As is the case with many bureaucratic hurdles in Israel, doing this is less scary than you may have been led to think.
Why Osek Patur?
If you are just starting out your business, do not expect significant expenses, and do not expect more than around 5,000 NIS a month income (actually, 60,000 a year), then you may prefer to open as an Osek Patur. The benefit is simply that you are not required to pay VAT monthly. Ultimately, you will hopefully graduate to Osek Murshe status (as a friend of mine once said, he loves paying a lot of tax; that means he’s making a lot of money!) but meanwhile, one less office to interface is worth it imho.
What To Expect
About an hour’s wait in the office
No wifi in the waiting room
Fill out a form (I’ll try to get a copy of it and scan and post it here)
Non-standard form fields
<snip> I will post this and revisit it when I get a copy of the form. Unfortunately, I neither photocopied the form I submitted nor got a copy or processed report of it (as I probably expected, silly me!), so it’s a little hard for me to recreate it from memory.