Nevada has long been one of the fastest-growing states in the 20th and 21st centuries, and it continues to present opportunities for new businesses. Once you’ve decided to hang your shingle in Nevada, though, you might get stuck.
Opening an LLC in Nevada involves a lot of laws and rules. These rules can be hard for the people that are paid to deal with them. New owners just trying to get off the ground can quickly find themselves in over their heads. On top of that, you may not even be clear on how much money you even need to get through the process.
This article will help you make a budget for starting an LLC in Nevada.
- The required costs for every LLC
- Extra costs we recommend you incur
- The different ways you can form your LLC, as well as the pros and cons of each
Basic Nevada LLC Formation Costs – $425
According to the Nevada Secretary of State, the bare minimum you will need to form an LLC in Nevada is $425.
This price consists of three parts:
- Articles of Organization filing fee: $75
- Initial List of Managers or Managing Members filing fee: $150
- Business License fee: $200
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Nevada LLCs – the Basic Costs
Let’s start with the bottom line. These are the costs you must pay in order to start a Nevada LLC.
Articles of Organization Filing Fee – $75
The articles of organization create your LLC. Think of them as birth certificates. Without articles, your LLC is just an idea. Therefore, making sure that you have the document correctly drafted and filed is your first major step.
This may sound like it is easy to mess up, but don’t panic. Nevada makes the LLC articles of organization easy by giving you a basic, fill-in-the-blank form. Of course, if you, your LLC formation service, or your attorney want something more involved, you’re free to draft your own. But keeping things simple with the state’s form is a simple and effective option.
Initial List of Managers or Managing Members filing fee – $150
The initial list of managers or managing members tells the state who runs your LLC. Some LLCs hire managers specifically for this purpose. Those people might run the business, but they don’t own it.
Most new LLCs will be run by the members, though. No matter which option you choose for your company, the state will want a list of the managers/members' names and addresses.
Business License Fee – $200
Nevada requires a statewide business license. That will cost you $200 when you file your Nevada articles of organization and your initial list of managers and members.
Also keep in mind that, depending on where you are, there may be city or county business licenses that you have to purchase. In Las Vegas, for example, you would need to get a business license from Clark County. In and around Reno, you might have to contact the Reno, Sparks, and/or county offices about business license requirements.
Nevada LLCs – Optional Costs to Consider
Even though it costs a minimum of $425 to start your company, you will want to think about budgeting for a bit more. Purchasing a few extra services, both from the state and from third parties, can be a smart decision that will pay dividends later.
Expedited filing fees — $125 to $100 per document
The normal processing time for new LLC filings in Nevada is five days. While that's not as long as some states, it can feel like forever when you are trying to get started. Or maybe you have clients that need you to be open as soon as possible. In that case, expedited filing fees are a good idea.
The Nevada Secretary of State offers the following options to speed up your LLC formation process:
- 24-hour processing: $125
- 2-hour processing: $500
- 1-hour processing: $1000
Keep in mind that Nevada's expedite fees are paid per document filed. Therefore, even if you just filed the basic Nevada LLC articles of organization and the initial list of manager or managing members and wanted it done in 1 hour, you would pay a total of $2000 in expedite fees.
Registered Agent Fee — about $100 per year
In Nevada, you don’t have to pay a state fee to name a registered agent when you form your LLC. (You do have to name a Nevada registered agent in your articles of organization, but there’s no extra cost.) If you ever change your agent, though, you will have to pay a $60 or $100 fee under Nevada Revised Statutes section 77.280.
Many owners are tempted to serve as their companies’ agents. This is usually not a good idea. It involves making your address public and being constantly available just in case someone wants to sue your company.
It’s an easier and cost-efficient plan to hire a registered agent service for your company. These agents usually charge $100 per year and take care of all your company’s registered agent needs. It’s money well spent.
For some of our recommendations, check out our Best Registered Agent Services article.
Operating Agreement — $39 and up
An operating agreement sets down the rules of your Nevada limited liability company. It says how the people in charge should do their jobs, when meetings must be held, how members can enter and exit the company, and almost any other matter you need to address.
Nevada doesn’t require your LLC to have an operating agreement, but we strongly recommend that you consider getting one. Without one, you have much less control over what happens to your company when something unexpected happens.
If you choose to have an operating agreement, you don’t have to file it with the state. You can write it yourself, but unless you are a lawyer or know exactly what it’s supposed to look like, we don’t recommend that option.
A lawyer would likely charge you by the hour for drafting an operating agreement. While that agreement would likely be a good one, that could also run you at least a few hundred dollars. You can have a good agreement drafted, though, for as little as $39.
DBA fee — about $25 per county
Even if you are happy with your LLC’s legal name, you might want the name in front of your business to be a little different. Maybe you want your LLC name to reflect the name of the manager you’ve hired, or you want to make it less like the name of a competitor.
If that happens, all you have to do is get a “doing business as” name (“DBA”) for your Nevada limited liability company. Unlike the costs above, this is not a fee you pay to the state. Instead, Nevada law requires you to file for your DBA with the clerk of the county where you do business. For example, Clark County and Washoe County have their own forms.
The amount of the fee may vary by county. County and Washoe Counties (the two most populous) both charge a $25 fee.
Name Reservation Fee — $25
Maybe you have your business plan and the perfect name for your company, but you’re not quite ready to start the business. If you want to make sure that a certain name is still available, you can file a name reservation request with the Secretary of State for $25.
Remember that if you want this expedited for some reason, you will have to pay the expedite fees discussed above.
Domain Name — about $20 per year
In this day and age, businesses need a presence on the Internet. The first step in creating a business website is to get your own domain name. While this might have been expensive in the past, it is now very affordable.
We recommend you secure your domain name as soon as possible, even if you don’t have immediate plans for a website. For example, a competitor could buy your ideal domain and its variations to block you from using them. Domain squatters sift through newly registered LLCs and will buy their domains only to relist them with huge markups.
In general, a domain ending in .com will be more expensive than a .net or .info domain, and some names will likely be taken, meaning you will have to do some searching (and maybe compromising).
A domain name from GoDaddy.com or a similar registrar may cost you between $20 and $50 per year, with regular specials and sales where you can get substantial discounts.
Registering with the State Tax Office — $15
All businesses should register online with the Nevada Department of Taxation so that they can pay the necessary taxes, like sales and use tax and employer taxes. The online registration fee is $15.
Also note that depending on your estimated monthly receipts, you may need to pay a security deposit to the Department of Taxation. This amount, which will vary between businesses, can be paid in cash, or you can obtain a surety bond or letter of credit.
To figure out any amounts that could be due for your specific business, contact the Department of Taxation.
Getting an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) — Free
An EIN is a number created and assigned by the IRS to a business for paying taxes. (Think of an EIN as a social security number for a business.) Some LLCs need them, and some don’t.
Regardless of whether the IRS says you need one, we recommend that you get an EIN. Many banks won’t allow your company to have its own account without one. Having an EIN can simplify the process of getting credit.
You can apply online and get an EIN for free in minutes, or you can apply for one through the mail or fax. Whatever you do, don’t pay someone else to get an EIN for you. It’s too easy to pay someone else to do it unless it is part of a broader service package.
Full step-by-step guide: How to Get an Employer Identification Number in Nevada
Foreign LLC Qualification Fees — about $100 per extra state
If your business takes off, congratulations! You may soon start thinking about expanding to new locations. If one of those places is in another state, you’ll have to pay for the privilege of doing business there. You won’t have to re-form your business, but you will have to register as a foreign limited liability company with the Secretary of State there and pay some extra fees.
The exact fees will depend on the state in which you are registering. As a rule of thumb, expect to pay about $100 in filing fees to register your LLC in another state.
