You’re ready to take your remote business to the next level, and you’ve decided to incorporate in the state of Nevada. Excellent choice!
A Nevada LLC allows you and your business to enjoy a number of benefits, including strong liability protection laws, simplified bookkeeping, and no state income tax. Small businesses also tend to receive favorable treatment within Nevada’s business courts, making it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs like yourself.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to form a Nevada LLC, the importance of opening a business bank account, and what steps you’ll need to take in order to maintain compliance year after year.
Step 1: Name Your Nevada LLC
Already have your LLC name picked out? That’s great! You can skip ahead to step #2. If not, now’s the perfect time for a brainstorming session.
There are a few state-specific rules you’ll want to follow when it comes to naming your LLC:
Your name must be available (i.e. not in use by another business).
In order to use a restricted name, you’ll need to obtain approval from certain agencies.
Nevada requires a proper designator showcasing that your company is an LLC. You can pick from the following options:
Limited Liability Company
LLC (the most common)
What do all of the best LLC names have in common, you ask? Good question! Often, they display the following characteristics:
- They leave room for growth. You don’t want a name that will end up limiting your business. For example, if you plan to open a bakery, using the name “Jennifer’s Cupcakes” insinuates you will be selling cupcakes and nothing more. However, a name like “Jennifer’s Sweets” leaves room for you to branch out should you decide to sell other baked goods at some point.
- They paint a vivid picture. Your LLC name should strive to evoke images or feelings when your customer sees it. Get your creative juices flowing by writing down how you want your brand name to make people feel.
- They are easy to read, write, and speak. Word-of-mouth referrals can help your small business achieve success faster, so you’ll want to make sure people can pronounce and write your LLC name.
Once you’ve created a list of potential names, narrow them down to your favorite and perform a name search on the SilverFlume website (Nevada’s official business portal). This certifies that your desired LLC name is available in the state of Nevada.
You may reserve a name for 90 days by filing a Name Reservation Request form with the Nevada Secretary of State. The application can be filed online (for a $25 fee) using Silverflume.
Step 2: Select Your Business Address
What do your Articles of Organization, domain registration (for your website), and merchant accounts all have in common? You’ll need a business address for all of them!
A business address designates your principal place of business. In addition to being a necessity for paperwork, it’s used for business cards and other forms of communication. Therefore, it’s important to pick an address that protects your privacy.
As far as business addresses go, you can either use your home address, get a virtual office, or sign up for a virtual mailbox (PO boxes are not accepted, so they didn’t make the cut). Each has its own appeal, but only one is right for you. Let’s compare the three business address options.
Using a Home Address Is Free and Easy but Leaves You With No Privacy
Using your home address as your business address is free and requires no additional work to obtain; thus, it may sound like an ideal choice. The problem with this option is that your home address is now exposed to the public, giving strangers and unwanted visitors (yes, that includes angry customers) unlimited access to your place of residence. If you want to protect your privacy, you’ll need to obtain a separate business address to use.
A Virtual Office Provides a Physical Space and Business Services Without the Rent
Virtual offices are unique because they offer a hybrid model, providing the ability to work remotely and meet in-person in an office. With a virtual office, you’ll get fax services, a dedicated phone number, and a virtual receptionist to assist you with business-related tasks. You’ll also get many of the same perks a physical office offers, like the ability to rent in-person conference rooms and meeting spaces. However, you cannot work there on a daily basis. Another downside to this option is that virtual offices are pricier than virtual mailboxes.
Protect Your Privacy and Manage Your Business With a Virtual Mailbox
If you don’t need physical space at this stage of your business, a virtual mailbox is going to be your most ideal option. You’ll get a commercial business address that is permanent, flexible, and gives you the extra cushion you need to protect your privacy.
Ready to obtain a permanent business address for your remote business? Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:
- Read more about the benefits of VPM’s Nevada location.
- Head over to the pricing page to choose a plan. If you’re not sure what will work for you, the “Business” plan is recommended.
- Navigate to the sign up page, fill out all of the necessary information, and choose a mailbox number.
