How to Start a Corporation in Nevada
Starting a Nevada corporation can be a great idea if you are looking to attract venture capitalists and other silent investors.
You can get started by filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Nevada Commercial Records Division.
You will then need to hold an organizational meeting in order to create your corporation’s bylaws, as well as appoint its initial directors.
We’ll show you how to start a corporation in Nevada yourself.
Or, simply use a professional service:
Northwest ($29 + state fee)
Forming a Corporation in Nevada is Easy
Step 1: Name Your Nevada Corporation
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting
Step 4: File the Articles of Incorporation
Step 5: File the Initial List and State Business License Application
Step 6: Get an EIN
For a look at corporation formation in every state, check out our other How to Start a Corporation guides.
Not sure if a corporation is right for you? Check out our LLC vs. Corporation guide to help you make your decision.
Step 1: Name Your Nevada Corporation
Choosing a business name is the first step in starting a corporation.
1. Nevada naming guidelines:
- Must include an entity identifier (e.g. Corporation, Company, Incorporated, etc.). Applicable abbreviations (e.g., Corp, Co, Inc, etc.) can be used instead.
- Must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities registered to transact business in Nevada (e.g., domestic and foreign corporations, LLCs, etc.).
- Cannot include words or phrases which falsely suggest that the corporation is associated with or sponsored by a government or state agency.
- Cannot include words which suggest or state that the corporation was organized for a purpose that is contrary to its Articles of Incorporation.
- Cannot include certain words which relate to professions without receiving prior approval (e.g., banking, architect, dentist, etc.).
Learn more about corporation naming guidelines in the Nevada state statutes NRS 78.039 and NRS 78.045.
2. Is my corporation name available in Nevada?
Your Nevada corporation name must be unique and distinguishable from other business names in Nevada. Use the Nevada Secretary of State’s Business Search Portal to determine if your desired business name is available.
3. Is the URL available?
Before registering your Nevada corporation, you’ll need to check if a good URL is available for your business name. It’s important to secure your URL right away.
Find a Domain Now
Step 2: Choose a Nevada Registered Agent
You must appoint a Nevada registered agent when registering your corporation with the Commercial Recordings Division.
A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive service of process, government correspondence, and compliance documents on behalf of a business.
Your registered agent can be an individual, business entity, or professional registered agent service. Any member of the corporation or individual can serve as your Nevada registered agent as long as the person:
- is 18 years or older
- has a physical address in the state where business activity is conducted
- is available (in person) during normal business hours
Recommended: Northwest offers one year of free registered agent services with their corporation formation package ($29 + State Fees).
Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting
Before you officially file the Articles of Incorporation in Step 4, you will need to hold an organizational meeting to complete the following tasks:
- Fill out and execute the Articles of Incorporation
- Create and approve bylaws
- Select your initial director(s)
- Determine your share structure
- Execute an Incorporator’s Statement
Create and Approve Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the rules that determine how your organization will be governed and run. For detailed instructions on creating your bylaws, read our corporate bylaws guide.
Appoint Initial Directors
You must appoint at least one director who will oversee your Nevada corporation until the first shareholders meeting.
A corporate director is in charge of the adoption, amendment, and repeal of operational bylaws as well as the election, supervision, and removal of officers.
After forming the corporation, the incorporator(s) — or initial director(s), if named on the formation documents — should call an organizational meeting. During this initial meeting, either the incorporator(s) will elect the board of directors or the initial director(s) will appoint the officers.
Choose a Share Structure and Strategy
A share of stock is the unit of ownership of a corporation. Each share of stock represents a percentage of ownership of the company. For example, if a corporation issues one share of stock the shareholder (stock owner) would then own 100% of the corporation.
Shares can be structured into classes. Each class, termed a share class, holds different rights and privileges. You can have multiple classes and each class can hold any number of shares.
Authorized Shares: the number of shares the corporation is allowed to issue.
Issued Shares: the total number of shares actually issued to shareholders.
Share Class: a group of shares that has a unique set of rights and privileges.
In Nevada, the Articles of Incorporation form allows you to indicate if the corporation will issue more than one authorized share class or series. You can indicate the number of common and preferred shares.
Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock
Common stock gives its shareholder voting rights whereas preferred stock does not. When it comes to company assets, preferred stockholders are paid before common stockholders.
Create and Execute an Incorporator’s Statement
The incorporator(s) should sign an Incorporator’s Statement with complete names and addresses of each initial director and store it in the corporate records book.
This document names the initial director(s) that will serve until the board of directors is elected during the first shareholder meeting. It should be stored with the rest of your corporate records.
Step 4: File the Nevada Articles of Incorporation
You will need to file the Nevada Articles of Incorporation to set up a corporation in Nevada. You can file the form online, by mail, by fax, by email, or in person with the Nevada Secretary of State.
This document will cover the basics of your corporation, including:
- Corporate name and statement of purpose
- Corporate registered agent name and address
- The number of shares the corporation is allowed to issue
- Names and addresses of the initial corporate officers and directors
- Incorporator(s) name(s) and address(es)
The filing fee for the Articles of Incorporation is based on the number of shares authorized. The minimum initial filing fee is $150 along with a $500 business license fee.
