In Nevada, anyone who constructs, alters, repairs, improves, moves, or demolishes any landscaping or structure related to landscaping is considered a contractor and must be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB). This includes landscaping services like installing decorative plants, trees, shrubs, sod, and other vegetation. It also covers hardscaping services like installing non-load bearing brick or stone walkways, patio areas, and landscape retaining walls.

To qualify for a landscaping contractor license in Nevada, you must have the necessary experience and skills to properly operate a landscaping business. The NSCB issues landscaping contractor licenses specifically under the C-10 Landscape Contracting classification.

Obtaining the proper license, bonds, and insurance for your landscaping company is crucial to legally conducting business and protecting yourself from liability in Nevada. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know as a landscaping contractor in Nevada, from initial licensing to renewal.

Requirements for a Landscaping Contractor License in Nevada

To obtain a C-10 Landscape Contracting license in Nevada, there are several eligibility requirements you must meet:

  • Experience: The trade qualifier on your license application must have at least 4 years of experience in the past 10 years as a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, or contractor specifically in landscaping. Education from an accredited program can substitute for up to 3 years of experience.
  • Exams: You must pass the Business and Law exam. A trade exam may also be required, depending on your qualifications. Exams are administered by PSI Licensure.
  • Financial: You must submit a current financial statement and bank verification form that meets requirements based on your requested monetary limit.
  • Bond: You must obtain a license bond between $1,000-$500,000 based on the monetary limit placed on the license.
  • Insurance: You must have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Proof is required.
  • Application: You must complete the contractor license application and pay the $300 application fee and the $600 initial license fee.
  • Residential Recovery Fund: You must register and pay the fee if you will be providing qualified services on single family residences.

Let’s look at each of these requirements in more detail:


To meet Nevada’s experience requirement for a C-10 license, the trade qualifier on your application must document at least 4 years of experience in the past 10 years working in landscaping. This experience must be at the level of a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, or contractor specifically doing landscaping work.

The NSCB will accept the following as proof of the required landscaping experience:

  • Four Certification of Work Experience forms documenting 4 years of experience in total. Each certificate should come from a different employer or customer.
  • Proof of transferable military training specifically related to landscaping installation, maintenance, irrigation, etc. This could include your discharge paperwork.
  • A current master’s certification in the specialty landscape trade from a government agency. For example, a state certification for irrigation installation.

Education from an accredited college, university, or approved trade school program can substitute for up to 3 years of the required experience. Official transcripts must be provided showing successful completion of courses related to landscaping, such as horticulture, landscape design, and turf management.

Any claims of self-employment for the experience requirement must be backed up with documentation, such as past customers who can verify your work. Relatives do not qualify as valid references.


To qualify for licensure, you must pass the Business and Law exam, which covers construction law, project management, liability, contracting forms and procedures, and other business principles. This exam is required for every classification of contractor license in Nevada.

You may also need to pass a trade exam specific to landscaping, depending on your qualifications. The C-10 landscape contracting trade exam covers topics like landscape construction, surveying, grading, drainage, plant identification, pest management, and more.

Some applicants may qualify for a waiver of the trade exam if they meet certain requirements, like recent employment as a qualifier in Nevada or licensure in a reciprocal state. However, the Business and Law exam cannot be waived.

PSI Licensure administers all contractor licensing exams in Nevada. Exams are multiple choice and given on a computer at one of PSI’s approved testing centers. You can register and schedule an exam date after you receive your exam eligibility authorization from the NSCB.

Financial Requirements

All landscaping contractor applicants in Nevada must submit a current financial statement and bank verification form prepared specifically for the applying entity. The monetary limit you are requesting for your license will determine the specific requirements:

  • For limits up to $10,000, you may submit a compiled statement prepared by an independent CPA, a self-prepared statement on the NSCB’s form, or a statement prepared with accounting software and an affidavit.
  • For limits from $10,001 to $50,000, you must submit a compiled statement prepared by a CPA within the past 6 months or an independently reviewed or audited statement within the past year.
  • For limits above $50,000, you must provide a CPA-compiled statement with full disclosures within the past 6 months or a reviewed/audited statement within the past year.
  • For limits above $250,000, you must provide an audited or independently reviewed statement within the past year.