- Create your login information. This will be used to access your mailbox account and includes a username, password, security question, and answer.
- Fill out the USPS Form 1583, which will ask you to provide two separate forms of identification (this is required).
Step 3: Designate Your Registered Agent
Once you’ve chosen a business address, you’ll need to select a registered agent for your LLC. This is a requirement for all Nevada LLC’s, and there’s no way around it (unless you want to risk facing serious consequences, like your business being fined, suspended, or shut down).
In order to become a registered agent in the state of Nevada, there are three general rules that apply:
- The registered agent must be a resident individual or a qualified out-of-state corporation.
- The registered agent must have a physical address within the state of Nevada. This means that a PO box does not qualify as an in-state address.
- The registered agent must be available during normal business hours.
Most remote business owners pick one of two options: acting as your own registered agent or hiring a registered agent service (like VPM). Here’s what you can expect with each one.
Being Your Own Registered Agent Is Risky
If you choose this option, you’ll need to be available during business hours and have good working knowledge of legal and compliance processes. If you miss a deadline or court date, you can face repercussions like hefty fines and the loss of a lawsuit by default (which can have serious consequences for your business).
Being your own registered agent also creates a major privacy breach, since your name and home address will be listed on LLC documents.
In general, this is not the best choice for you.
Hiring a Registered Agent Service Can Help Alleviate Stress
For many people, hiring a registered agent service just makes sense. Instead of dealing with the stress of worrying about deadlines and compliance processes, you can save your time (and sanity) by offloading these tasks. A registered agent service can help you stay up-to-date on state requirements, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and protect your privacy, since you won’t have to list your personal address on documentation.
Another benefit of using a VPM virtual mailbox? You’ll get FREE registered agent services, which includes same-day delivery of legal documents and the protection of your home address. You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind!
Step 4: File Your Articles of Organization
Since your Articles of Organization confirm your LLC’s existence as a legal business entity, you’ll want to make sure all of your details are accurate. This document consists of basic company information, like your LLC’s name, business address, members, and the name and address of your registered agent.
In addition to your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to submit two other documents to the Secretary of State before you are recognized as an LLC: your State Business License (you can apply for this online) and Initial List of Managers or Managing Members. These are mandatory and should be filed together. The total filing fee for all three forms is $425.
Filing Your Articles of Organization Online
Filing online is by far the easiest (and quickest) way to get your remote business up and running. Here’s how to get started:
Make sure you have the three documents you need in order to file:
Articles of Organization
Initial List of Managers or Managing Members
State Business License
Register for a free SilverFlume account.
- Once you’ve created your account, you’ll receive an email with an activation link. Click on this to activate your SilverFlume account. This should redirect you to the dashboard, where you can begin the filing process.
From there, the process should be pretty straightforward. If you have additional questions, there is a FAQ section on the SilverFlume website that you may find useful.
Step 5: Create Your Operating Agreement
Though it’s not a formal requirement for Nevada LLCs, an operating agreement is like a blueprint for your company. It can help your business stay on the right track, especially when under pressure.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a key document that outlines the rules and regulations regarding ownership and structure, as well as financial and operational details for the company. Having this information in writing can help prevent future disputes among LLC members (in regards to terms or finances), as well as protect your business’ limited liability status.
You don’t need to file your operating agreement with the Secretary of State. Instead, plan to keep this document for your internal company records.
Step 6: Obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN)
Your EIN, also known as a federal tax identification number (FEIN), is a unique 9-digit number assigned by the IRS to all business entities operating in the United States. Since it’s used for identification purposes, it’s an important component of LLC formation. Think of it as your business’s social security number!
How much does it cost to apply for an EIN? Applying for an EIN is free! If you have an EIN, ITIN, or SSN, you should be able to apply for yours online. If not, you’ll need to fill out your SS-4 form and file via fax or mail.
Need extra support with this step? Check out VPM’s EIN video course – you’ll get a visual walkthrough of the entire EIN application process, including how to fill out any additional forms you may need.
Step 7: Open your Nevada Business Bank Account
Keeping your personal and business assets separate is one of the smartest things you can do with your Nevada LLC. The best way to go about doing this is by opening a dedicated business bank account.