Authorized Share Value and Corresponding Fees
- $75,000 or less - $75
- $75,001 to $200,000 - $175
- $200,001 to $500,000 - $275
- $500,001 to $1,000,000 - $375
- For each additional $500,000 or fraction thereof - $275
- Maximum fee - $35,000
OPTION 1: File Online With Nevada SilverFlume Business Portal
- OR -
OPTION 2: File the Articles of Incorporation by Mail, by Fax, by Email, or In Person
Filing Fee: Starts at $725 ($75 minimum filing fee + $150 Initial List of Officers and Directors + $500 Business License Application)
Secretary of State
Commercial Recordings Division
202 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701-4201
Fax: (775) 684-5725
Step 5: File the Nevada Initial List and State Business License Application
You must file the Nevada Initial List of Directors and Business License Application form at the same time as your Articles of Incorporation. The fee for the initial directors form is $150, and the fee for the business license application is $500.
Step 6: Get an EIN for Your Nevada Corporation
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the federal government to identify a business entity. It is essentially a Social Security number for the company. An EIN is needed:
- To open a bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
Running Your Corporation
It is very important to adhere to the formalities of running a corporation. Read our How to Run a Corporation guide to learn more.
Taxes, Annual Lists, & Licensing
Nevada State Corporation Tax Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:
Nevada Sales Tax
If you’re selling a product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Nevada Department of Taxation's website. This allows a business to collect sales tax.
Nevada Employer Taxes
If you hire employees, you will need to register for Nevada employer taxes through the Nevada Unemployment Insurance website. This includes Employee Withholding Tax, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Disability Insurance.
Nevada Corporation Licenses and Permits
To operate your corporation in Nevada, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.
Learn more in our Nevada Business License guide.
File the Nevada Corporate Annual List
You must file the Nevada Annual List and Business License Application each year at the end of your corporation’s registration anniversary month. The fee depends on the total value of your corporation’s authorized stock. The minimum amount is $150. You can read the fee schedule for more details.
Corporate Dissolution & Nevada Good Standing
How to Get a Nevada Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your Nevada corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
You can order a Certificate of Good Standing online using the Nevada SilverFlume website. After logging in, search for your corporation, select “Manage Your Business,” and then click “Order a Certificate of Good Standing.” You also may submit a Copies Order Form by mail or in person. The filing fee is $50.
Option 1: Request a Certificate Online With Nevada SilverFlume
- OR -
Option 2: Request a Certificate by Mail or In Person
Secretary of State Barbara K. Cegavske
202 North Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4201
How to Dissolve a Corporation in Nevada
If at any point you would like to permanently stop doing business, or close your business, it is important to officially dissolve your corporation. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities, penalties, or even legal trouble.
There are five main steps to close your Nevada corporation:
- Stop doing business
- Hold a board meeting, vote on dissolution, and record the meeting in the corporation minutes
- File the Certificate of Dissolution with the Nevada Secretary of State
- Close your federal and state business tax accounts with the IRS and Nevada Department of Taxation
- Close your business bank accounts
File Dissolution Documents
Certificate of Dissolution
You must dissolve your corporation with the Nevada Secretary of State by filing the Certificate of Dissolution. You can file the certificate in person or by mail, fax, or email. The filing fee is $100.
Is a Corporation Right For You?
An LLC provides limited liability protection without corporate complexity.
Find out if an LLC is the right structure for you.
Steps After Forming a Corporation
After forming a corporation, you’ll want to protect your personal and business assets and build credit.
Taking these steps will set your business up for success:
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Open a Business Credit Card
- Establish and Build Business Credit
- Get Insurance
- Protect Your Corporate Veil
Nevada Corporation FAQ
How much does it cost to start a corporation in Nevada?
In order to start a corporation in Nevada, you will need to file the Articles of Incorporation ($75+), the Initial List of Officers and Directors ($150), and the Business License Application ($500).
Additional fees may need to be paid depending on the number of shares your corporation will authorize (up to a maximum of $35,000).
This means that getting started will cost you between $725 and $35,000.
What is the difference between an LLC and corporation in Nevada?
An LLC does not have shareholders (only owners), does not have stock, and is unable to distribute dividends.
This means that an LLC is less preferable for silent partners and private investors in comparison to a corporation.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our Why Investors and Venture Capitalists Like C Corporations article.
How long does it take to set up a corporation in Nevada?
According to the Nevada Secretary of State website, most transactions will be processed on the same day at no additional charge.
There also a variety of expedited services that you can choose from, including:
- 24 hour filing: $125
- 2 hour filing: $500
- 1 hour filing: $1000
For more information, we recommend having a look at our How to Start a Corporation in Nevada article.
Is it difficult to start a corporation in Nevada?
It’s not, although it can require more steps and capital in comparison to forming an LLC or a general partnership.
In order to form a corporation, you will need to:
- Name your business and choose a registered agent
- Hold an organizational meeting in order to draft your corporate bylaws
- File the Articles of Organization
- File the Initial List and Business License Application
Is it easier to start an LLC than a corporation in Nevada?
Yes. Starting a corporation requires more capital than an LLC in most cases, and will also be more difficult to maintain legitimately.
Having said that, corporations do provide a few benefits. For example, they are preferred by silent investors (e.g., venture capitalists, etc.).
For more information, we recommend having a look at our LLC vs Corporation article.