Your financial statement must meet all of Nevada’s requirements and guidelines. If you are unfamiliar with preparing financial statements, it is highly advisable to consult an accountant or CPA.


The NSCB will determine the amount of your license bond based on factors like your requested monetary limit, financial standing, any past bankruptcies or failed businesses, liens, and your overall character. Bond amounts range from $1,000 up to $500,000.

You have two options for meeting Nevada’s license bond requirement:

  • Surety bond: Purchase from an insurance company authorized in Nevada. They must be rated “A” or better to issue a contractor bond.
  • Cash deposit: Provide a cashier’s check for the full bond amount payable to the Nevada State Contractors Board. This option accrues a $200 administrative fee.

Bonds must be continuous with no lapse in coverage that would invalidate the bond. If your surety bond provider cancels your bond for any reason, you must immediately replace it to keep your contractor license active and avoid suspension.


To obtain a landscaping contractor license in Nevada, you must carry:

  • General liability insurance: Covers third-party property damage and bodily injuries caused by your landscaping operations. Typical minimum limits are $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job. This is required if you have employees, unless you qualify for an exemption and submit an affidavit.

You must provide current certificates of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance (or exemption affidavit) showing policy limits meeting Nevada’s minimum requirements. Maintaining current insurance coverage is also required when renewing your license.


To formally apply for a landscaping contractor license, you must submit the following to the Nevada State Contractors Board:

  • A completed application form with all sections filled out, documentation attached, and signatures.
  • The $300 non-refundable application fee.
  • All supplemental documentation proving you meet the experience, financial, exam, and other requirements.

The application and instructions list all specific items you need to submit with your completed form to the NSCB for processing. Incomplete applications can lead to processing delays.

Residential Recovery Fund

If any part of your landscaping services involves “qualified services” like installing sod or planting trees on single family residences occupied by the owner, Nevada requires you to register with the Residential Recovery Fund.

You must pay an initial assessment fee based on your monetary limit and renew the registration biennially. Fees range from $200 up to $1,000. This provides an extra layer of consumer protection for residential customers hiring C-10 landscape contractors.

How to Get a New Landscaping Contractor License in Nevada

Follow these steps to establish your eligibility and submit your new license application to the Nevada State Contractors Board:

1. Document your landscaping experience. Obtain four Certification of Work Experience forms documenting 4 years of experience at a supervisory level, or provide other accepted proof like military records or certifications.

2. Prepare your financial statement. Work with an accountant to prepare a financial statement that meets Nevada’s specific requirements based on the monetary limit you plan to request.

3. Obtain your license bond. Contact an authorized surety company to obtain a Nevada contractor bond for the amount that will be required by the NSCB.

4. Get general liability insurance. Obtain a general liability policy from an insurer licensed in Nevada that covers your landscaping business activities and meets state minimum limits.

5. Obtain workers’ compensation insurance. If you will have employees, you need a workers’ comp policy specifically for Nevada that meets state requirements.

6. Complete the license application. Fill out the contractor license application completely. Gather and attach all required supplemental documents.

7. Pay application fee. Include the $300 non-refundable application fee with your forms. Pay by check or credit card.

8. Submit to NSCB. Send the completed application package and all documentation to the Nevada State Contractors Board for processing.

9. Pass required exams. Once approved, the qualifier must register with PSI Licensure and schedule the Business and Law exam, as well as the trade exam if required.

10. Pay license fees. After passing exams and getting license approval, you must pay the $600 initial license fee, as well as any Residential Recovery Fund assessment fees.

It typically takes 30-60 days for the NSCB to process new landscaping contractor license applications. Once approved and all fees are paid, your C-10 license will be active for two years initially.

Renewing a Landscaping Contractor License in Nevada

Landscaping contractor licenses must be renewed every two years in Nevada to remain valid. Failing to renew before the expiration date will lead to an inactive license. Follow these steps to renew your C-10 license with the NSCB:

  • Pay the $600 license renewal fee. An invoice will be sent to your address on file around 90 days prior to expiration.
  • Maintain continuous general liability and workers’ compensation insurance (or exemption) that meets Nevada’s required limits. Provide current proof.
  • Maintain your license bond without any lapse in coverage during the new term.
  • Pay any required Residential Recovery Fund renewal fees if applicable. Fees range from $200-$1000 based on limits.
  • Complete 12 hours of continuing education related to landscaping, business practices, safety, etc. The NSCB does not mandate CE hours but it is recommended.
  • Submit renewal application, fees, and documentation to NSCB at least 30 days before expiration.

