It just got easier for contractors to do business in the Las Vegas Valley.
Responding to longtime complaints, local officials Thursday introduced the first phase of a multijurisdictional business license program that does away with separate permits for each municipality.
Starting with building contractors, business owners will be able to make one stop in either Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson or at Clark County government offices to fill out one form and pay one fee. Their license will then be good in all four jurisdictions.
Previously, contractors had to obtain business licenses from each jurisdiction in which they plan to do business. Separate renewals had to be paid each year to each entity, often due at different times.
Now, contractors will only need only one license and can mail in renewals in May and November.
The move simplifies the process, saving time and money, Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager said at a news conference.
“We’ve been working for a couple years to make life easier for contractors,” Brager said. “In the past, they’ve had to go to four entities. We want a streamlined government. We want contractors and subcontractors to know we’re here for them.”
More than 60 employees from the four government entities created a central database of 13,000 contractor licenses to make the new program possible, North Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tempore Pamela Goynes-Brown said.
Contractors now pay $100 every six months in North Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County, and $125 in Las Vegas, said Lana Hammond, business license manager for North Las Vegas. The fees won’t change, but a contractor can write a single check of $100 to $425, depending on where they want to do business. The receiving government will pass on payments to the others.
Sean Stewart, executive vice president for the Associated General Contractors and Nevada Contractors Association, said it’s difficult to calculate the impact of one-stop licensing, but it stands to reason that contractors will benefit.
“In construction, time is money,” he said. “This process removes much of the time-consuming burden contractors had previously faced, while improving municipality efficiency. This is a small but important step toward jump-starting our local economy and creating jobs.”
Brager said she’s heard positive feedback from several new contractors who have applied for licenses since the soft launch of the program on Monday.
The four municipalities worked closely with Nevada legislators to pass a bill in 2011 that requires entities to develop a multijurisdictional contractors license by June 17.
Government needs to do everything it can to cut through the red tape for businesses, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said.
“This has been a groundswell, grass roots effort,” she said. “We’ve been experiencing with our growth and development over the years a need for one-stop shopping ability. We already jumped on this with our development services. All we want is to make it business-friendly and make it simple.”
Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen said this week’s launch is just the beginning. The cities will be seeking ideas from contractors on how to improve the program and expand it to other businesses that cross jurisdictions, such as landscapers and mobile car washes, he said. The program will also be modified so licensing can be done through the Internet and mobile devices.
The county’s other municipalities, Mesquite and Boulder City, will maintain their current separate licensing systems.
Contact reporter Hubble Smith at email@example.com or 702-383-0491.