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If you’re thinking of starting an LLC and you live in the Western US, you’ve probably considered forming one in Nevada. To form a Nevada LLC, you need three things: a name for your business, a registered agent, and the required documents, such as Articles of Organization.
To help you avoid missteps, we’ll show you a step-by-step rundown on how to start an LLC in Nevada.
Why Is Starting an LLC in Nevada Is Worth It
Starting an LLC in Nevada is a very straightforward process.
All the forms you need to set up your business are available on the Secretary of State‘s website and can be submitted online. Not only does this make things more convenient for you, but it also allows the state to process your documents faster.
As an LLC owner, you won’t be personally liable for your business‘s debts, including debts from lawsuits against the company. No creditor can go after your personal assets under any circumstance.
Additionally, the State of Nevada doesn’t have an income tax department, meaning you don’t have to worry about your corporate profits being taxed by the state, and your personal information isn’t shared at the national level. Even your corporate shares or LLC ownership remains safe from taxes!
Another significant advantage is the higher level of privacy you receive in Nevada.
When you form an LLC in Nevada, your information stays private, anonymous, and off the public record. And not only that, but you’re also allowed to issue stock for capital, personal property, and real estate, including leasing and other options, in your LLC’s name.
The Investment Needed to Start an LLC in Nevada
You have to pay $425 to file your LLC’s Articles of Organization, initial list, and Nevada business license with the Nevada Secretary of State.
In addition to this, there’s also a $150 annual list fee. Failure to clear file your annual fee will result in a $75 penalty. You may also need to budget for federal, state, and local permits and licenses to operate legally in Nevada.
Nevada also requires LLCs to renew their state business licenses every year. This can be done online and costs $200. Again, there’s a $100 late fee if you don’t renew your license on time.
You have to appoint a registered agent for your LLC too.
While you can appoint yourself as your LLC’s registered agent, it’s better to hire a registered agent service. Different registered agent services have different charges, but you should expect to pay anywhere between $40-$200 annually.
Other LLC filing costs include:
- LLC name reservation — $25
- Doing Business As (DBA) name — $25
- Certified document copies — $30, plus $2 for each page
- Certificate of good standing — $50
If you already have an LLC registered in another state and want to expand your business into Nevada, you’ll have to register as a foreign LLC. The cost of registering a Nevada for an LLC is $425 and can be done either online or by mail.
6 Steps to Start an LLC in Nevada
Forming an LLC in Nevada is easy. Just follow the steps below to set yourself up for success.
Step 1: Name Your Nevada LLC
You’ll need a unique and attractive name for your LLC. Not only will this distinguish your company from your competitors, but it’s also required when filing your documents to register your business.
First and foremost, your LLC name should comply with the Nevada naming requirements. Here’s a list of factors to remember when shortlisting prospective names:
- LLC name must be distinguishable from other New Mexico LLCs, corporations, and partnerships
- LLC name must include the phrase “limited liability company“ or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)
- LLC name cannot include words that could potentially confuse your company with a government agency (Treasury, FBI, State Department, etc.)
You’ll have to file additional paperwork and include a licensed individual, such as a doctor or attorney if the LLC name includes restricted words (Bank, Attorney, University, etc.)
You can see a complete list of Nevada naming guidelines here.
Next, you should check whether the name is available. Nevada LLCs cannot have names already taken or reserved by other businesses.
You can do a quick search on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website to determine this.
While the above is mandatory, there are two additional requirements you should consider in your best interest.
- First, you should check whether your chosen name has an available web domain. Even if you think you don’t need a website, you probably will. A strong digital presence is important for your business’s bottom line.
- Second, if you don’t plan on registering your LLC right away, it’s recommended you reserve your name to prevent others from taking it. In Nevada, names can be reserved for up to 90 days by paying the necessary fees and submitting the proper forms to the state authority.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent for Your Nevada LLC
Nevada has made it mandatory for agencies to appoint and maintain a registered agent throughout their existence.
A registered agent is an individual or business entity who will receive service of process and other critical legal documents on behalf of your business. They will be responsible for receiving important tax forms, lawsuit notices, and official government correspondence.
Think of them as your business’s point of contact with the state.
In Nevada, it’s required that all registered agents be a resident of the state—or an entity authorized to do business in Nevada. In other words, the registered agent must have a physical address in Nevada. Having a P.O. Box won’t cut it.
