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Forming Israeli Non-Profit Organizations and Funds for Philanthropist from Persian Gulf and UAE Countries

Joshua Pex

Michael and Ariellah Waizman

For Advocate Joshua Pex.

We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.

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The normalization of relations between Israel and many Persian Gulf countries (headed by the United Arab Emirates) created many new opportunities. This includes various initiatives for philanthropic cooperation. UAE and Persian Gulf philanthropists who wish to act in Israel must first form register their NGO’s. Below we will explain how the legal process works.

Our law offices specialize in corporate law. The offices’ attorneys accompany philanthropists and firms that wish to operate in Israel, and assist them with corporate registration, legal advice, etc. In this article, Advocate Joshua Pex, an expert on NGO law, explains how philanthropists and investors from Persian Gulf countries can operate in Israel.

Not Just Business Opportunities – the Peace Agreement will Enable Collaborations for Philanthropic Purposes

The peace agreement and normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, as well as other Persian Gulf countries, attracts a lot of interest in business cooperation initiatives among companies from Israel and around the world. Without any doubt, the strengthening in the relations between the countries is great news on the business Israeli NGOs for UAE and Persian Gulf Philantropistsside. Apart from the economic potential, it is important to note that the peace agreement creates opportunities for philanthropists from the Persian Gulf that wish to start operating in Israel.

One can think of a wide range of initiatives for philanthropic cooperation between the countries. The UAE is known to be a leading philanthropic force in the world. In Israel, UAE non-profit activity may promite peace initiatives, as well as invest in peripheral areas and Arab communities. But for this to happen, philanthropists and NGOs from those countries must first register in Israel as corporations. 

Types of Corporations for the Purpose of Philanthropic and Voluntary Activity in Israel

There are different types of corporations under which it is possible to perform philanthropic activity or to manage investment funds for voluntary purposes. For instance, the NGO may be registered as a community interest company (CIC) under the Israeli Companies Law. This is possible only for certain goals, such as human rights, education, health, etc.

Apart from CIC, the most common form of an NGO in Israel is called an amuta. For philanthropic purposes, there are several advantages of being registered as an amuta and not as CIC; including different tax reporting duties, and the ability to obtain tax exemptions for donors. 

Stages in forming Amuta for Philanthropists and Funds from the UAE and Persian Gulf Countries

In order to form an amuta, at least 2 adult persons must be registered as its founders. If the founders are foreign citizens (as in most cases relevant to this article), they need to submit copies of their passports within the registration application. In addition, the registration application should specify the main goals of the amuta, and to detail its name and the addresses of the amuta and its founders. For more information on registration and formation of amuta in Israel, you can review our article on the subject.

It is highly recommended to prepare bylaws for the amuta. According to the Israeli law, if an amuta doesn’t create its own article of association, standard bylaws will be enforced. For philanthropic and voluntary activity in Israel, it is suggested to create bylaws to govern the rules of activity and work relations.

After the registration, there will be a need to take care of different issues, such as obtaining a certificate of proper management, to register the amuta in the tax authorities and to request different discounts, such as municipal property tax (arnona) discount. For such issues, an experienced attorney who practices in non-profit organizations and voluntary funds may help.

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In this article we explained how to form Israeli NGOs for UAE and Persian Gulf philanthropists. For any questions or legal assistance in this regard, you may contact our law offices. The offices specialize in corporate and non-profit organization law, and provide legal assistance and representation services in various fields.  

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