Nevada Codifies Definitions of Essential vs. Non-Essential Business

March 23, 2020

In furtherance of Governor Sisolak’s emergency orders regarding the closure of non-essential businesses in the State of Nevada, as a COVID-19 mitigation measure, the State Department of Public Safety issued emergency regulations on Friday, March 20, 2020, to provide codified guidance to business owners, the public at large, and local governments as to what is considered an essential vs. non-essential business.

The amendments to Chapter 414 of the Nevada Administrative Code confirm what was already understood from the Governor’s prior declarations over the past week – that businesses in the healthcare, grocery, pharmacy and construction industries (among others) are “essential,” while generally businesses in the gaming, recreational, bar, and adult entertainment industries are not. The codification of these definitions provides welcome guidance to those services and industries that were previously unaddressed in the Governor’s declarations.  It is now clear through the emergency amendments to the Nevada Administrative Code that professional service businesses such as law firms, property management, real estate and accounting agencies, as well as manufacturers and other business support services are essential as well.  These businesses may continue to operate while employing previously recommended mitigation measures such as remote working and social distancing.

The Department of Public Safety’s amendments make clear, however, that only those essential businesses that are properly and currently licensed may continue to operate during this time. Despite efforts to comprehensively address which businesses are essential vs. non-essential, there will undoubtedly remain some gray area.

The complete text of the emergency amendments to Chapter 414 may be accessed here: Governor Sisolak's Emergency Orders.  If you have questions about your business operations under the emergency regulations, or believe your business licensing status may require attention, the attorneys at Newmeyer Dillion’s Las Vegas Office are standing by to assist with your needs.