium as well as large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) situated in Washoe County. The stormwater discharge permits include the following:
- Industrial Permit
- Construction Sites: 1 Acre or more
- Mining Permit
- Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems
- Large Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems
Federal or State Licenses
One of the questions that businesses registering in Nevada ask is whether they require a Federal Business license or just the state business license. Most small businesses except those based from home require federal, state or a combination of both licenses and permits. The need for these types of licenses or permits is dependent on the type of business activity, geographical location, state laws or county code. A copy of such licenses and permits needs to be enclosed with the Washoe County general business license application. You will require:
- Federal Licenses: There are specific business activities that require Federal licenses or permits like you importing or transporting animal products, manufacturing or selling alcoholic beverages, manufacturing or importing firearms etc.
- State Licenses: Every business in the state of Nevada will have to obtain a state business license in order to conduct business
If your business is home-based then you will require a home business license but if it is not home-based and is situated in any unincorporated area of Washoe County then you will be required to provide a site plan along with licensing application. The site plan provides all necessary and detailed information pertaining to the size and location of existing business structures and signs at the location you are planning to use in accordance with subsection 110.504.60(d) of Washoe County Code. Download a Washoe County Sample Site Plan.
Approvals and Agency Sign-Offs
Whether you are applying for a general business license or a specific permit, there are specific license based approvals required from different agencies. It is important to note that according to County Code 25.018, failure to obtain approval from any agency approving the operation of a business entity at a specific location or service area may lead to denial of the Washoe County business license. For example: If you are planning to open a commercial business like a storefront or a non-home based business like horse boarding then you will be required to get approvals from different County agencies so that a business license can be issued.
Business License Fees
Once you have all the necessary documents and approvals to be submitted, you can file the home business license application along with a fee of $77.75 for the first year. The Washoe County Code 25.0255 also specifies that if you were to organize temporary sales or services with or without booths, yard sales, outdoor events, leasing or sub-leasing of commercial or industrial property, and permanent exhibitions among others then there will be a separate fee specific to the activity.
Multi Jurisdiction Fees
If you are planning to conduct your business in Sparks, Reno, and unincorporated Washoe County then you will be required to apply for a separate general business license for each of the jurisdictions. The fees will be different for each jurisdiction; the fee is $85 for Reno, $109 for Sparks, and $77.75 for Washoe County. You will have to file applications separately along with all the required documents and approvals in the specific jurisdictions. In order to make the process easier, there is a multi-jurisdictional licensing process using which you can pay a combined license fee at a single location. This licensing process is available only for new business license applications.