Know Before You Apply
Where is your business located?
Be sure that your location is actually inside the Las Vegas city limits or that you intend to do business within the city boundaries. If your business is located within the unincorporated area of Clark County, North Las Vegas or Henderson you will need a license from that jurisdiction. Application fees are not refundable. Check the Address Locator before submitting an application.
Can your location be used for this type of business?
Check to be sure your business location is properly zoned and has the required amount of customer and employee parking. This is particularly important for businesses such as salons and barber shops that have significant amounts of customer traffic. Contact the Planning Department at 333 N. Rancho Drive, (702) 229-6301, to review your location prior to determining the final location of your business. Many uses (liquor, gaming, massage, secondhand sales) require public hearings and approval of the Planning Commission or City Council prior to licensing.
Licensing a Home-Based Business
Many types of small business can be licensed at a residence. A home-based business should be one that has no impact on the neighborhood and is essentially invisible to the neighbors. A home occupation permit is required and there is an additional charge of $50 for this permit, but the licensing process is essentially the same. There are some restrictions on the type of merchandise or services provided through a home-based business. Sales of ammunition, explosives and weapons are not allowed at a residence. Motor vehicle repair and commercial preparation of food at the residence are also prohibited. Customers and employees are generally not allowed at the residence, although a teaching or tutoring business is allowed to have not more than two students at a time at the residence. A detailed list of the conditions is included in our online application and is part of our paper application form. Click here to see the list of conditions.
Will the Certificate of Occupancy for the building allow the anticipated number of customers?
Verify that your building meets or can be made to meet building and fire code requirements. Businesses that commonly have 50 or more occupants at one time are usually considered places of public assembly. If you are planning to open a restaurant, tavern, recreation facility, retail or any customer oriented facility contact the Building Department to check the Certificate of Occupancy prior to finalizing your location. Such locations may have special requirements such as fire sprinklers, additional fire exits and restroom facilities. Building codes and fire codes change frequently and you, as a new tenant, will be subject to the most recent changes. The fact that a previous tenant was approved for a similar business in the past does not guarantee approval for your business. The Building Department is located at 333 N. Rancho Drive, 2nd Floor - (702) 229-6251. For Fire Department information click here.
Do you need a State License of Federal Permit for this type of business?
Have your state licenses and registrations in place before you apply with local agencies. State law generally prohibits local agencies from issuing local business licenses unless the applicant has satisfied all such requirements. This may include a state contractor’s license, federal fire arms license, cosmetology license or engineering registration. It always includes your state Business License and for most a Nevada Tax ID which can be obtained online at the state of Nevada. Required clearances for most license types are listed on our website, along with addresses and websites for the issuing agency. Doing things in the correct order can avoid multiple trips and costly delays.
Have a plan?
Changing your mind about a business name, the type of business entity or the type of goods or services you will offer will cost you time and money. The Small Business Administration (SBA), the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Nevada Small Business Development Center at UNLV are just three of the many local sources for help in developing a business plan.