You should also have the flexibility to either hire a registered agent service or nominate an individual within your company, including yourself. Yes, you can be your own registered agent, but we highly recommend that you use the services of a third party.
Registered agents have to be available to receive official documentation at the specified street address during regular business hours. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in trouble with the law. Moreover, receiving legal paperwork like service of process in front of customers or employers can also create awkward situations.
While there are tons of options in the market, we highly recommend ZenBusiness because of its affordability and reliability. Their registered agent service is available at a reasonable $99 per year. But you can get it for free for the first year if you sign up with the LLC package that starts from $39, plus state fees.
Step 3: File Nevada Articles of Organization
Next, you have to submit the following documents to the Nevada Secretary of State:
- Articles of Organization
- Initial List of Managers and State Business License Application
- Certificate of Acceptance of Appointment by Registered Agent
Out of the three, the Articles of Organization is a critical document that makes your business legal and recognized in the state. You can submit these documents online, by mail, by fax, by email, or in person.
If you decide to file the Articles of Organization online, you must do so with SilverFlume, the Secretary of State‘s web-based business filing portal. Here are the other ways to file the document if you choose to file by mail, by fax, or by email:
Secretary of State
Commercial Recordings Division
202 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701-4201
Fax: (775) 684-5725
To prepare the Articles of Organization, you need to enter the following information:
- LLC’s name
- The name, address, and signature of the LLC’s registered agent (They must also sign a Certificate of Acceptance of Appointment by Registered Agent, which is included with the Articles)
- The LLC’s dissolution date, if any
- Whether the LLC is manager-managed or member-managed
- The name and address of each manager or managing member
- The name, address, and signature of the LLC’s organizer
After you file your articles, the Secretary of State will review the filing. If your article is approved, your LLC will become a recognized legal business entity in the State of Nevada.
You’ll also be issued a certificate by the state confirming your LLC exists formally. This certificate will allow you to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), business licenses, and a business bank account.
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your Nevada LLC
An operating agreement is an internal document that outlines the way your business will conduct operations. It also mentions the rights and responsibilities of every member and manager and describes other important aspects related to the business, such as the profit-sharing ratio.
Now, Nevada doesn’t require an LLC to prepare an operating agreement, but it’s still a critical component of any business. A readily accessible, well-drafted operating agreement serves the following purposes:
- Settles any dispute that may arise over financial agreements and other potential litigation between LLC members
- Proves the company’s limited liability status
- Ensures the company keeps running as stated in the operating agreement and not as per the state law if there is any issue
The operating agreement should include, but not be limited to, the following information:
- LLC’s name and address
- Duration of the LLC
- Registered agent’s name and address
- Information about the Articles of Organization
- Business purpose
- Members and their contribution
- Profits and losses distribution ratio
- Procedure for admitting new members, as well as outgoing members
- LLC management
- Indemnification and liability clauses
Step 5: Get Your EIN
EINs (Employer Identification Numbers) are nine-digit numbers assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to help identify your business for tax purposes. Think of it as a Social Security Number for your business.
If your LLC has more than one member, you must have your own EIN. This is crucial even if you don’t have any employees.
In case you’re a one-member LLC, an EIN will become mandatory for you if you plan to hire employees or have your company taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship.
Obtaining an EIN is super easy. All you need to do is complete an online EIN application on the IRS website. And no, you don’t have to pay any filing fee.
Step 6: File Annual Reports
All LLCs and foreign LLCs operating in Nevada must file an annual report listing their directors, officers, and registered agent. The state calls this report “annual list.“
The first annual list must be filed with the LLC’s Articles of Organization, where a copy should be included with the document. Subsequent annual lists have to be filed by the last day of the month when the business was formed. Remember, you also have to pay a $150 filing fee.
Again, you can file an annual list using SilverFlume. Alternatively, you can also download the form and file it by postal mail.
So that’s it—this is how you start an LLC in the State of Nevada.
Registering your Nevada LLC will make you a legal entity. After this, you just need to keep your LLC compliant and in active status on the state‘s website. You must also file an annual report with the Nevada Secretary of State by the last day of the month in which your company was formed to avoid getting penalized.
Luckily, many online legal services can file annual reports on behalf of your company. Moreover, you can also enlist their help to file and register your business for you.
We wish you the very best in your latest entrepreneurial pursuit!