Welcome to the city of Las Vegas Business Licensing division’s step-by-step guide to opening a business in our jurisdiction. Once you have a location in mind, please use these steps to determine if the proposed business activity will be permissible at the location.
Step 1: Determine the Jurisdiction
Southern Nevada is comprised of several different local licensing jurisdictions. Check your proposed address for your business. This will provide you with the primary jurisdiction for your location, which determines where you must file for your business license.
If Step 1 confirmed that your proposed business location is in the city of Las Vegas, continue on to Step 2.
If Step 1 indicated that your proposed location is in another jurisdiction (e.g. Clark County, North Las Vegas or Henderson), contact that local jurisdiction to continue the process. Please note: if you conduct business in different cities/jurisdictions surrounding Las Vegas, you may need multiple licenses (one from each jurisdiction you do business in. You must start with your primary jurisdiction, however.)
Step 2: Determine Proper Zoning & Compliance
To determine if the location you are considering will allow the proposed business activity, please contact our Planning Department or read the FAQs. We also have an interactive zoning map you might find helpful.
In addition to proper zoning of your location, confirm that your building is code compliant. Contact the Building & Safety Department to check the Certificate of Occupancy prior to finalizing your location.
PLEASE NOTE: Businesses that commonly have 50 or more occupants at one time are usually considered places of public assembly. 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.
Once you have confirmed that the proposed location has the proper zoning approval and your building is code compliant, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Apply for State Business License and Taxation
The State of Nevada has created a portal to guide you through the state process. You will need to apply for a State Business License and register with the Department of Taxation. You can do both using the portal. Once you have completed the process, please keep those documents handy as you will need to refer to them through the city business license process in Step 5.
Step 4: Register a Fictitious Firm Name & EIN
Sole proprietorships and legal business entities, such as corporations, that work under a different name should file a Certificate of Business Fictitious Firm name with the Clark County Clerk's office. This certificate registers that a business is operating under a particular name, but does not guarantee that the name is unique or reserve exclusive rights to the use of the name. Some state agencies, such as the Nevada Secretary of State and the Nevada Board of Contractors, do require a unique name.
File for an EIN (Employer Identification Number), also known as Federal Tax Identification number. Get it for free from the IRS.
Step 5: Apply for a City Business License
After completing Steps 1 - 4, you are ready to apply! Be sure to have your state documents handy. Currently our online feature is only available for General Business license applications.
Coming soon! We are working to allow online submission of Privilege Business license applications.
View the requirements, checklists and forms for a Privilege Business license. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to submit your application at 702-229-1840.
What to expect after your online submission?
After submitting your General application online, please allow up to 5 business days for a license technician to contact you via email. They will provide additional information or request additional information from you. If you have followed the steps above, your license review process should be fairly quick. If any questions arise, you will be contacted. If not, expect your license to be issued within 30 days of applying. Please note: licenses typically issue much sooner.