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Main job or side job?

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Are you self-employed as your main or secondary occupation?

When you are self-employed, you will either be self-employed as your main occupation (meaning it is your sole occupation) or self-employed as a secondary occupation (when it is less than full-time work).

On this page you can learn more about when you can receive unemployment benefits if you are self-employed.

Self-employment as a second job

When is it a second job?

It's considered secondary employment if you meet one of the following two criteria:

  1. If you start your own business while on unemployment benefits.
  2. If you have started the self-employed business before you become unemployed, it is a condition that you fulfill the following two points in the six months prior to becoming unemployed:
    • That you have reported an average of 80 paid hours per month to the Income Register (53 hours for part-time insured)
    • That you have had at least one paid hour reported to the Income Register in five of the six months.

In the case of secondary employment, you can receive unemployment benefits if you are otherwise available for work. The hours you spend on your business are deducted from your unemployment benefits regardless of when the work is done.

Maximum unemployment benefit for 30 weeks

You can receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 30 weeks out of the last 104 weeks in the same way as supplementary unemployment benefits for paid work. However, you should be aware that the weeks in which you receive unemployment benefit are consumed by the 30 weeks - regardless of whether you work for the company or not.

If you start a self-employed business while on unemployment benefits, you must submit the form: "Information about my employment (AK320)". You can find the form on Min A-kasses Selvbetjening.

We will then process your information and assess your entitlement to unemployment benefits.

If you are unsure about the rules, need help or want to know more, please contact us.

Per diem when you are self-employed as a second job

Am I entitled to unemployment benefits when I am self-employed as a second job?

To be entitled to unemployment benefits while being self-employed as a second job, there are some conditions you need to meet.

It is important that you:

  • Are registered with your local job center
  • Actively looking for a job
  • Attend the meetings you are invited to
  • Send benefit cards to us no earlier than the last day of each benefit period 
  • With one day's notice, can take over a job with a working week of 37 hours.

How to fill out the unemployment benefit card when I am self-employed as a second job

On your unemployment benefit card, you must state how many hours and minutes you have spent on the business in the "self-employment" section - even if you have not had an income. This applies to all work tasks, including outreach work, administrative work and transportation time. The hours will be deducted from your unemployment benefits.

It does not matter what day of the week or time of day the work was performed. All hours worked must be added to your unemployment benefit card.

When does my entitlement to supplementary unemployment benefit end?

We count the weeks you receive benefits from us. A week counts regardless of whether you have worked in your self-employed business or not. We will notify you in good time before you have used up your right to supplementary unemployment benefits.

How to re-earn the right to supplementary unemployment benefits

You have the opportunity to get 30 new weeks of supplementary unemployment benefit. This requires that you have reported to SKAT within 12 consecutive months:

  • More than 146 paid hours in at least 6 of the months
  • More than 68 paid hours in at least 13 14-day periods or
  • More than 34 paid hours for at least 26 weeks.

You can also earn 30 new weeks if you have had a total income of DKK 263,232 (2024 figure) from A- and B-income and profits from self-employment during an income year in which you have not received unemployment benefits. Contact us about re-earning or extending your right to supplementary unemployment benefit if you are part-time insured.

How to extend my entitlement to supplementary unemployment benefits

You can receive supplementary unemployment benefit for the entire month in which the right to supplementary unemployment benefit expires.

You can extend your entitlement to supplementary unemployment benefit if you have used up your 'regular' 30-week entitlement to supplementary unemployment benefit and if you have not earned a new entitlement.

You can extend your entitlement by four weeks if you have reported to SKAT 12 months before the entitlement expires:

  • A month with more than 146 payroll hours
  • Two 14-day periods with more than 68 paid hours or
  • Four weeks with more than 34 paid hours.

If you have had B-income that is not included in a company's profit or loss, the amount is converted to hours.

You can also extend your entitlement by four weeks for each month you have been self-employed and not receiving unemployment benefits.

You can extend the entitlement by a maximum of 12 weeks.

What if I can't extend or get a new entitlement to unemployment benefits

If you don't have enough hours or income to extend or re-earn your entitlement to supplementary unemployment benefits, you'll have to close, sell, lease or quit your business to receive unemployment benefits. However, it's a condition that you still have hours left with entitlement to unemployment benefits.

Self-employment as main occupation

I am self-employed as my main occupation

If your self-employment does not fall under the above-mentioned criteria for secondary employment, it will be your main self-employment. If you are self-employed as your main occupation, it is not possible to receive unemployment benefits. However, you can receive unemployment benefits if you cease to be self-employed.

You can stop being self-employed in several different ways. For example, it can be:

  • If you close your business
  • If you sell your business
  • If you lease out your business
  • If you leave the business, which is continued by others
  • If the company has gone bankrupt.

Contact us to find out more. If you are leaving a business that is continued by your spouse or cohabiting partner, they must sign a solemn declaration together with you that you have left the business.