The information on this page is courtesy of Lionel Sawyer & Collins , Nevada's largest and most prestigious law firm with offices in Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City and Washington D.C., from it's book "Doing Business in Nevada: A Practical Guide - Second Edition" by Lionel Sawyer & Collins.
NEVADA GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Nevadans are proud of their pioneer heritage. That legacy is reflected today in a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. Nevada offers one of the most business-friendly environments in the United States. Situated at the hub of eleven states, Nevada is conveniently accessible to millions of people in the western region of the United States. Nevada has two international airports and a network of major interstate highways making travel to and from Nevada easy.
Living in the “Silver State” offers the excitement and sophistication of urban areas, or peaceful, hometown living in one of Nevada’s thriving rural communities. Nevada – The Spanish word for “snow capped” – is relatively dry. Annual precipitation is typically 15 inches or less, and reaches a low of 4-5 inches in the southern region of the state.
Northern Nevada has been defined by the culture and heritage of the miners and ranchers who settled there in the 19th century. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering is held in Elko every year at the end of January, and Winnemucca’s annual Labor Day Rodeo is the oldest in the state. Although Northern Nevada enjoys four distinct seasons, the sun shines more than 300 days per year and even crisp, white winter days are typically sunny. Temperatures in Southern Nevada average 25 degrees higher than in Northern Nevada. The states overall lack of humidity gives the weather a more moderate feel than temperatures reflect and allows for outdoor activities all year long.
Central Nevada has expansive scenery, geologic wonders and historic mining towns. Wild deer, antelope, horses and burros roam the vast central Nevada valleys. Walker Lake is the remnant of a huge prehistoric sea, and is now popular for fishing and water skiing. Century-old ranches in the valleys are filled with livestock and fields of hay. As you travel through western Nevada you will pass through ghost towns, mining towns and Beatty, the gateway to Death Valley National Park. You can also travel through the eastern part of the state to visit the Great Basin National Park and admire its ancient, gnarled bristlecone pine trees.
Southern Nevada, which is part of the Mojave Desert, has a diverse landscape consisting of expansive arid desert, craggy mountains and canyons. The serenely beautiful Red Rock Canyon is a national conservation area located just west of Las Vegas, and protects a variety of wildlife such as burros and bighorn sheep. Just north of Las Vegas is Mount Charleston, cool in the summer and recreation area in the winter with skiing, snowboarding and sledding. Northeast of Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire State Park, which derives its name from the beautiful bright red sandstone sculpted by the wind into fantastic formations, some with prehistoric Indian petroglyphs. Southern Nevada’s Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and draws visitors from all corners of the globe.
NEVADA CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Nevada’s arts, cultural and entertainment environments are rich and diverse. Sport enthusiasts enjoy minor league baseball, competitive collegiate sports, and NBA and NHL exhibition games. The University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, each offer a full range of athletic programs. The urban areas of Reno and Las Vegas provide residents and visitors with symphony, opera and ballet, as well as an assortment of museums. Performers from around the world appear regularly in the hotels and at local cultural venues. Moreover, Nevada’s location provides easy access by car or air to some of the largest, and most sophisticated cultural centers of the world.
NEVADA AGRICULTURE AND MINING
Nevada’s widely varied topography provides an agricultural environment that supports cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and poultry. Nevada’s crops include hay, wheat, corn, potatoes, rye, oats, alfalfa, barley, vegetables, dairy products and some fruits.
Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the nation and second in the world only to South Africa. Silver is Nevada’s second largest mined mineral resource. Among Nevada’s other important minerals are copper, zinc, lead, tungsten, opal, barite, molybdenum, diatomite, talc, gypsum, dolomite, lime, turquoise, fluorspar, antimony, perlite, pumice, salt, and sulfur.
NEVADA TECHNOLOGY, ENERGY, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND WATER RESOURCES
Nevada has the technology, energy, telecommunications, and water resources to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Nevada’s two major energy companies, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, merged in 1999 to form Sierra Pacific Resources, which is headquartered in Reno, Nevada. Nevada is ranked as a leader in the nation for its development of alternative energy sources such as geothermal and solar energy. Nevada’s technology support, competitive energy rates and telecommunications infrastructure serve all types of industries looking to relocate or expand into Nevada.
