Prostitution law in Lander County, Nevada

Located in the center of Nevada, Lander County is a small, sparsely populated county with only 5,794 residents. Battle Mountain, the county seat, is the hub of activity, just as it is the hub of the county’s prostitution district. Licensed prostitution is legal in Lander County, within specified areas and under specified conditions.

Definition of prostitution

Lander County statutes define prostitution as the act or practice of permitting or performing common or indiscriminate sexual relations for hire. According to the laws set forth, prostitution is permitted by only licensed employees of registered houses of prostitution.

A house of prostitution is, according to the laws, any house, building, trailer (with or without wheels), vehicle, tent or other structure or property wherein or whereon acts of prostitution are committed or offered to be committed. Any establishment having a source of income or compensation derived from the practice of prostitution and has a fixed location of business is considered a house of prostitution. Another name for such is brothel.

An employee of a house of prostitution (or brothel) is any person who is engaged in an act or acts of prostitution for the licensee, whether employed as an independent contractor or otherwise, or any person engaged in management or sales or as a representative of the business. All employees must be licensed by the county in order to be a lawful employee.

House of prostitution licensing

In order for a house of prostitution to be considered operating within the bounds of the law, it must be licensed with the county. Currently, there is a licensing restriction in Lander County. The licenses are limited to two within the county, and they must both be located in Argenia Township in Battle Mountain.

In order to received a license, a house of prostitution must submit a completed application. Questions on the application form include the names and addresses of all owners; the names of corporate officers, directors and stockholders; names, ages and addresses of all people responsible for the management; all prior convictions of owners and applicant; financial statement of the applicant; business history of the applicant and a legal description of the property.

After the license application is submitted to the board in Battle Mountain, a fee is collected to help complete the investigation. The fee is $1,000. If the fee exceeds the costs of the investigation, the remainder will be refunded. However, if the fee does not cover the costs, the applicant is responsible for picking up the additional costs. The investigation includes an FBI record check, interviews of the owners and interviews of prospective employees.

Restrictions and requirements for licensing include:

  • Anyone under the age of 21 years old is prohibited entry as a patron or employee.
  • Every house of prostitution must provide medical examinations for employees weekly. The weekly examinations, completed by a doctor or physician’s assistant, include blood tests for gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Monthly tests must be conducted for syphilis and HIV.
  • Advertising in newspapers or other Nevada publications is prohibited.

Registration of employees (prostitutes)

All employees who wish to work in a house of prostitution or brothel must register with the county. The application includes questions about the employee’s name, age, sex, physical description, last five years of employment record and complete criminal history. A recent photo and fingerprints must accompany each application. Furthermore, all applicants must have a referral slip from a brothel and a valid, current health certificate. The law requires that all employees be age 21 or over.


Anyone found in violation of any laws regarding prostitution in Lander County may be punished with a fine up to $1,000 or jail time for 6 months.

The following Nevada counties have their own laws and regulations on prostitution:

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada