Culinary Institute Of America Hyde Park Address Getting a Business License in the Unincorporated City of Las Vegas

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Getting a Business License in the Unincorporated City of Las Vegas

Since I recently made the decision to create a home-based business in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had to obtain a business license. It shouldn’t be too complicated, right? Well, it proved to be far more involved than filling out a piece of paper and paying a fee. Even if you don’t live in Las Vegas, perhaps you can still benefit from my recent experiences. Many cities in our country have similar issues regarding jurisdiction and small business licensing rules.

The first hurdle to overcome was determining if the license fell under the jurisdiction of Clark County, Nevada or the city of Las Vegas. One would assume that since the location of the business has a Las Vegas address, it would require a Las Vegas license. Well despite appearances, that turned out to be a false assumption. Why is this so important? Two different jurisdictions mean two different office locations where a person applies in person for the license. Since I didn’t want to mail in an application, It would be very annoying go to the wrong office. The county offices are on Grand Central Parkway and the city offices on Stewart Avenue which is literally across town. Some Las Vegas addresses are considered to be part of unincorporated Clark County while others are City of Las Vegas. So how does one determine the correct jurisdiction? The website accessclarkcounty.com turned out to be a big help. On the left side of the County’s homepage, you can hover your cursor over either Permits & Licenses or over the “Departments A-D” button. Hold your mouse steady WITHOUT clicking the screen while a selection menu automatically opens just to the right of your cursor position on the screen. Go slow because the Clark County homepage is a bit tricky! Once this second menu appears, move your cursor onto the list and down to “Business license”. Click this button. Either choice will direct you to the same new page entitled Business License. Select “Jurisdiction Locator” in the list on the left side in order to move to yet another page. On this Locator page, you need to enter the address of the business. BE CAREFUL – there is a very specific way this needs to be done or it will cause you lots of aggravation. I had an address on South Maryland Parkway so after I entered the street number in the first field, I proceeded to type in South Maryland Parkway in the second field. Sounds logical, right? The answer came back “No Records Found”. Since I knew the location exists, “no records found” was not acceptable! After several minutes of frustration and many more attempts, I discovered the correct entry for the street name is simply “Maryland”. It was then I read the VERY SMALL type below the entry box. It told me that the database did not distinguish names like 5th and Fifth. Apparently, it can’t read directions like S. Maryland from Maryland either. Does this sound like the webpage Locator in your city? In any event, after several more minutes, I finally had my answer; Clark County rather than the city of Las Vegas!

Once I determined in which office I needed to apply, I decided to get ahead of “the game” by printing out the application form provided on the website so I could complete the information out at home. With a completed application form in hand, I trotted down to the third floor in the County Office building located at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, to complete the license application process. When it was my turn to speak with an agent, I found out that the application I filled out was only a small part of the paperwork required. I forced a cold smile as I was told that in addition to the application, I needed to fill out a Fire Department Survey Form, a Child Support Compliance Statement or Exemption Form, get zoning approval (which can be done by visiting the office on the first floor of the same building and having the application stamped), register with the Nevada Department of Taxation (which can be done online or at one of two local offices and will probably cost you an additional fee), provide Proof of Rights to Business Property (meaning provide a lease agreement or proof of ownership or authorization to share space) and, PERHAPS, register with the Nevada Secretary of State. The agent was very calm; he knew what I was going through from the expression on my face. He politely provided me with a list of all the requirements and more applicable websites. My notion of just filling out an application and paying my fee clearly went out the window. It was obvious this was going to require a second trip no matter what I had previously done.

I did make the return trip a few days later and was pleasantly surprised that I had completed all of the required paperwork (and done so properly). I must give some credit here to the person who I had met the previous day; he was both patient AND thorough! I had expected to pay $245 for the license and processing but my total was considerably lower. I found out the business license runs for the calendar year, so the fee was prorated. The license for 2009 will be up for renewal in January with payment due by 1/15/09. All in all, even with preparatory work, expect to make at least two trips to your local government office. If you can, hand carry the application forms rather than mailing it; completing the task in two days is much better than stretching the process out of weeks using the mail. And don’t forget to be nice to the agent who handles your application. Imagine how many times a day, every day of the week, they have to look into the eyes of VERY frustrated people and send them away for more applications, more forms, more fees, and missing information!

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