The Secretary of State is the third highest ranking state official, behind the Governor and Lt. Governor. The Secretary of State, elected to a four-year term, is responsible for maintaining the official records of the acts of the Nevada Legislature and of the executive branch of state government, as prescribed by law.
Constitutional and Statutory Duties
- Certifies all statewide candidates and ballot questions and reports and certifies primary and general election results.
- Supervises state and local elections.
- Registers and files candidate contribution and expenditure reports.
- Registers corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and business trusts.
- Registers trade names, trademarks, professional corporations and associations, and rights of publicity.
- Records Uniform Commercial Code statements and documents.
- Appoints, trains, and regulates Notaries Public.
- Administers the Confidential Address Program for victims of domestic violence.
- Regulates the state's securities industry and enforces securities law.
- Licenses and regulates athletes' agents.
- Maintains the state Advanced Directives Registry.
- Maintains the State Video Service Provider Certificates of Authority.
- Keeps a true record of the Official Acts of the Legislative and Executive Departments of the Government, attesting all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, and affixing the seal of the State, with proper attestations, to all commissions, pardons and other public instruments to which the signature of the Governor is required.
- Keeps the official bond of the Treasurer.
- Serves on the State Board of Prison Commissioners, the State Board of Examiners, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board, the State Records Committee, the State Advisory Committee on Participatory Democracy and the Executive Branch Audit Committee.
The Office of the Secretary of State is organized into eight divisions: Commercial Recordings, Document Preparation Services Program/Domestic Partnerships/Registry for Advanced Directives for Healthcare (Living Will Lockbox), Elections, Executive Administration, Nevada Business Portal, Notary, Operations and Securities.
Commercial Recordings Division
The Secretary of State's Commercial Recordings Division is responsible for processing and filing the organizational and amendatory documents of entities organized under the laws of the State of Nevada. These entities include for-profit and non-profit corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability limited partnerships, business trusts, and professional corporations and associations. The division is also charged with reviewing, filing and processing: (1) trademarks, trade names, service marks, and rights of publicity; (2) Uniform Commercial Code financing statements, changes, lien searches, federal tax liens and utility filings; (3) video service provider certificates of authority; and (4) statements of partnership authority. The Division is also responsible for issuing the annual State Business License to all Title 7 entities as well as sole proprietors and partnerships.
Document Preparation Services Program/Domestic Partnership Registry/Registry for Advance Directives (Living Will Lockbox)
NRS 240A requires that persons who wish to engage in the business of a documentation preparation service must be registered by the Secretary of State and sets forth requirements for persons providing such services. This program provides for the annual registration of document preparation service providers and for investigation of alleged violations of NRS 240A.
In 2009, the Legislature granted individuals the ability to register as Domestic Partners. A 'domestic partnership' in Nevada is a civil contract which grants domestic partners "the same rights, protections, benefits, responsibilities, obligations and duties as parties to any other civil contract." The office files and maintains all domestic partnership registrations and terminations.
The Living Will Lockbox program is a secure, virtual lockbox in which Nevadans can file certain advance health care directives such as living wills, durable powers of attorney for health care decisions, Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and "do not resuscitate" (DNR) orders. These documents can be accessed online by registrants, authorized health care professionals and family when medical treatment decisions must be made. The voluntary Living Will Lockbox was established by the 2007 Legislature as the Registry of Advance Directives for Healthcare in NRS 225.300-.400. There is no fee for participants.
The Secretary of State's Elections Division is located in the Capitol Building in Carson City. The Division is responsible for the execution, interpretation, and enforcement of federal election and state election and campaign finance laws; administering the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA); serving as the filing office for statewide elective positions, initiative petitions, and referendums; maintaining the statewide voter registration database; and conducting voter outreach programs.
The Elections division also administers the Advisory Committee on Participatory Democracy (ACPD) which is comprised of ten members selected by the Secretary of State's Office and whose purpose is to assist the Secretary of State in: identifying and proposing programs that promote citizen participation in governance; establishing a Jean Ford Democracy Award; and working with partner organizations at the local, state, and national level to increase voter participation in Nevada.
This division provides leadership, strategic direction and administrative support to the Office as a whole. The division includes all of the Office’s Deputies, the Securities Administrator, the Public Information Officer as well as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State.
Nevada Business Portal
Enabled by NRS 75A, SilverFlume is Nevada's first-stop business portal launched in 2012 that consolidates the registrations needed to start and run a Nevada business. SilverFlume eliminates about 80% of redundant steps by collecting and streamlining business information across governmental agencies. An important component of economic development, SilverFlume offers a New Business Checklist to guide customers through the business startup steps, including estimated licensing costs and time to complete each step. SilverFlume also offers a no-cost Digital Operating Agreement to support startup businesses with necessary corporate governance.
The Notary Division is responsible for the appointment and enforcement of qualified individuals as Notaries Public and conducting notary education training courses, which the office has recently begun offering through an online training module. The Notary Division also issues authentication of documents (known as Apostilles) to be submitted to foreign countries in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1961 and maintains a list of qualified licensed Ministers in the State of Nevada who have been permanently or temporarily licensed by the state's county clerks.
The Operations division supports the internal functions of the Office, including Personnel, Information Technology (SoSTek), Facilities, Accounting and preparation and management of the Office’s budget and the more than $200 million in annual revenues realized by the office. SoSTek oversees the development and maintenance of the electronic Secretary of State (eSoS) application, statewide voter database, the agency’s website and other important applications and tools.
The Securities Division of the Secretary of State's office is located in Las Vegas with a satellite office operating in Carson City. The Securities Division is the regulatory, compliance and enforcement agency for state securities laws. The division registers securities which are offered and sold in Nevada; registers and licenses qualified individuals and firms to conduct securities related business; provides assistance and guidance for raising capital through securities offerings for the formation and/or expansion of a business; conducts periodic field inspections of broker-dealers and investment advisers registered in Nevada to ensure that both the firm and its employees are in compliance with Nevada Securities Laws; investigates alleged securities violations brought to the division's attention through the proactive anti-fraud activities of division investigators, written complaints from investors, or information received from other agencies or persons; and administers investor protection/education activities. This division also licenses Nevada based transfer agents and registers athlete’s agents.