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The Guide to Getting a Food Business License in Nevada

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There’s a reason why food trucks and restaurants are thriving in Silver State. Nevada’s food business industry is one of the state’s most successful sectors. There are around 5,890 restaurants within the state. Experts believe that if the industry continues to grow, employment will increase by 15%.

May 4, 2023
Author: NCH

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Based on these numbers, now is the best time to start your own food business in Nevada. With the growing popularity of culinary destinations like Las Vegas, you can open your dream restaurant and get higher chances of success.

But where should you start? This blog will help you figure out how to kickstart your cafe and get a food business license in Nevada.

An Overview of Nevada’s Food Business Industry

Before we talk about how you can get a food business license in Nevada, let’s discuss the state’s local culinary scene.

Nevada’s booming food business industry was due to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s (GOED) efforts to bolster the tourism efforts of the state. Since food is one of the key drivers of the local economy, Nevada needed to have enough food variety to serve their tourists. 

Take, for example, Las Vegas. Tourists who visit Sin City get access to many restaurants within the area. They can choose from world-class fine dining to local street food. Whatever they were craving, Las Vegas had it on a silver platter.

Until now, Nevada continues to mature as a culinary destination. Thousands of restaurants are constantly revising their menus to cater to the changing needs of the masses. For example, Nevada’s biggest restaurants have started offering gluten-free options following an increased demand for organic food.

The number of restaurant chains that offer casual dining has also grown over the past few years. Places like Panera Bread, Panda Express, and Wingstop are now trending for delicious yet moderately-priced meals.

It’s also worth noting that food delivery services have become the new norm. Recent studies have shown that 60% of Americans order takeout at least once a week, preferring to dine in rather than go out of their houses to eat.

Ultimately, Nevada’s local food industry shows great promise. There is so much potential yet to be discovered; if newcomers start now, they’ll be the first ones to try them out.

Three Food Business Licenses Your Nevada Restaurant Needs

Now that you know the local landscape, let’s explore the three food business licenses you need in Nevada.

Food Handler’s License

A food handler’s license or employee health permit allows you to sell and serve food onsite. If you have this permit, you know how to properly prep your food and keep your customers safe from foodborne illnesses. Chefs, cooks, baristas, and bartenders need this certificate before serving people.

Typically, the test and permit cost up to $15 per person. Employees need at least a 70% grade on their food safety and preparation test to get the permit.

Food Facility Health Permit

The food facility health permit is commonly known as a food service license in other states. This certificate ensures that your restaurant follows Nevada’s safety standards.

Now, depending on where you live, you must get a food facility and a separate public health permit. Some states allow you to apply online but still require in-person inspections. You can submit your plans for approval, but once they get approved, someone will inspect your space and ensure everything’s up to code.

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The cost of a food facility health permit varies from one county to another. The type of operation you want to run could also affect the cost of your license.

Food Seller’s Permit

Anyone who wants to start selling tangible goods in Nevada should have a seller’s permit. This license allows them to put sales taxes on their food. You can easily get this permit by registering online; the cost also varies depending on your county.

How to Get A Food Business License in Nevada

The first thing you need to do when applying for a business license in Nevada is to confirm your location. Your zoning category determines where you’ll submit your application for your food business license.

For example, if you’re located within the Las Vegas commercial and industrial zoning district, you can get an application for a food business license. However, if it falls outside this area, you must get a Clark County restaurant permit.

You can use a zoning map to identify your restaurant’s exact location and have it confirmed by Nevada’s Development Services. Once you submit your zoning application, you can start working on your proof of compliance.

Before a restaurant gets its general business license, it must submit proof of compliance with the Secretary of State. Restaurants fall under the food establishment category of the 2015 Nevada Revised Statutes. This means you must follow certain regulations to get your business license.

After submitting your proof of compliance, your space will be inspected, and if it passes, you’ll be allowed to obtain your restaurant license. Typically, a restaurant license in Las Vegas costs around $150. You must pay $100 for the permit and $50 for the processing fee.

It’s also worth noting that you need to get an annual permit from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health. They calculate the fee of your license depending on the number of seats you have. 

Suppose you have 40 tables. In that case, you need to pay a permit fee of $200. They’ll add a $1.50 charging fee for every extra seat in your restaurant. 

Open Your Kitchen Today 

There’s no denying that starting your own restaurant can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, you don’t have to do things alone. NCH is here to help you process your Nevada business license application.

NCH is one of Nevada’s leading providers of business formation services. Our business specialists have worked with thousands of aspiring restaurateurs to kickstart their ventures. We’ll help you get all the necessary permits to get your kitchen up and running quickly. 

Learn how we can help your restaurant thrive by visiting our website or calling us at 800-508-1729.

DISCLAIMER: The above material has been prepared for informational purposes only, containing opinions of the provider, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consider consulting tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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