From an unemployed person to an entrepreneur
A full-time entrepreneur is not entitled to receive unemployment benefits. However, you may be paid financial support for trying or launching new business operations. You have two alternatives:
1. Inform the TE Office immediately when you are starting new business operations that last over two weeks or work that you bill through an invoicing service. Respond to the survey you receive. Based on the information you give, you will primarily continue to be entitled to the unemployment benefit for the first four months of your business operations.
After four months, the TE Office will send you a new survey. Once you have responded to it, the TE Office will assess whether you will continue to be entitled to receive unemployment benefits. If the TE Office evaluates that you are a full-time entrepreneur, you can no longer be paid unemployment benefits.
2. Before launching your business, you can apply for a start-up grant for at most one year from a TE Office. If the TE Office considers that you are suitable as an entrepreneur, it will grant the assistance to you. Once the payment of the start-up grant ends, you are considered a full-time entrepreneur until the end of your business operations.
Remember that you will not lose your right to receive unemployment benefits for business operations that last less than two weeks. You do not have to inform the TE Office of this work and the income you receive from it. A notification to your unemployment fund or Kela is enough.
Start planning your business operations by using the business planner wizard on our website. Also familiarise yourself with the other instructions on the company section of our website. You can also discuss issues related to launching business operations at the Enterprise Finland Telephone Service.
If you are planning to apply for the start-up grant, you should participate in the entrepreneur training and coaching offered by the TE Office. During your participation, you will receive the same, or possibly increased, amount of unemployment benefit as during your unemployment. The TE Office can also reimburse travel and accommodation costs caused by the training.
Regional business incubators and other services designed for entrepreneurs can help in the development of a business concept. They also offer business advice and coaching services. You can use these services to create relationships with other companies in your region.
If you feel that running a company requires too much paperwork, consider using a billing service. You will work as independently as a “normal entrepreneur” but the billing company or cooperative will send your invoices on your behalf and pay the required payments to insurance companies and the tax administration.
You can also seek job opportunities through digital employment services. In such services, those who provide work are looking for an entrepreneur or an employee to carry out work that needs to be done. In any case, the service provider will take care of the paperwork and bureaucracy related to the work.
If you use a billing service or digital employment platforms as an entrepreneur, the same rules on unemployment security that apply to other entrepreneurs will also apply to you. Therefore, let the TE Office know if you begin entrepreneurial activities that will last longer than two weeks. Also report all the income you receive to your unemployment fund or Kela.
Even if you are making no revenue from your company as a full-time entrepreneur, the TE Office will not grant you the right to an unemployment benefit until your business operations have ended. If you wish to apply for the unemployment benefit, do the following:
- Start your job search if it is not valid.
- Notify that your business operations have ended and that you are seeking full-time employment.
- Respond to the survey you receive on your business operations.
Based on the information you have provided, your business operations as a private entrepreneur can be considered to have ended when:
- you have ended your company’s production-related and financial operations
- you have given up your YEL or MYEL insurance.
If you have had a general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company or co-operative, you must also verify in addition to the above measures that you have submitted notifications to the tax administration on:
- removing your company from the prepayment register
- removing your company from the employers’ register
- removing your company from, or discontinuing its inclusion in, the VAT register.