How to Start a Business in Las Vegas, Nevada

Author: Katie Truesdell Date: June 12, 2014

Sin City isn’t all about big casinos. Small business lives here, too.

Las Vegas was hit hard by the recession—it landed on the list of the top 10 most recession-ravaged cities in Radius’s State of Small Business Special Report—but it’s making a strong comeback. Recent praise includes:

No. 1, Alternative Tech Startup Cities (Entrepreneur, May 2014)

No. 6, Top 25 Cities for Small Business (Biz2Credit, May 2014)

No. 11, Best Cities to Start a Business (Forbes, March 2014)

“It’s an exciting time to do business in Las Vegas,” says Krisanne Cunningham, founder of Cunningham Law, a business-law practice. “After a long economic downturn, there are real signs of recovery, there is a sense of optimism, and new businesses are increasingly moving to Las Vegas again.”

Looking to launch a company in Sin City? Start here.

1. Tap into the city’s resources for startups

Check out these Las Vegas organizations with resources for a new business owner:

·      SilverFlume, Nevada’s state-run business portal

·      City of Las Vegas Economic and Urban Development Department, for information on city codes, business licensing, building permits, incentive programs, city demographics and more

·      Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, for a hub of information for startups that includes networking events, coworking spaces, educational opportunities, entrepreneurship news and more

·      Nevada Small Business Development Center, which has several offices in Las Vegas and provides consulting, workshops and training to entrepreneurs

·      Downtown Project, which has allocated $50 million to invest in small businesses as part of its goal to transform downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world

2. Establish a physical address to maximize your business website’s SEO

Las Vegas is growing as a hub city for startups. Even if you don’t have a physical location—for instance, your business may be located in Las Vegas but it’s web-based rather than housed in a brick-and-mortar storefront—a physical address helps search engine optimization purposes, says Jay Soriano, founder of Las Vegas-based Soriano Media, a digital marketing agency.

City addresses can help you build local citations in order to rank in the Google Local 7-Pack, or the set of seven business listings, accompanied by an address and reviews, that appear in search engine results when someone searches for something with local intent, like “plumber Las Vegas.”

3. Get involved in the community

Thanks to the Downtown Project, which seeks to connect people and nurture a collaborative environment, and the tight-knit nature of many local groups, Las Vegas is becoming a very community-focused city.

Rod Arreola, CEO and cofounder of Teriyaki Madness, recommends embracing this culture by getting involved in as many ways as possible.

“Developing relationships with schools, churches, clubs and other local organizations has been integral to our growth,” says Arreola, whose teriyaki restaurants grew from one store in 2003 to a franchise of nine units in the Las Vegas area. “It’s been important for us because we really do care about the Vegas community and want to do our part in making it better. Our belief is that if the neighborhood continues to improve and grow, so will we.”

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