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Las Vegas' pioneering spirit, enterprising nature and can-do attitude are helping pave the road to economic recovery in Southern Nevada. Currently, gaming, tourism and educational instruction remain the leading areas of employment for Southern Nevadans. Job-seekers are sure to be inspired by the wealth of diversification efforts underway, particularly in promising fields related to clean and renewable energy industries. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation anticipates Nevada's employment base will grow by 0.85 percent in 2012 and by 0.95 percent in 2013, adding 30,000 jobs to the market.

Employment in Las Vegas

The most recent statistics from the DTER show the Clark County School District as the valley's largest overall employer with more than 37,000 employees on the payroll as of the start of the 2010-2011 school year. Clark County is next with 8,000-8,499, followed by Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand and Bellagio, each with 7,500-7,999 employees.

Nevada Employment Security Division (NESD)

Nevada's Employment Security Division (NESD) provides comprehensive employment and training services to Nevada businesses and workers. The division offers placement assistance, helping workers find jobs and assisting businesses in securing the right people for their companies through the state's workforce investment system, Nevada JobConnect. Available business services include labor market information, recruitment assistance, foreign labor certification, tax credit certification, training incentives and job fairs that help expand employer recruiting efforts. Job-seeker services include job referrals, career guidance and skill- enhancement training.

Opening Your Business In Las Vegas

Despite a slow national economy, Las Vegas remains one of the best places in the country to start a business. In fact, in late 2010, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's Small Business Survival Index ranked Las Vegas as having the second best entrepreneurial environment in the nation.

What makes Las Vegas such a pro-business city? Nevada has no personal or corporate income taxes and no estate tax. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is diligent about protecting the local economy by supporting business-friendly legislation and keeping businesses apprised of changing laws that could impact their companies.

In addition to a favorable business climate, Las Vegas currently boasts a wide array of affordable commercial real estate for lease or purchase. The valley is home to numerous financial institutions that specialize in small business lending and countless business-to-business networking groups. Start-up companies will find a wide range of helpful business resources, including easy access to government agencies like SCORE, the Nevada Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration.

Launch Your Business Online!

The recently-launched, all-inclusive, online Nevada Secretary of State Business Portal walks prospective business owners through each step of the business start-up process. Visit for more information.

Six Steps to Starting a Business

Privileged Licenses

Privileged licenses, which are licenses that require special approval by the Las Vegas City Council, require a detailed history and background check of the applicant. Special licenses are required for businesses including liquor licenses, gaming, secondhand shops, pawn shops, child care licenses, locksmiths, burglar alarm services, martial arts schools, auctioneers, mobile food vendors, mobile ice cream vendors and massage establishments. Privileged licenses must be obtained through the

Business Services Division of City Hall. For more information:

  • Privileged Licenses: 702.229.6281
  • Child Care Licensing: 702.229.6922

Developing a Business Plan

The first phase of a new business venture starts with creation of a comprehensive business plan. Your plan will serve as a roadmap, guiding your business step by step and the act of writing the plan will encourage you to examine your business concept and make sure you've thought over the most significant aspects of launching and running a business operation. Here are some things to consider before starting a business:

  • What are your products or services?
  • What need will your business fill?
  • Who is your competition?
  • Who are your potential customers?
  • What advantages will your business have over existing competitors?
  • What kind of financial resources do you have available?
  • What are your short and long-range business objectives?
  • What kind of licenses and permits will you need?
  • What kind of retail space, equipment, supplies and inventory will your business require?
  • What kind of incorporation status is most appropriate for your business?

If you conclude your business idea is viable, start developing your business plan. You can follow a downloadable template, hire a professional writer or seek free assistance from SCORE or the Nevada Small Business Development Center.

Important Labor Laws

Immigration Requirements

All employers must verify the employment eligibility of every new employee, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, by completing and maintaining on file a copy of the Form I-9. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. Employers must keep each I-9 on file for at least three years, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer. For more information, visit

Nevada Taxes

Businesses operating in Nevada are among the least taxed in the nation and are eligible for many incentives and rewards based on job growth. The following taxes are not imposed on Nevada businesses:

  • Franchise Tax
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Unitary Tax
  • Inventory Tax
  • Personal Income Tax
  • Special Intangible Tax
  • Admissions Tax
  • Sales Tax on Food
  • Chain Store Tax
  • Inheritance Tax

Setting up Your New Business

Las Vegas has several commercial utility providers that offer services to businesses of all sizes: