Unemployment insurance for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and wage earners have their own unemployment funds. A member of a wage earner fund cannot accumulate their employment requirement through entrepreneurship and a member of the Entrepreneur Fund cannot accumulate their employment requirement with work as a wage earner.  

If you become unemployed, inform the TE Office TE Office, if you or your family are entrepreneurs or if you have agricultural or forestry operations. Also inform the TE Office if you have any work that takes place outside of an employment relationship (for instance commissions, work through invoicing service cooperatives, or if you are paid royalties). All of the aforementioned are considered entrepreneurship and require the TE Office’s labor policy statement. The TE office will determine whether your entrepreneurship is full-time or part-time.

Full-time entrepreneurship

A full-time entrepreneur cannot join a wage earner fund, rather they must join the Entrepreneur Fund if they wish to insure themselves in case of unemployment. 

A wage earner fund member that has started their entrepreneurship during their membership can remain a member of a wage earner fund for 18 months if they wish to do so. Please note, however, that a wage earner fund member cannot accumulate an entrepreneur’s employment requirement. If a wage earner fund member’s entrepreneurship ends before it has lasted for 18 months, the wage earner’s employment requirement accumulated before entrepreneurship stays in effect. If a wage earner fund member’s full-time entrepreneurship lasts more than 18 months, they will lose the priorly accumulated wage earner’s employment requirement. 

If the TE Office has deemed you a full-time entrepreneur, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits for wage earners until your entrepreneurship has ended, your work as an entrepreneur has been deemed suspended or your work at the company has ended. You can get more information from the TE Office.

Part-time entrepreneurship

Part-time entrepreneurship does not prevent you from belonging to a wage earner fund. If you become unemployed, your income from part-time entrepreneurship will be acknowledged as adjustable income when paying earnings-related daily allowance. If your part-time entrepreneurship has lasted for a longer period, the income on your latest verified personal tax decision will generally be used as adjustable income.

According to the definition of an entrepreneur in the Unemployment Security Act, an entrepreneur is someone who works outside of an employment relationship. This means that, for instance, working through an invoicing service or commissions outside of an employment relationship are considered entrepreneurship. We do not use tax decisions for income from entrepreneurship like this, rather monthly reports of received compensation must be sent to the Fund as an attachment to your application.  

What kind of additional information is required regarding your entrepreneurship specifically depends on the nature of your part-time entrepreneurship (for instance copies of your monthly invoicing or copies of commission pay slips for the month in question). Ask the Fund about the necessary attachments in your situation.