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By Jessica Lujan

Legal Protection for Small Businesses: Common Considerations for Entrepreneurs in Nevada

In the world of Nevada small business, opportunity and innovation collide in the Silver State. As aspiring entrepreneurs and determined visionaries set their sights on establishing new ventures, it is crucial to recognize that success in Nevada requires more than just a brilliant idea and entrepreneurial spirit.

From the labyrinth of licensing requirements to the complexities of tax obligations and employment laws, the stakes are high, and missteps can be costly. With a dedicated attorney by your side, you gain a trusted partner who understands the nuances of Nevada’s business laws, meticulously navigates the legal landscape, and safeguards your interests. The Team at Holley Driggs is ready to help your business succeed in the face of many potential opportunities and challenges. Below are just some of the considerations to make as you establish and grow your Nevada business.

Licensing and Compliance

One of the first steps of starting a business is selecting the type of business entity to form and obtaining the proper licensure from state, county, and/or city where your business is located.

Selecting the right type of business entity is important for legal, regulatory, and tax purposes. The most common business entities are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), and corporations. Each has unique characteristics that govern how the entity and its owners are taxed, the duties that the business partners owe to one another, how profits are distributed, and who is liable if the company is sued—among many other idiosyncrasies. It is best to consult an attorney to determine which type of business entity is right for your business.

Depending upon the type of business you are starting, you may need both a general business license as well as a license specific to your trade. You may also need permits for zoning, health, safety, and environmental concerns. You can contact your local government agency to determine the specific requirements for your business, and consult an attorney to help you comply with applicable regulations.

In addition to licensing requirements, certain trades are governed by Nevada law (found in both the Nevada Revised Statutes and the Nevada Administrative Code). Businesses in these regulated fields are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.


Contracts are a crucial part of any business, as they establish the terms and conditions of agreements between parties. From the company’s operating agreement, to its employment contracts, to its lease of office/warehouse/storefront space, to its engagement with customers, clients, and vendors, all Nevada businesses will undoubtedly enter into many contracts throughout its day-to-day business dealings.

Depending on the terms of such contracts, the agreements that Nevada businesses enter into could bind them to various obligations for years, or even decades. Before signing any agreement, Nevada business owners should engage an attorney to review them and provide advice regarding all the rights and obligations that will be imposed upon the business once the contract is entered. It is the business owner’s role and privilege to negotiate agreements with the hope of everything going right—it is the job of a savvy and thoughtful attorney to ensure that the agreement provides sufficient protection to the business in the event something goes wrong.


If you plan to hire employees to help you run your business, it is important that you learn and abide by the various state and federal employment laws that govern Nevada businesses. For example, there are laws and regulations that govern minimum wage and overtime pay, anti-discrimination, family and medical leave (FMLA), workers’ compensation, safety and health regulations, and employment taxes and reporting.

In addition to the various laws that Nevada businesses must follow, there are also many optional considerations that Nevada business owners should think about when hiring employees. For example, while things such as employee handbooks, noncompete/confidentiality agreements, and employment contracts are not mandatory under Nevada law, these can be useful tools in establishing and governing the relationship between your business and your employees.

Real Estate

If you plan to purchase or lease office space, warehouse space, a storefront, or any other type of real property through which to run your business, there are many factors to consider, especially in a post-COVID world. For example, with many businesses turning to work-from-home or hybrid workplace options, consider whether your business requires an office to work from—if it does, consider how much space and the types of accommodations you will need. You’ll also want to consider important issues such as location, costs and budget, accessibility (ADA), and the terms and conditions of any lease or purchase.

Because commercial leases are typically long-term leases, it is important to conduct thorough due diligence and revenue projections prior to entering such long-term commitments. You may also consider your plans for future development and growth of your business, as well as the future development of the community in which you are leasing or purchasing real estate, to ensure that the space you have selected is right for you going forward.

Be sure to engage the services of a real estate attorney and other professionals, such as real estate agents/brokers, to help guide you through the process, negotiate and review any applicable contracts, and comply with any legal requirements.

Intellectual Property

Many businesses own valuable intellectual property and may not even know it! When it comes to intellectual property (IP), Nevada businesses must consider several key factors to protect their innovative ideas and creations. Firstly, it is crucial to identify and document all the IP assets owned by the business, including trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Conducting thorough research and consulting with legal professionals can help ensure the business has a clear understanding of its IP rights and potential infringements.

Implementing robust internal policies, such as confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements, can safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized use. Regular monitoring of the market and competitors is vital to identify any instances of IP infringement and take appropriate legal action if necessary. Small businesses should also consider strategic IP licensing and partnerships to leverage their IP assets and generate additional revenue streams. Ultimately, by actively protecting and managing their IP, small businesses can enhance their competitiveness, secure their innovations, and establish a solid foundation for long-term growth.


As a business owner, you may be responsible for federal income tax, state income tax, sales and use taxes, payroll tax, and self-employment tax. These tax obligations will vary depending on the business entity type, location of the business, number of employees, and the nature of the business. No matter the circumstances, it is critical to understand what taxes you will need to pay. To learn more about these laws, visit https://tax.nv.gov/Commerce/FilingRequirementFAQs/ and consult a tax attorney to ensure your compliance with the various tax laws that govern your business.

A tax attorney or other tax professional can also help you identify valuable deductions and credits to which you may be entitled. Tax professionals can also help you come up with a plan for proper record-keeping and help you optimize your tax strategies. Keeping up with ever-changing, complex tax laws can be overwhelming for business owners with companies to run, employees to lead, and customers to serve. Engaging a tax attorney to stay abreast of the tax laws that apply to your business can reduce your stress, ensure your compliance with the law over time, and help avoid costly legal mistakes.

Liability and Dispute Resolution

Even if you’ve done your best to comply with the relevant laws and regulations and treat your employees and customers fairly, disputes may still arise from time to time. As a first line of defense, and depending on the nature of your business, your should consider purchasing insurance policies to cover you under different circumstances. Some types of insurance to consider are: general liability insurance, property insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, product liability insurance, and directors and officers (D&O) insurance, among others.

If a dispute arises that cannot be resolved with an insurance claim, you may need to engage the services of a litigation attorney. Unfortunately, litigation can be extremely costly—both in terms of time and money. Choosing an attorney with the skill and experience to navigate your dispute towards a swift, beneficial resolution can save you a significant amount of hardship.

The Team at Holley Driggs is ready to help you with every aspect of your business. Home to some of Nevada’s finest tax, real estate, transactional, and litigation attorneys, Holley Driggs is a one-stop-shop for Nevada businesses of all sizes and industries. Review our Practice Areas to select the attorney that is right for your needs.

About Holley Driggs, Ltd.

Holley Driggs, Ltd. is proud to be a Nevada-based law firm focused on making positive contributions to its local and regional communities through the dedicated leadership of its team of more than thirty experienced attorneys. With offices in Las Vegas and Reno, the general practice law firm represents national and international clients on a wide spectrum of business and corporate practice areas including commercial litigation, real estate, natural resources, eminent domain, employment law, bankruptcy, construction, gaming, and technology and intellectual property. The Firm’s shareholders also have broad experience in administrative law, estate planning, probate, and tax law. For more information, please visit www.nevadafirm.com or call (702) 791-0308 for the southern Nevada location or (775) 851-8700 for the northern Nevada location. To learn more about Holley Driggs, Ltd. and its practice areas, visit www.nevadafirm.com. 

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