Business bank accounts can help you track your company’s finances, stay compliant, and create a professional image. It can also simplify accounting and tax reporting, which can save you valuable time in the long run.
Step 8: Maintain Your Compliance Annually
In order to maintain your LLC’s good standing status, there are two documents you’ll have to file every year:
- Annual List (this is a list of members or managing members) - $150 per year
- State Business License renewal - $200 per year
These are due on or before the month your LLC was approved. You can find the filing date and time on the upper-right corner of your stamped and approved Articles of Organization.
Not sure what that means? Here’s an example: If your Nevada LLC was approved on January 5, 2021, your first Annual List & State Business License renewal will be due by January 30, 2022. These documents will be due by January 30 of each calendar year going forward.
If these documents are not submitted by their due date, you’ll get hit with a $175 late fee and your LLC will be assigned to a “default” status. If you fail to file them at all, your LLC’s status will be changed to “revoked”. At that point, you won’t be able to operate until you are reinstated.
Filing Online Is Quick and Easy
The best way to submit these documents is via the SilverFlume online portal. Here’s how to get started:
- If you haven’t already, register for a SilverFlume account. If you already have one, log in.
- On the left navigation menu, click “Renew Your Business”
- Then, click “File Annual List and/or State Business License”
- Search for your Nevada LLC by name, entity number, or Nevada business ID
- Select your LLC from the list and click “Next”
- Click the “File Annual List & State Business License” button to begin the process
But You Can File by Mail, Too
Though it’s not as convenient as the online process, some prefer to file their documents by mail. To do so, download the paper Annual List & State Business License renewal form and mail it to the state with a check (payable to “Secretary of State”) or money order for $350.
The mailing address is 202 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 8701-4201.
Don’t Forget to Renew Your Registered Agent Service
Another important step to maintaining compliance is renewing your registered agent service each year. Some companies may offer the option to have it auto-renew, but with others, you may need to do it manually.
Need a reminder? Set a Google calendar alert on your phone to remind you one month prior to the date.
Step 9: Get Required Business Permits or Licenses
You’re almost done! Before you reap the rewards of your hard work, you’ll want to make sure your Nevada LLC doesn’t need additional licensing. Licensing requirements depend on your industry and location. These include:
- Municipal/county licenses. These are administered by local governments and municipalities; namely, the county and/or city where your Nevada LLC will do business.
- Regulatory licenses or permits. These might be necessary if you hold a state license (doctor, engineer, architect) or operate in a highly regulated industry. For example, restaurants are regulated by the Nevada Board of Health and require a permit.
You can find a list of required permits on the official State of Nevada website.
Step 10: Pay Annual Taxes
Paying taxes is one of the few unavoidable things in life. You can’t refuse to pay taxes (well, you could… but you’ll face some pretty serious consequences), but you can prepare well in advance so that tax-time isn’t such a headache.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of taxes associated with LLCs:
- Federal taxes. These are filed with the IRS. As a single-member LLC, you’re considered a disregarded entity and taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
- State taxes. These are filed with the Nevada Department of Taxation, the agency that collects taxes and pays for public services throughout the state.
- Local taxes. These will be filed with your local government and vary depending on your location.
Figuring out how much you’ll owe in taxes on your Nevada LLC can get tricky, so if you have questions about the process, it’s a good idea to reach out to a Nevada-based accountant for clarity.
Get a Business Address for Your Nevada LLC
In conclusion, forming a Nevada LLC is pretty easy. All you need is a little time and the right knowledge.
Once you’ve completed the first four tasks: choosing a name, business address, registered agent, and filing your Articles of Organization, you can move on to the final steps. Your EIN, operating agreement, business bank account, and required licensing are all vital to the success of your LLC, so don’t wait too long to get these in order. Last, you’ll need to make sure you maintain compliance and pay your taxes year-after-year.
Still need a permanent business address to protect your privacy when forming your Nevada LLC? Sign up for a VPM virtual mailbox today – you’ll also get FREE registered agent services, saving you over $100 a year!