Writing Formation Costs Off
The formation costs discussed in this article are a necessary part of making your Nevada LLC a reality. In most cases, then, they can be deducted from your taxes as business startup costs.
The IRS has a lot of guidance on this matter, and you should compare your specific costs to the materials on the IRS website.
Keep in mind that, in most cases, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, meaning that, generally speaking, the IRS allows LLC owners to deduct $5,000 of their business startup expenses in the first year.
Bob wants to create a pet grooming salon in Las Vegas with the business entity Bob Grooms Your Dog LLC. He wants a small shop. He will be the sole LLC member and the only person working there.
His formation costs are as follows:
- Basic LLC formation: $425
- Expedite fees: $250
- Clark County Business License: $45
- Operating agreement draft: $50
- Resident agent fees: $100
- DBA fee: $25
- Web domain costs: $50
Nevada doesn’t tax Bob’s LLC income, so all he has to worry about is the IRS. Bob’s LLC is treated as a pass-through entity by the IRS, so he reports both his income and deductions for the business on a Schedule C to his federal income tax return.
The total amount of Bob’s deduction in this example is $945. Before the deduction, his total taxable income for the year was $41,000. After the deduction, the taxable income went down to $40,055. This takes Bob from the 22% tax bracket to the 12% tax bracket for 2023. While it's important to note that this won't equal a 10% decrease of all his taxes across the board, he was still able to use his business costs to save a bit on his taxes.
Keep in mind that if Bob had more than $5,000 in expenses, he would likely be able to claim those, but he could not do them all in the first year.
Cheapest Way to Start an LLC in Nevada
Now that we’ve discussed the nuts and bolts of LLC formation in Nevada, you likely want to know the best way to get started while paying as little above that amount as possible.
The exact services you need will depend on your unique needs, but there are a few options you’ll want to take a look at.
Formation Service – $39 + state fees
One of the most popular options for people starting a new company is a business formation service.
These are companies dedicated to helping entrepreneurs bring their visions to life. They have not only the knowledge of all the state laws you need to know, but also forms, documents, and procedures to make your life as easy as possible.
Formation services are quick and complete ways to handle formation needs for most LLCs.
- They’re easy. In most cases, a formation service will have helped hundreds of people through the exact process you are struggling with now. They have all the documents, information, and expertise you need right on hand.
- They don’t cost much. Because formation services have such a large volume of business, they don’t have to charge their clients that much money.
- They’re reliable. All of the formation services’ products and procedures have been tested hundreds of times over in the real world. That kind of experience should give you peace of mind and confidence going forward.
- They’re fast. Formation services have seen almost every business formation situation already. Chances are, they have many solutions for you that are ready right now before you even know you need them.
While formation services can be great for most people, they are not always the best choice. Some cons for these services are:
- They’re not the best solution for complex LLCs. If you are forming a complicated company or one in a heavily regulated industry, you will have concerns that probably need more focused expertise in that area of business.
- Even if a formation service is a good fit, you can expect upselling. Formation services have to make money too, and some of them may pressure you to buy formation products you don’t need. Even when you are using a formation service, you need to be a smart and informed consumer.
Using a professional LLC formation service can be a great way to set up a business. Check out our Best LLC formation services article for some of our suggestions.
Attorneys are licensed, reliable, and powerful resources for business formation. They are, however, very expensive. Let’s go back to our example of Bob and his pet grooming LLC in Las Vegas. For him to get an experienced business law attorney, he could end up paying $500 an hour for the lawyer to form the LLC for him. (Note that this would be on top of the formation fees above!)
Despite the expense, sometimes hiring a lawyer is the best choice.
- Lawyers help you manage risk. If you are starting a business with complicated legal issues, hiring a lawyer would be the best choice. For example, let’s say Bob isn’t starting a pet salon but a marijuana dispensary. In that case, getting a Las Vegas business lawyer who specializes in cannabis companies would be the right way to go.
