In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada Governor Sisolak has issued a suite of emergency directives detailing adjustments to the operation of state departments. Emergency Directive No. 009 (revised) addresses important changes to the renewal requirements for any individual or business holding a license or permit issued by State of Nevada boards, commissions, agencies, or local governments. Affected licenses include professional or occupational licenses issued by state boards, construction and building permits, and even local business licenses. Specifically, this directive provides that any such license or permit that is set to expire during the period of emergency declared on March 12, 2020, “shall be extended for a period of 90 days from the current expiration date, or 90 days from the date the state of emergency declared on March 12, 2020 is terminated, whichever is later, if reduced government operations due to the state of emergency makes timely renewal of the license or permit impracticable or impossible.” (emphasis added).
Notably, this license/permit extension is not automatic, and does not give the license holder leeway to submit a late renewal or allow a license to lapse. Rather, Emergency Directive No. 009 grants the 90-day extension only where renewal of the license is delayed as a result of reduced government operations. Put another way, if a state agency is unable to act on a timely-filed license renewal application because of complications caused by the state of emergency, then the 90-day extension period will apply. Unfortunately for businesses, the myriad of problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including temporary business closures and reduced staffing, do not entitle license holders to this 90-day extension. While some regulatory agencies or local governments may have implemented more lenient license renewal or extension policies, license holders should not assume that their renewal obligations are suspended during the state of emergency. One important exception to this guidance are state business licenses issued by the Nevada Secretary of State. Emergency Directive No. 009 provides that companies whose state business license renewal fees come due during the period of emergency have until 60 days after the period of emergency is terminated to submit their renewal fees. This provision similarly extends the due date for a business entity’s annual list of the persons with managerial authority or control over the entity.
For these reasons, with the exception of state business licenses and annual lists, Nevada businesses should remain diligent in timely completing and submitting any renewal applications for licenses or permits set to expire during Nevada’s state of emergency. If you have questions about the status of your business’s licenses or permits, or if you would like to speak with an attorney about your regulatory obligations, please contact Dan Reaser or Katie Hoffman.