Shalom, Israel!

Shalom, Israel!

Why this tiny country nestled in the Middle East may be the perfect new destination for your beloved company

Israel may be in the news a lot, sometimes for reasons that spell out political chaos and volatility, but consider this: it boasts the highest standard of living in the Middle East. While continued political conflict has made some areas riskier than others, this country is generally a safe (and profitable) place to do business. Read on to find out more about why this may just be your next destination, and how you can make that happen!

Friendly government regulations

According to Ernst & Young’s helpful guide to doing business in Israel, the government actually really encourages foreign investment by doling out grants, lower tax rates and other benefits through the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investments. How welcoming!

Advancement and progress

This nation has extremely advanced infrastructure for businesses in place, a fact that can definitely help your SMB flourish. Unlike many other countries, you won’t have to worry about the nitty-gritties such as legal frameworks, energy sources, transportation, communication systems, and technological prowess – everything will run as seamlessly as possible. This is certainly one of the reasons why Israel is known as the ‘startup nation’.

Laid-back business culture

Once you land in Israel, you won’t feel like you’re in Belgium anymore, that’s for sure! So, do take some time to acquaint yourself with this nation’s culture and traditions. However, try not to be overwhelmed at all – Israeli business dealings tend to be much more laid back and friendly than what we’re accustomed to here!

It’s also encouraging to know that while the official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, English is the primary foreign language in use and is pretty much spoken by most Israelis. (Side note: may we suggest that you find a local interpreter before closing any major deals? This small move could save you from unnecessary confusion.)

Another fact you might find a bit disorienting is how the working week starts from Sunday because Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath Day. Make sure you schedule everything between Sunday and Thursday.

Cities ripe for business

There are multiple cities in Israel that you could target but, generally speaking,  Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are both good bets (although it all depends on what you want to do). In April 2015, Time Magazine highlighted Jerusalem as one of the world’s top five emerging tech hubs, while Tel Aviv was ranked as an ‘alpha world city’ in the global economy by Loughborough University. Furthermore, Tel Aviv has the third largest economy in the Middle East preceded by only Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City.

Getting started

So, all this sounds good, but would it be difficult for you to set up shop in Israel? Well, not really. Here’s how the typical starting out scene would look like in five simple steps:

1.You would get your company’s registration docs certified by an attorney

2. Then, file with the registrar of companies, Ministry of Justice

3. From here, simply register for taxes at Income Tax Department and Ministry of Finance

4. Register for VAT at Customs and Ministry of Finance

5. Lastly, check in with the National Insurance Institute


And there you go – all set! For more concrete details, check out E&Y’s guide referenced above.

Interested in Israel’s business potential but more of visual of a person? For a handy resource that maps it all down, click here.



Taking off with a smile

Taking off with a smile

Matthew Van Niekerk in the spotlight

Matthew Van Niekerk in the spotlight