The Role of the Business Licensing Department
The role of the Business Licensing Department is to ensure that any business, which is considered as a license requiring business, pursuant to the Business Licensing Law 5728-1968 and Business Licensing Order 5755-1995, will be operated and managed pursuant and according to the laws and related regulations and orders, with a valid license and without constituting a nuisance to the environment. The Business Licensing Law provides ample framework for the main role of handling and supervising businesses under the jurisdiction of the local authority while enabling corporation and cooperation with other relevant authorities.
What is a business running license?
A business running license is the license provided by the Licensing Authority to the business owner and its manager to open and run the business pursuant to the law and related regulations.
As a rule and pursuant to the Freedom of Occupation Basic Law 5752-1992, any person may apply for a business license. However, those wishing to open a business must know that there are occasionally legal constraints and restrictions, and that in extreme cases their application may be rejected out of hand.
Why is a business license necessary – what are the purposes of licensing?
1.To maintain environment quality and prevent hazards and nuisances. The Minister of Environmental Protection is responsible for this area and for defining regulations, orders and conditions for obtaining these goals.
2. To prevent endangering public welfare and to apply security in cases of burglary and break-in. This area is under the responsibility of the Minister of Police.
3. To maintain the safety of those present in or around the business. This area is at the responsibility of the Welfare and Social Services Minister.
4. To prevent dangers induced by diseases carried by animals and to prevent pollution of water sources by pesticide materials, manures or medications. This area is under the responsibility of the Agriculture Minister (qualified municipal veterinarian).
5. To maintain public health, including adequate sanitary conditions. The Minister of Health is in charge of this area.
6. To comply with the laws concerning planning, building and fire fighting services. This area is supervised by the Licensing Authorities which are, for this purpose, the Engineering Administration at the Municipality and the Municipal Union Fire Department.
Which businesses require licensing?
The businesses requiring license are classified into 10 main categories:
1. Food manufacturing plants.
2. Various types of dining establishments.
3. Various types of food stores.
4. Various types of public recreation businesses (cinemas, discotheques, summer camps and gyms).
5. Plants and workshops dealing with manufacturing/processing/installation/painting of various types of products.
6. All businesses dealing with manufacturing, processing, storing, marketing and selling of and any other occupation concerning dangerous materials.
7. All businesses dealing with car selling, renting and brokerage including various types of garages, transportation of people and goods, transports, driving schools, start and end stations of busses and taxis.
8. Guarding and security services.
9. All businesses dealing with non-medical care of the human body: hairdressing salons, pedicure and manicure, body tattoos as well as various types of massage parlors.
10. All businesses dealing with and relating to animals as pets and dealing with animals as food.
What are the iron-clad rules binding business owners?
1. Prior to signing a contract with the business owner, find out information about the status and condition of the business at the various departments of the municipality.
2. Check with the Business Licensing Department whether the type of business you are about to open is considered, pursuant to the law, a business requiring license or not.
3. Check at the Business Licensing Department whether the building where you intend to open your business is considered legal (whether it was built with the Engineering Administration's permit or whether it underwent any deviations and changes which are forbidden pursuant to the law).
Pursuant to the Business Licensing Law 5728-1968, the owner of a business requiring license will not receive a business license if the business was opened in an illegal building not approved by the Engineering Administration.
4. Check with the Business Licensing Department, whether the type of requested business is allowed in the area according to designations and whether it does not contradict the designation of the building where it is housed. For instance, a business cannot be opened is a residential apartment.
5. Check with the Business Licensing Department whether the area and size of the building you wish to rent is suitable to the type of requested business.
Some businesses, in particular in the food industry, require, according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, a minimal area (for instance, pizzerias, restaurants, cafes, falafel places, food manufacturers etc.).
6. It is advisable to find out whether the type of requested business has any special characteristic requirements designed to prevent or reduce to the permissible minimum environmental hazards and nuisances, for instance: a requirement for the installation of chimneys or fume hoods for certain food businesses or plants causing dust and using materials with strong smells such as carpentry shops, dye workshops, print establishments etc.; requirements designed to prevent environmental hazards, especially from plants using dangerous substances; requirements designed to prevent unpurified sewage (or a general prohibition on flow of sewage) into the municipal sewage system, and other such requirements.
The business license is personal and is only given to the business owner and/or business operator and is registered in his/her name.
The license is not given to the place of business – the building. The license is non-transferable to the name of another business owner or to another place.
When does a business owner require a new license for operating the business?
1. Change in the ownership of business.
2. Change in the type of business.
3. Change in/addition to an existing business or expanding it.
4. Addition of a type/item to the business.
5. Changing the place of business.
6. Businesses requiring a periodical renewal of license.
7. Business liquidation – inform the Business Licensing Department accordingly.
What are the various licensing authorities which are authorized to approve, reject or set terms for the xistence and operation of a business requiring license?
1. The Engineering Administration.
2. The Ministry of Environmental Protection – directly and/or through the Environmental Protection Unit of Holon Azur.
3. The Ministry of Health.
4. The Ministry of Labor.
5. The Ministry of Transportation.
6. The Israel Police.
7. The Municipal Union Fire Department.
8. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Municipality Veterinary Department.
Please note that not all the above mentioned authorities are involved in the approval of all businesses. The authorities involved in providing business licenses are determined according to the type of business.
If and when all the relevant approving authorities approve the business licensing application, a business license will be issued and the business owner will be notified. The license will be given to the business owner at the Business Licensing Department office.
The aforesaid various approving authorities and the Business Licensing Department may set preliminary conditions for receiving the license, include conditions in the license and add conditions following receipt of the license, according to the condition of the business and changing regulations and orders.
Business Licensing Process (up to receipt of license)
1. Submitting a business license application, by the business owner, at the Business Licensing Department office. The application involves payment of a fee according to the Business Licensing Regulations (General Provisions) 5761-2000.
2. Please attach to the application the following documents: sanitary plans according to a detailed form of instructions available at the Business Licensing Department. A copy of the business owner's I.D. and in case of a limited company – confirmation from the Registrar of Companies, Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association and Protocol, confirmation from the Company's accountant or attorney in respect of authorized signatories, rent agreement or land registry office extract. In addition, all the documents specified in the following manifest will be attached.
3. Upon receipt of the application with all the required documents, it will be processed into the computerized database.
4. Review of the plans by a business licensing supervisor.
5. Forwarding the application and plans for the approval of the Engineering Administration (licensing and supervision).
6. Approval of the plans by the Engineering Administration.
7. Review of the application and plans by the various external licensing authorities.
8. Making requirements from the business by the licensing authorities.
9. Final approval by the licensing authorities – following compliance with the requirements.
10. Issuing a business license.
Please note that if the approval providers according to the nature of business are the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture (through the municipal veterinarian) and the Environmental Unit, it is recommended to submit an initial concept plan for consultation.
Note: For business owners' attention, as stated in paragraphs 5 and 6 above, the business license application and plans need to be approved by the Engineering Administration. If the Engineering Administration refuses to approve the application and plans, it will send a refusal letter to the business owner providing it a period of time to handle and promote the subject. In case the subject has not been handled by the business owner opposite the Engineering Administration or the Engineering Administration still refuses to approve the business, and the business owner continues to run the business against the law, an indictment will be filed due to running a business without license.
The Business Licensing Department is at your service for information on any subject relating to opening and running a business.
Director: Nir Cohen
Address: 58 Weitzman Street, 4th Floor, Room 405
Tel: 5027409-410-411-412-413, Fax: 5018838
Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 08:00 – 12:00 and Tuesday 16:00 – 18:30