Step 1) Verify & Secure Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your brand name should contain words like ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, you can file a Name Reservation Request form with the Secretary of State for through mail or online through SilverFlume, Nevada’s own business online portal.
Filing Fee: $25
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent
A registered agent acts on behalf of your business to accept “service of process” and receive official correspondence from the Secretary of State’s office and other legal documents from various government agencies. To qualify for the position, the agent should be an individual resident of Nevada or a business entity registered with the Secretary of State. A physical street address in Nevada should also be provided.
Step 3) File The Articles Of Incorporation
With a registered agent, once you’re ready to make your brand official, set up an account with the state to file Articles of Incorporation. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record including:
- The name and address of the business,
- The number of shares authorized, the value they hold, and any transfer restrictions,
- The addresses and names of the president, initial directors, secretary, and treasurer,
- The type of business structure chosen, and so on.
Filing fee: $75 minimum
Step 4) Get A Corporate Records Book
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Step 5) Elect Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the Nevada corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
Step 6) Open A Business Bank Account
Now it’s time to get your corporate financial house in order. Set up a business checking account under your company with a good bank. Don’t be hasty though, there’s a large assortment of local, state, and national banks along with credit unions to choose from. And make absolutely sure that your business accounts are separate from any/all other accounts.
If needed, familiarize yourself with the perks involved and what they mean year-over-year. Check out this great breakdown article on the basics of Business Checking Accounts to get a jump on things.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing/Permits
When forming a corporation in Nevada, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally, you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:
- Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, free and easy through the IRS Website.
- Bookmark the Las Vegas Small Business Administration and the state's Business Services.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Consider professional Business License Research packages that handle the legwork for you.