Water supply and conservation is supported by pragmatic and assertive resource and conservation agreements. Particularly in Southern Nevada, water is a precious commodity and business and domestic use of water is carefully monitored. Anticipating Southern Nevada’s continued growth, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has long-term resource agreements and conservation plans. 88% of the water for Southern Nevada comes from the Colorado River and 12% comes from groundwater that is pumped through wells. Since the early 1990’s, despite unprecedented growth, the Las Vegas community has been able to sufficiently control its water use to assure business and domestic users a continuous, plentiful water supply for the next several generations.
NEVADA POPULATION, HOUSING AND INCOME
The 2004 American Community Survey as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau reflects the estimated population of Nevada at 2,301,197. The population has increased more than 66% from 1990 to 2000 and over 16% between 2000 and 2004. The 2004 survey also reports that Nevada has 976,446 housing units and the 2000 census reports that Nevada has 751,165 households. The median household income in Nevada is $44,646 (U.S. $44, 684) and percentage of persons below the poverty line, based upon a 2004 estimate, is 12% (U.S. 13.1%).
Nevada leads the nation in job growth due to employment opportunities and quality of life, a perfect combination to attract and retain a quality workforce. Nevada is an "employment at will" state. Nevada workers are flexible and accustomed to multiple shift operations to support Nevada’s world-class mining and tourism industry. Easy commuting is one of the factors that provide a dependable and productive workforce throughout the state.
Clark County is the home of one of the nation’s largest school districts, with over 300 elementary, middle and high schools, and an expanding number of private religious and preparatory schools. Nevada also boasts a burgeoning system of higher education. Nevada’s two state universities, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have expanding doctoral programs in many disciplines and have won national recognition for their research. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is now home to Nevada’s only law school, while both Northern and Southern Nevada benefit from the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Great Basin College in Elko, in northeastern Nevada, recently expanded its curriculum to a 4-year program. The Community College of Southern Nevada serves four counties and enrolls approximately 30,000 students. Truckee Meadows and Western Community Colleges in Northern Nevada also enroll thousands of students.
Historically, because of its size, Nevadans have enjoyed easy access to all pubic officials. This tradition is deeply ingrained and continues today, encouraging business and government to respond quickly and resolve problems as they arise. The legislature meets biennially, with interim committees working between legislative sessions. Legislative sessions in Nevada have been constitutionally limited to 120 days. Nevada’s constitution requires a balanced budget and the political leadership of both parties all fully committed to that principle.
Nevada’s unprecedented growth in the past decade has driven improvements, expansion and new development across the state, particularly in Las Vegas and Reno. Las Vegas and Reno are home to two international airports, although there are many smaller airports throughout the state.
McCarran International Airport, one of the ten busiest airports in the nation, is publicly owned by Clark County, Nevada, and is operated under the direction of the Board of Clark County Commissioners. McCarran had its beginnings when Amelia Earhart, who had an interest in a Nevada gypsum mine, first landed her airplane n the site in 1923. However, it was not until 1934 when Senator Patrick McCarran advocated the creation of an independent aviation authority that the airfield on this site was established. The airfield was known as the Clark County Municipal Airport from its creation in 1934 until 1965 when it was renamed “McCarran Airport”. From 1965 to the present, McCarran International Airport continues to grow and develop to meet the needs and expectations of passengers from all over the world. In January 2006, the monthly passenger count of arriving and departing passengers at McCarran was 3,241,213.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed at Blanchfield Airfield (now Washoe County Golf Course) and observed that Blanchfield was too small for even his two passenger Boeing Model 40 aircraft. In July 1928, Boeing Air Transport purchased a land field in Reno which in November 1928, was christened “Hubbard Field” (which is the current location of Reno/Tahoe International Airport). As air traffic in Reno increased Boeing purchased more land and expanded runways. In 1937 United Airlines purchased Hubbard Field and in 1953 leased the airfield to the City of Reno who subsequently acquired the airfield from United. Construction of the present Reno/Tahoe International Airport buildings began in 1956, and was completed in 1960 and dedicated just prior to the Squaw Valley Olympics. Continuing its development and growth, in 1977 the Airport Authority of Washoe County was formed, and in November 1998, Reno/Tahoe International Airport celebrated its 70th Anniversary at its current location. The airport is currently owned and operated by the Airport of Washoe County, Nevada.
NEVADA HIGHWAYS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND RAILROADS
Nevada, particularly Southern Nevada, has experienced unprecedented growth over the last decade. This growth has made transportation needs a high priority for state government. There are two major inter-state highways: I-80 crossing Northern Nevada, east-west; and I-15 crossing Southern Nevada, east-south-west. U.S. Highway 95 connects the two principal cities of Las Vegas and Reno. The Las Vegas Beltway (RT. 215) was built to accommodate the housing construction that circles Las Vegas and help alleviate the heavy use of Interstate 15. The Nevada Department of Transportation has committed billions of dollars to design, construct and maintain all of Nevada’s highways to accommodate Nevada’s needs in the new century.
The two main business centers for Nevada, Las Vegas and Reno, both have city public transportation. Las Vegas’ Citizens Transit or CAT system offers bus service throughout the metropolitan area. Many cross-town bus routes stop, start and transfer through the downtown area, the Strip and surrounding communities. Reno’s Cityfare has been in operation since 1978 providing quality service to the people of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County, Nevada. Citifare operates under the direction of the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada.
Nevada has two freight railroads operating within the state and a total of 1,107 rail miles. Railroads in Nevada originated a total of 2.9 million tons of freight in 1999. Nevada railroads terminated a total of 7.3 million tons of freight in 1999, including 3.3 million tons of coal, 1.2 million tons of chemicals and 0.7 million tons of glass and stone products.
NEVADA FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND EXPORTS
Nevada has two foreign trade zones: Las Vegas and Reno. These two foreign trade zones allow firms to bring foreign goods or raw materials for manufacturing and/or assembling into the United States without formal customs entry or payment of customs duties and governmental excise taxes until products leave the zones. If the final product is exported from the United States, no U.S. Customs duty or excise tas is levied. If the final product is imported into the United States, fees are only due at the time of transfer on theproduct or its parts, whichever is lower. In 2004, Nevada’s foreign exports totaled 2.9 billion. Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia are Nevada’s largest export markets.
The Nevada Global Trade and Investment Office conducts trade missions, provides export seminars, and counseling and hosts foreign delegations to Nevada. The program is designed to both assist Nevada businesses to begin or expand activities in international markets and attract foreign investments to the state.
THE NEVADA MARKET
Southern Nevada experienced explosive growth in the past decade and has attracted a variety of new businesses. Tourism-connected industries such as hotels, casinos, amusement and recreation facilities, employ the largest number of individuals in Nevada. While gaming remains the major industry, Nevada continues to attract non-gaming businesses such as technology companies, healthcare facilities, retail shops, real estate developers and financial institutions.
Nevada is an ideal location for companies seeking cost-effective rapid access to domestic and international markets. With an effective market area of 51 million people within a day’s drive, business can take advantage of Nevada’s low operational costs while distributing goods to a multitude of states, including California, the world’s sixth largest marketplace. For this reason, Nevada is home to one of the fastest–growing warehouse and distribution centers in the west.
Nevada has consistently ranked as one of the best locations for start-up businesses. The State of Nevada offers incentive programs to qualifying businesses that are expanding or relocating to the region. These incentives include sales and use tax abatements, personal property tax abatements, and training grants for employees. The Nevada Commission on Economic Development works with a network of regional development authorities. The development authorities are experts regarding local political climates, business opportunities, real estate costs and availability.
NEVADA TAXES AND FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESS
Nevada has a favorable tax climate for businesses and individuals. The favorable tax climate is one of the many reasons to conduct business in Nevada. Nevada’s tax structure distinguishes the state as offering a business friendly environment very few states can match.
Because there is no franchise, income or intangibles tax, Nevada is an excellent place to establish “back office” operations, particularly for companies that collect large sums of money from outside Nevada (e.g., credit card servicing companies).