Forming a Nevada Corporation is Easy
Forming a corporation in Nevada is a simple process that is achieved by filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. In the guide below, we will show you step-by-step how to start a corporation in Nevada.
Step 1: Create a Name For Your Nevada Corporation
When naming your Nevada Corporation, you will need to:
- Follow Nevada Name Requirements
- Complete a Name Search With the Nevada Secretary of State
- Consider Securing a Domain Name (URL)
To learn more, read our How to Name a Business in Nevada guide.
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First, you will need to choose a name that complies with Nevada Secretary of State naming guidelines:
- A corporate name appearing to be a person’s given name or initials must include a corporate ending (e.g., Incorporated, Inc., Limited, Ltd., Company, Co., Corporation, Corp.).
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Nevada reserved names.
- Nevada requires you to get approval to use certain words in your corporation’s name.
- You need approval from the Nevada State Board of Accounting to use the following words: accountant, accountancy, accounting, auditor, auditing, certified public accountant, and cpa.
- You need approval from the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institutions to use the following words: bank, banc, banque, savings & loan, banker, bancard, banq, thrift, banking, banco, bancor, trustee, interbanking, bancorp, credit union, debt collection, collection agency, or trust.
- You need approval from the Commissioner of Insurance to use the following words: adjuster, indemnity, reinsurance, underwriter, annuity, insurance, risk retention group, underwriting, casualty, life & accident, surety, bail, bail bonds, fugitive recovery, bail bondsman/men, bounty hunter, and bale.
- You need approval from the Commissioner of Mortgage Lending to use the following words: financial, mortgage, mortgage banking.
- You need approval from the State Board of Professional Engineers to use the following words: engineer, engineered, engineering, professional engineer, registered engineer, and licensed engineer.
- You need approval from the State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design to use the following words: architect, architecture, registered architect, licensed architect, registered interior designer, registered interior design, residential designer, registered residential designer, licensed residential designer, and residential design.
- You need approval from the Administrator of the Real Estate Division of the Department of Business and Industry to use the words: common-interest community, community association, master association, unit-owners’ association, and homeowners’ association.
- You need approval from the Ombudsman to include the following words: common-interest community, community association, hoa, home owners association, master association, unit-owners association, and property owners.
- You also need approval to use the following words: college, university, higher education.
Name Search With the Nevada Secretary of State
You will need to check name availability by searching the business name database on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.
This tool is also useful if you decide to register a fictitious business name or DBA (Doing Business As) for your company. For detailed information about setting up a DBA for your Nevada corporation, check out our How to File a DBA in Nevada guide.
If you have a name in mind, but you aren’t ready to officially form your corporation, you can reserve your name. Your business name can be reserved for 90 days by filing a Name Reservation Request form with the Nevada Secretary of State. You can also reserve a name online by using Nevada’s SilverFlume Business Portal.
There is a $25 fee to file your Nevada Name Reservation.
Secure Domain Name
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain (URL). Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the web address in order to prevent others from acquiring it. It’s free to search.
Step 2: Choose a Nevada Registered Agent
When you file your Nevada Articles of Incorporation, you will be asked to give the name of your Nevada registered agent. Nevada also sometimes refers to registered agents as agents for service of process.
A registered agent is a person or entity that accepts tax and legal documents on behalf of an LLC or corporation. Your registered agent can be an individual resident of the state or a company that’s legally authorized to represent businesses in Nevada.
To learn more about registered agents, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
Complete the Nevada Registered Agent Acceptance Form
Nevada registered agents must consent to their appointment by submitting a Registered Agent Acceptance form.
The form includes:
- The name of the corporation
- The name of the registered agent
- The signature of the registered agent
- The date of execution
This form must be filed with the Nevada Secretary of State.
Step 3: Choose Your Nevada Corporation’s Initial Directors
You must appoint at least one director who, among other things, will oversee your Nevada corporation until the first shareholder meeting.
The directors of a corporation are in charge of the adoption, amendment, and repeal of the operational bylaws as well as the supervision, election, and removal of officers.
Later you will prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your corporate records book. For now, you only need at least one initial director to list on your Articles of Incorporation.
Step 4: File the Articles of Incorporation
Now that you have chosen a registered agent and at least one director, it’s time to make your corporation official by filing the Articles of Incorporation form with the Nevada Secretary of State.