You cannot renew an inactive or expired license. You would need to apply for a new license if you fail to renew on time. Plan ahead and submit your renewal application early to avoid any lapse in coverage.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Landscaping Contractors

Nevada has contractor license reciprocity agreements with Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Utah. Landscaping contractors who are licensed in those states may qualify for waiver of Nevada’s trade exam. However, they must still take and pass the Business and Law exam.

To apply via reciprocity, your business must meet the following requirements:

  • Held an active landscaping contractor license in your home state for the past 4 years.
  • Licensed in AZ, CA, LA, or UT specifically for landscaping services like Nevada’s C-10 classification.
  • License must be in good standing with no serious disciplinary actions.
  • Provide license verification from your home state’s licensing board.

While reciprocity waives the trade exam, applicants must still meet Nevada’s experience requirements. You will need to submit all other eligibility documentation, forms, fees, fingerprints, and applications as normal.

Reciprocity simply allows qualifying landscaping contractors licensed in states with agreements to skip Nevada’s trade exam. All other requirements for licensure still apply.

License Bond Requirements

All active landscaping contractors licensed in Nevada must carry a surety bond that provides continuous coverage without lapsing. The Nevada State Contractors Board determines the required bond amount for each applicant based on factors like:

  • Your financial standing, assets, income, liabilities, and credit score
  • Business organizational structure – sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, corporation
  • Requested monetary limit on your license
  • Number of years in business and contracting experience
  • Past bankruptcies, failed businesses, liens, or judgments
  • Overall character based on criminal and credit history

Landscaping contractor license bond amounts can range anywhere from $1,000 up to $500,000 in Nevada. You have two options for satisfying the bond requirement:

Surety bond

This involves purchasing a surety bond from an insurance company authorized to transact business in Nevada. To issue a contractor bond, they must be rated “A” or better for financial strength by A.M. Best.

A surety bond costs 1-15% of the bond amount as an annual premium paid to the surety company, depending on your financials and other factors. Shop rates from multiple surety providers.

Cash deposit

You can satisfy the bond requirement by providing a cash deposit to the NSCB in the full amount of your required bond. This must be in the form of a cashier’s check with no expiration date, payable to the Nevada State Contractors Board.

Choosing the cash deposit option will also accrue a $200 administrative fee payable to NSCB. Renewing a cash bond also assesses this fee every two years.

No matter which bond option you choose, it must provide continuous, uninterrupted coverage. Gaps in coverage can lead to disciplinary action against your license.

Insurance Requirements

Nevada requires landscaping contractors to carry insurance for protection from liability. Active status requires submitting proof of:

General liability insurance

Covers third-partyproperty damage and bodily injuries caused by your operations. Typical minimum limits are:

  • $1 million per occurrence
  • $2 million aggregate

Workers’ compensation insurance

Covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job. This is required if you have employees. You can submit an exemption affidavit to waive this requirement if you have no employees.

Certificates of insurance proving your current coverage must be provided at the time of application, renewal, and anytime requested by NSCB. Your insurer must be licensed to write policies in Nevada.


Becoming a licensed landscaping contractor in Nevada involves meeting experience requirements, passing exams, providing financial statements, obtaining bonds and insurance, submitting an application with fees, and registering with the Residential Recovery Fund program.

Key steps include documenting 4 years of trade experience, taking the Business and Law exam, obtaining a license bond between $1,000-$500,000, carrying adequate general liability and workers’ comp insurance policies, completing the contractor license application, and paying all required fees.

Out-of-state landscaping contractors may qualify for license reciprocity in Nevada if they hold current licensure in Arizona, California, Louisiana, or Utah. Reciprocity waives Nevada’s trade exam requirement only.

Ensuring you meet Nevada’s licensing, bond, and insurance requirements protects you from penalties for unlicensed contracting. It also demonstrates your legitimacy and professionalism to potential customers. This comprehensive guide covers everything landscaping contractors need to legally do business in Nevada.