Gov't looks to simplify life for small businesses
ינואר 8, 2007. Jerusalem Post: Avi Krawitz
A move to simplify the process for getting a business license is one of the measures the government is evaluating to encourage entrepreneurship in Israel and ease the process for starting a new business.
As as the Knesset prepares for a day dedicated to small business on Tuesday, the Finance Ministry said Sunday it had received recommendations from budget director Kobi Haber to simplify and make more efficient the process required to get a business license in Israel.
"We are talking about a process that will consider businesses' operations and bring strength and growth to the economy," said Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson upon receiving Haber's recommendations.
The proposals, which were compiled by the committee for business licenses under Haber's jurisdiction at the ministry, aim at easing the difficulties experienced by new businesses, particularly the lack of information available to them, the ministry said.
The recommendations include formation of uniform specifications required for business licenses by an inter-ministerial team, creating a shorter "green track" cutting the length of time in gaining a license and setting up a Web site to provide information required for prospective businesses and outlining the process required for their establishment.
Meanwhile, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry said Sunday it would mark the Knesset's "Small Business Day" by presenting new legislation to give more efficient assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Trade Minister Eli Yishai reported that there are currently 392,000 businesses in Israel, 95% of which were small- to medium-sized with less than 100 workers.
These businesses, he added, employ 55% of the business sector's work force, or 1.1 million people.
"The cost of creating employment in a small business is not expensive and stands at NIS 6,000 [per job] compared to larger enterprises where it costs NIS 75,000," Yishai said.
The ministry said it would focus on four areas to strengthen the sector including increasing general participation in the work force, enforcement of fair trade, improving the competitive landscape in the economy and strengthening exports, and lessening socioeconomic gaps between the periphery and the center of the country.
"Each of these issues affects small businesses," Yishai said. "Each goal will be advanced by upgrading and strengthening the services and independence of small- and medium-sized businesses."