Takeaways from the Business Licensing Panel

The inNEVation Center hosted a Business Licensing Panel  on March 5, 2014.

Topics ranged from common mistakes when licensing a business to creative ways to minimize stress when applying for a business license. The panel included Gina Bongiovi, Gian Brown and Michelle Hallsten.

The event was organized following a visit from Clark County Code Enforcement which discovered that many of the businesses located in the InNEVation center were not properly licensed,” said Gina Bongiovi from Bongiovi Law Firm. “The goal was to educate not only these businesses, but others in the community, on how to ensure they are properly licensed.

A big takeaway message that Michelle, Gina and I all tried to convey was the benefit of getting attorneys involved early in the process,” said Gian Brown of Holland & Hart. “We tried to help folks understand that this really isn’t a self-serving message (hey, hire us!) because a more self-serving message would be encouraging folks to not get us involved. Why? Because we are far less expensive when we work with clients proactively rather than reactively cleaning up mistakes.

Business Licensing Panel at The inNEVation Center

A common problem is the failure to register with the Nevada Department of Taxation and obtain the necessary local business licenses,” Gina Bongiovi said. “Most businesses stop at the state level with their LLC or corporation and state business license. Unfortunately, they’re only really 1/3 of the way through the process.

When asked why Nevada is a great place to start a company, Gina Bongiovi said Nevada is modeling itself after Delaware, which has historically been the best state in which to incorporate.

We also have no state income tax and, thus far, have no gross receipts tax like California,” she continued. “We have a business court staffed with judges who are business-minded and are able to resolve disputes more quickly than in general jurisdiction courts. We also have no natural disasters, which makes it great for companies like Switch and others that might be devastated with an earthquake, hurricane, or extreme cold. Plus, the powers that be recognize that we need to diversify our economy if we are to survive another recession like we have. To that end, they’ve recognized the importance of small businesses to our recovery and are working to ensure Nevada continues to be a great state in which to do business.

Gian Brown suggested checking out the Secretary of State and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for even more reasons to do business in Nevada.

We have some excellent community resources focused on small businesses here, including Vegas Startups, the Downtown Project and VegasTech.com,” he said. “We have built a great, local legal community that is attuned to the needs of small businesses and startups. We have sophistication about the legal, strategic and financing issues they face (especially for technology startups) and price our services in a way that is competitive to other, non-Nevada legal service providers. We invest in our startup community by speaking frequently at programs at InNEVation, Work in Progress and Syn Shop, as well as at various meet-ups in town. Our clients already include several Vegas Tech companies. There’s no need to depend on outside legal talent!

Missed the panel discussion? Check out the recorded event here!

About The inNEVation Center: The inNEVation Center is the first public / private economic diversification effort of its kind. We bring together entrepreneurs. Business leaders. Mentors. Investors. Educators. And government agencies. In other words, everyone it takes to build an economy of superheroic proportions.

The inNEVation Center is the brain child of Switch founder Rob Roy. As the most successful technology entrepreneur in Nevada’s history, Rob is extremely passionate about enabling a more diverse Nevada economy. The inNEVation Center is a commitment to “pay forward” the success of Switch by helping to empower Nevada’s next generation of economic leaders.

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