- Lawyers offer more customization when you need it. Do you need specific things put in an operating agreement? Is your company going to have a unique ownership structure? You may need an attorney to make sure these issues are handled properly.
For most people, getting an attorney comes with considerable downsides that outweigh any benefits.
- Lawyers cost more than any other option. The price tag alone should convince you that if you don’t need a lawyer, it’s not worth hiring one.
- Finding a lawyer takes a long time. Getting a lawyer who specializes in what you need, costs what you’re willing to pay, and can work with you well is a tall order.
- Lawyers also take longer to form a business than a formation service. Because lawyers are also very careful people, they will generally take much longer to form your company than non-lawyers would. Fortunately, most people don’t need a lawyer. In 90% of cases, a formation service will do just fine.
Do it Yourself
Many people, having searched the Internet for the information they need, decide to try forming their new LLCs themselves. This process can give you a lot of personal expertise, but remember that time is money. If you are spending hours on your business formation, that’s time you’re not spending on the substance of your business.
In most instances, then, it is more cost-effective to pay a formation service $39, with confidence that everything has been done correctly, rather than try to reinvent the wheel yourself.
- Personal knowledge. A DIY business owner will learn a lot about the process while forming their own business, and they probably will retain that knowledge for years to come.
- It costs less upfront. If you don’t figure out the value of your time, a DIY solution is the cheapest option.
- You’re losing money when you consider how much time it takes to DIY. If you figure out that your time is worth $30 per hour, and you take 20 hours to complete your business formation, you have essentially spent $600 on business formation.
- There’s the risk of making a mistake. DIY business owners can easily make a mistake with all the paperwork that can cost them even more time and money.
- It’s a headache. State workers are very helpful, capable people. But they will also tell you that the laws and rules governing business formation are not easy, and they follow those rules for a living. It’s going to be even harder for you.
Annual Nevada LLC Fees: How Much Will it Cost to Maintain your LLC?
Once your business is up and running, there are annual costs for which you will have to budget. These include state and local business fees, including:
- LLC’s annual list of managers or managing members: $150
- Nevada State Business License: $200
- Local Business License: $40-$50
Also keep in mind that many of your other costs to third parties will also be due on an annual basis, including:
- Registered agent fee: $100
- Domain name: $20
Finally, keep in mind that any small business should have an accountant. Costs for accounts vary significantly, but you should spend an average of $2,000 to $3,000 per year on an accountant in most cases.
How Much are LLC Taxes in Nevada
Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax, nor does it tax LLCs directly.
If your LLC has employees, you will have to withhold and pay employment taxes, but this will vary based on your LLC’s situation. You will also have to collect and pay sales and use tax, which will also vary based on your company’s sales each year.
Nevada LLC Formation Costs Quick Links
- Clark County — Business Licenses
- Fee Schedule for Nevada LLCs
- Get a Nevada State Business License
- Office of the Nevada Secretary of State
- Nevada Business Entity Search
- Nevada Department of Taxation
- IRS — apply for an EIN online
- IRS information regarding the federal tax treatment of LLCs
- SilverFlume — Nevada’s Business Filing Portal
- Washoe County — Business Licenses
Nevada LLC Formation Costs FAQs
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Nevada?
The minimum fees are $425. If you want it done more quickly, or you need help from an attorney or formation service, you will pay more.
What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Nevada?
A do-it-yourself approach will have the lowest price tag, but it isn’t the cheapest in terms of your time. The best balance of price and time, for most people, is to use a formation service.
Do I need to hire an attorney to form an LLC in Nevada?
No. Most people will not need to invest the considerable expense and time of hiring a lawyer. A formation service or DIY approach will work for most business owners.
Can I pay to form an LLC more quickly in Nevada?
Yes. Formation services will generally complete formation tasks faster than business owners acting on their own. You can also pay the state to expedite your business filings once they are ready.