Government to streamline business licensing
‘Low-risk’ firms will be able to obtain permit within 21 days
The draft of a reform of business licensing procedures being formulated in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Economy Ministry and the Interior Ministry that has reached Globes indicates that more than one third of businesses will receive business licenses within 21 days in a fast track procedure.
At present, obtaining a business license involves months of waiting, uncertainty, bureaucracy, and much running about. Many business owners end up operating without a license, becoming unwilling criminals.
Under the reform, which will shortly be brought before the cabinet, the owner of a business classed as low-risk will obtain a license on the basis of a signed declaration that the business’s plan meets the criteria. After approving the plan and inspecting the declaration, the licensing authority will issue a license within 21 days.
The new regulations will affect some 150,000 businesses. At present, the law makes no distinction between a hairdresser and a factory handling dangerous materials. It is estimated that about one third of businesses operating in Israel can be classified as low-risk – some 55,000 businesses. About another 70,000 businesses (47% of the total) can be classed as medium-risk, with the remaining 25,000 (18%) being high-risk.
Under the proposed reform, a medium-risk business will receive a license within 45 days.
Examples of low-risk businesses are shops, kiosks, dental labs, recreation sites and taxi ranks. Medium-risk businesses will include swimming pools, electronic device factories, purveyors of intoxicating beverages, garages, and car parks of over 500 square meters that serve commercial centers.
To run the processing of declarations and issuing of licenses for low- and medium-risk businesses, the state will authorize private sector entities or local government agencies that will undergo special training. An online system will be developed for submission of applications and issuing of licenses.