Delaware Governor Markell seeks to attract Israeli companies

TEL AVIV, July 11 Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:51am EDT

TEL AVIV, July 11 (Reuters) - Nearly all Israeli companies registered in the United States are incorporated in Delaware and the state's governor, Jack Markell, is seeking to persuade some of those companies to make the state their headquarters for their U.S. operations as well.

Thousands of Israel-based businesses are incorporated in Delaware, including high-tech companies Check Point Software Technologies, Amdocs, Ceva and Nice Systems.

The reason so many companies choose to incorporate in Delaware has to do with the nature of the state's corporate law, which is well understood and predictable, as well as its highly regarded courts, Markell said. Now he wants Israeli companies to go beyond corporation.

"We recognise that when businesses in Israel start up, they have to think beyond Israel from day one because the market here isn't big enough. One of the first places people think about doing business with is North America," he told Reuters during a visit to Tel Aviv. "Delaware can be a soft landing."

Because it is one of the smallest U.S. states, located between New York and Washington, Delaware has built a system that minimises red tape for businesses, eliminates regulatory hurdles and provides business leaders with easy access to senior state officials.

Markell noted that other foreign companies such as British drug firm AstraZeneca have their North American headquarters located in Delaware.

"We want to make sure we are on the radar screen," said Markell, who took office in 2009 and is the only sitting Jewish governor in the United States.

Some 55 percent of U.S. publicly traded companies have their legal homes in Delaware.

Markell is leading a delegation of Delaware entrepreneurs and business leaders who are also seeking to do business in Israel as well as opportunities for collaboration.

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