The Articles of Incorporation will disclose some basics of your business for the public record, including:
- Corporate name, address, and statement of purpose
- Corporate registered agent name and address
- Number of shares corporation is allowed to issue
- Corporate officers' and directors' names and addresses
- Incorporators’ names and addresses
Filing Fee: The filing fee for the Articles of Incorporation is based on the number of shares authorized. The initial list fee is $150, along with a $500 business license fee.
Submit the completed Articles of Incorporation, along with the filing fee, using one of three options:
Mail or In-Person Delivery:
Secretary of State
New Filings Division
202 North Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4201
Nevada Corporation Operating Procedures and Housekeeping
Set Up a Corporate Records Book
Think of this as the hard-copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept, like your Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock transfer documents, etc.
You should keep the corporate records book at your principal location. Corporate records book kits can be purchased online, or you can use a large generic binder to store your records.
Prepare Bylaws for Your Nevada Corporation
Bylaws are the rules that determine how your organization will be governed and run.
You can think about the bylaws as a constitution for your corporation. It makes the rules and priorities clear for everyone involved.
In your bylaws, be sure to include:
- How the corporation will be governed – the role of directors and officers
- How meetings are held, voting procedures, electing officers or directors
- How records will be kept and managed
- How disputes will be handled
- How bylaws will be added/amended in the future
NOTE: A corporation’s bylaws will supplement any rules set forth by the federal government or the state.
Ready to get started? Check out these bylaws templates which you can customize to suit the needs of your incorporated business.
Conduct Your First Board of Directors Meeting
An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of your corporation.
These are some of the things that are discussed in a typical organizational meeting:
- Taking attendance to show you have a quorum (minimum number needed)
- Appointing temporary officers, chairmen, secretary, etc.
- Adoption of the bylaws
- Adoption of conflict of interest policy
Don’t forget to record “minutes” of the meeting and have it signed by all attending directors. Here are some corporate minutes templates to help you get the ball rolling.
Protect Your Assets and Stay Compliant
Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For Federal and State tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
To learn more about EINs, read our What is an EIN guide.
Open a Bank Account For Your Nevada Corporation
There are two critical reasons to open a unique corporate bank account.
The first is that separating your personal assets from your business assets adds another layer of protection in the event that your business is sued.
The second is that syncing a single account with business accounting software will make managing your finances much easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Startups and Entrepreneurs review to find the best online bank, eCommerce banks, the best for tech startups, real estate investment banks, and more.
Establish and Build Your Business Credit Score
Building business credit involves a number of factors, including establishing your business’s fundability, getting listed with the most important business credit agencies, and establishing credit lines while keeping them in good standing to build your score.
A good business credit score can help with many things, including credit cards that are issued in your business’s name instead of depending on your personal credit score, better interest rates on loans, higher lines of credit, and more.
All of these factors help protect your personal assets by making your business the entity responsible for the liability instead of yourself.
Accounting For Your Corporation
It's important to get your books in order, even if you haven't officially opened for business. A well-managed accounting system will help you:
- Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
- Simplify and file your annual taxes.
You can maintain your accounting in two ways:
- Use a DIY accounting software. This can come with an increased risk of errors especially when starting a new business.
- Hire an accounting service. They can provide comprehensive advice to help optimize your bookkeeping and taxes as well as additional services such as payroll etc.
Recommended: For most small businesses, we recommend using a reputable accounting service. Schedule a free tax consultation for your business now to avoid costly errors in the future.
Research Business License Requirements
To operate your corporation, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state, so make sure to research carefully and plan accordingly.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional business licensing service do it for you:
What is an S Corporation?
An S Corporation (S corp) is an incorporated business that is taxed as a pass-through entity. This means that S corps do not pay federal taxes on their business income. Instead, the business profits "pass-through" to the owners of the S corp, who are also known as shareholders. Then, the shareholders pay income tax and report their share of the profits in the form of salaries on their individual tax returns, which are then taxed.
In order to elect an S corporation status for tax purposes, corporations will need to file form 2553 Election by a Small Business Corporation. The form must be signed by all shareholders and must be filed within two months and 15 days after the start of the initial tax year.
To learn more, read our What is an S corporation guide.
Need Help Creating Your Nevada Corporation?
Have a Professional Service Form Your Nevada Corporation For You
If you'd like to have a reliable service help you incorporate in Nevada, here are our top recommendations: