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Las Vegas Freedom within Your Las Vegas Business License.  

So….. your office is within the City of Las Vegas proper and you have to go get your new business license.  First of all, happy the last Friday before independence day.  Don’t you just love the 4th of July?  As Winston Churchill said, “never, never, never quit….”  Do not stop working to preserve your independent contractor status.  The City of Las Vegas has offered NRS 645 real estate licensees be allowed to be deemed a “professional employee,” when applying for your required business license.[i]  Remember, if you really are  an employee, your taxes per the Internal Revenue Code are around 30% and your ability to do an itemized return are drastically restricted.[ii]  Recently, pursuant to the requirement of Nevada state law (2003)[iii], it was declared that you as a Nevada Real Estate Salesperson under NRS 645 must have a Nevada Business License.  Further, each of you must have a local license based upon where your primary office is located.[iv] 

Deeming you Employees. 

However, now the City of Las Vegas has taken one step further.  Absent proof …. the City has [deems] salesmen to be employees of a broker.”[v]  But you are not employees and you really do not want to be.  Your lobby via the National Association of REALTORS®, your Nevada Association of REALTORS® and the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® and your broker, Mark Stark of Prudential®, Americana Group, REALTORS® personally meeting with Nevada legislators in the 2003, 2005 and 2007 sessions have ensured your ability to conduct your business as an independent contractor.[vi]  This allows you to better control your destiny in costs and expenses and how you ‘orchestrate your business.’  Imagine having to pay 30% of your income off the top without the ability to perform an itemized deduction?  Would that affect your business? 

You have always been required to have a local license. 

As it is the requirement of North Las Vegas, Clark County and Henderson, in the City of Las Vegas, “LVMC 6.02.060 makes it unlawful for any person to permit another on that person’s behalf to conduct or carry on any business without a valid unexpired business license.”[vii]  Here at Prudential®, Americana Group, REALTORS® you have always been required to maintain a valid license with NRS 645, a Nevada Business License and a local jurisdiction license.  This has always been the case.  What I speak to today is the ‘assumption’ that you as real estate licensees, under a Nevada Broker, are default employees, unless shown otherwise.  The Las Vegas City Code allows you to save $50 a year if you are licensed ‘under your broker.’  You will be informed of this when you attempt to apply.  But you are an independent contractor.  You operate your own business and some of you have your own employees — even administrative ones.  Let us not focus on $50 per year.  Let us focus on your potential inability to be an independent contractor.  Of course your broker Prudential®, Americana Group, REALTORS® can simply pay this and bill you back.  And yes it would be $50 less per year.  And yes it is one more example of how you treated yourself (voluntarily) as an employee if the argument arises….

Work Now to Prevent Further Work Later. 

As a Nevada attorney since 1992 and the General Counsel of Prudential®, Americana Group, REALTORS® since 1994 I have seen multiple attempts by multiple areas of business attempt to strike at your status of independent contractors.  Each attempt is cloaked in either convenience or for your protection.  Certain industries simply have new markets if the tens of thousands of NRS 645 licensees are all deemed employees.  Finally, never forget the amount of the current federal deficit…and if the treasury would like you to pay taxes as an employee and not as you do now. 

Work With the City of Las Vegas. 

The City of Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese and other Las Vegas employees recently took the time to meet with Prudential®, Americana Group, REALTORS® and assisted in our understanding that upon you presenting proof that you are an independent contractor (a form will be posted on the Las Vegas City Web Site to address this; Click Here to download this form) you will be granted a personal business license.  The meeting was very productive and the staff was very informed (they have been collecting tens of thousands of licenses from various professions and we licensees have caused the most exciting questions!)  By applying as individuals and not under your broker it is a unified approach that will assist to preserve your independent status.  By accidently, innocently allowing this labeling we enter a slippery slope leading to the potential dismantling of your current ‘business,’ as you know it today.  If you appreciate Las Vegas (and their employees) as I do (decendant of an early inhabitant [viii]) let’s apply for our personal City of Las Vegas business license with pride.


[i]

PDF FROM CITY[ii]

http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=150856,00.html[iii]

Nevada Business Licensed Established in 2003[iv]

SB218 from 2005 Legislative Session[v]

June 18, 2007 Letter Business Services Division Finance and Business Services[vi]

  NRS 616B.603  Independent enterprises.

      1.  A person is not an employer for the purposes of chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS if:

      (a) He enters into a contract with another person or business which is an independent enterprise; and

      (b) He is not in the same trade, business, profession or occupation as the independent enterprise.

      2.  As used in this section, “independent enterprise” means a person who holds himself out as being engaged in a separate business and:

      (a) Holds a business or occupational license in his own name; or

      (b) Owns, rents or leases property used in furtherance of his business.

      3.  The provisions of this section do not apply to:

      (a) A principal contractor who is licensed pursuant to chapter 624 of NRS.

      (b) A real estate broker who has a broker-salesman or salesman associated with him pursuant to NRS 645.520.

NRS 616B.606  Real estate brokers and salesmen not employers under certain circumstances.  Any person licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 645 of NRS who engages an independent contractor to maintain or repair property on behalf of an individual property owner or an association of property owners is not a statutory employer for the purposes of chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 450)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 616.263)

[vii]

June 18, 2007 Letter Business Services Division Finance and Business Services[viii]

http://www.lvlife.com/2002/01/feature2.html

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