Doing Business in the Truckee Meadows


Reno has often been called “The Biggest Little City in the World”, and with good reason. Reno residents have access to first-class entertainment, dining, and recreational opportunities all within view of the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains rising in the west. We have the Truckee River running through the heart of town and Lake Tahoe is a mere 30 minutes away. Reno is home to outstanding institutions of higher learning, including the Tier 1 University of Nevada and the internationally-recognized Desert Research Institute; a Triple-A baseball park; an urban Whitewater Kayak Park; and a number of industrial giants, including Microsoft Licensing, International Gaming Technology, and Lincoln Electric. Reno is also the gateway to the Burning Man Festival, a week-long art event in the Black Rock Desert.

Today, Reno is embarking on an economic future as one of the United States’ clean energy, technology, and entrepreneurial leaders. Our region is home to 13 geothermal companies and a number of advanced manufacturers. With Nevada’s designation as one of six national test sites for Unmanned Aerial Systems, there is an emerging concentration of aviation, research-and-development, and high-tech industries. Reno was recently cited by the Kauffman Foundation as the country’s “most consistent standout” for startups.

Reno’s Economy

The City of Reno continues to rebound from the effects of the Great Recession. Property values are increasing, the population is growing, and Reno has been named one of the ten most livable mid-sized cities in the United States for 2014. While Reno’s economy for most of the 20th century was primarily centered on gaming and entertainment, it is now diversifying into a much broader base which spans healthcare, entrepreneurial startups, and technology-based industries.

Additional resources: 

Quick Facts

Reno’s economy is principally based in the trade and service sector, with approximately 65% of the workforce employed in these occupations. Although gaming and other recreational activities represent a significant portion of the growing economy and assessed valuation, the City is experiencing gradual diversification of its business base with the expansion of distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing facilities. Approximately 25% of the workforce is employed in the fields of construction, manufacturing, transportation, communications, public utilities, and finance related services.

The Reno area is serviced by two major highways. Union Pacific railroad and a number of trucking and airline carriers make it possible to ship from Reno to 80% of the 11 western states on a next-day basis.

Nevada has no corporate or personal income tax and is a right-to-work state. These factors have contributed to the State’s tremendous growth in the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. In 2005, Inc. magazine named Reno No. 1 on its list of the “Best Places to Do Business in America,” based on job growth figures among 274 metropolitan areas.

In addition to the accomplishments of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada in bringing new business to Northern Nevada, the City of Reno Economic & Redevelopment Agency has begun both entertainment and housing projects in the City’s downtown sector.

Over $30 million dollars of City and one billion dollars in private/other public, investment has been made in downtown Reno to modernize and beautify infrastructure and facilities. A maintenance district was established to ensure that the downtown area will remain clean and beautiful. The City also established a police district downtown to ensure a safer environment.

Corporate Advantages

Nevada is one of the top states in which to operate due to its well-established reputation for business-friendly laws. Greater Reno-Tahoe offers favorable corporate structure and governance, legal systems that work in favor of business and economic development incentive programs. In addition to the minimal tax environment, the state offers programs to reduce the amount of taxes that they do impose, including sales tax abatement and deferral programs, payroll tax abatements and property tax abatements. The state also offers financial support for workforce training.

  • Advantages of Doing Business in Nevada:
  • No Corporate Income Tax
  • No Personal Income Tax
  • No Franchise Tax on Income
  • No Inheritance or Gift Tax
  • No Unitary Tax
  • No Estate Tax
  • Competitive Sales and Property Tax Rates
  • Minimal Employer Payroll Tax
  • Right-to-Work State

Resources for small businesses

If you’re a small business owner in Nevada looking for resources to help you move forward, here are a few organizations you might want to learn more about.

Nevada SCORE
SCORE’s volunteer business professionals and expert “mentors” give counsel and guidance to entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. The services are entirely free and volunteer-driven. Here are some of the chapters in Nevada.

Northern Nevada SCORE

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) District Offices
The U.S. SBA offers financing and grants, as well as consultations and counseling services. There are also opportunities to apply for federal government contracts through the SBA and avenues for obtaining assistance after natural disasters.

U.S. SBA District Offices for Nevada

Nevada Small Business Development Centers

Nevada hosts more than a dozen development centers for small business. Each is dedicated to supporting the development and retention of small business, helping entrepreneurs do everything from craft business plans to navigate the state’s tax code. You can find your region’s small business development center at the link below.

Nevada SBDC Network

Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN)  is a private/public partnership established in 1983, committed to adding quality jobs to the region by recruiting new companies, supporting the success of existing companies, and assisting newly forming companies, to diversify the economy and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks.”

Bosma Business Center
The Bosma Business Center is a 27,000 square-foot office building and co-working space that brings entrepreneurs and business consultants together. Located in downtown Reno near start-up row, the Center is located in a hub for business networking opportunities. In addition to the Center’s operations, it is also the location for the talk radio show “Bosma on Business,” which features collaboration between business owners and advisors.  

The Reno Collective
The Reno Collective is a collaborative workspace that seeks to bring entrepreneurs together across various fields in order to learn from and grow with one another. The Reno Collective is a membership community that’s been home to companies like Filament and Easy Keeper has helped small businesses across a number of industries successfully launch and grow.