This article was written in collaboration with startup samlino.dk, that is a portal for finding information and services.

Lots of people embrace the lifestyle of an entrepreneur and become one themselves. Some might go all the way, while others only get to experience a brief and small part of the journey. In case the entrepreneurial journey doesn’t go as planned, membership in an unemployment insurance fund (UIF) might be a good idea.

Benefits of the UIF’s

Unemployment insurance funds are very beneficial and useful in Denmark, and they have several advantages. One of the advantages is the possibility to be granted unemployment benefits, which can be equivalent to upwards of 90% of your previous income. However, the maximum amount of money you can receive is 18.866 DKK per month if you are a full time insured member.

Besides the financial benefits, there are some non-financial benefits as well. Those include different aspects of sparring in relation to your company’s business model, the recruitment process and even the management of your company. Furthermore, some UIF’s offer courses and even networking sessions, where you get the opportunity to broaden your horizon and meet new people, who may be able to help you bring your company to the next stage.

As you can see, there are several great benefits, and the legal counselling is yet another one. You can get your legal questions answered here, which can have a major impact on the development of your business.

Here are the criteria to get unemployment funds

In order for you to be eligible for the different unemployment benefits, you need to be comprised of Danish social security rules. This depends on your work situation as well as your country of residence.

Not only do you need to be comprised of the Danish social security rules, but there are also several other criteria. You must register as a job seeker at your local job centre the first day you become unemployed by completing a declaration form and submitting it to your UIF. In addition, you are required to actively seek employment and be able to take work with one day’s notice which eliminates any legal obstacles that prevent you from work.

There are also special requirements for graduates because they are able to use their degree as a form of employment or income. Therefore, students who just graduated automatically meet the income criteria, and in addition, they benefit from a membership free of charge while studying.

Entitlement for unemployment benefits

Before you are entitled to unemployment benefits, you need to have been a member of a UIF for minimum one year and have stayed in Denmark or another of the EU/EEA countries for a least 5 of the latest 12 years. With that being said a new regulation will be phased in from 2019 to 2021, where people from the previously mentioned areas have to stay in Denmark for 7 of the latest 12 years to be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Besides the time period, you must have earned an income equivalent to minimum 233.376 DKK during the recent three years or 155.580 DKK if you are part time insured. Be aware of the fact that the money should be obtained during your membership of a UIF. Regardless of your monthly salary, you are only able to count 19.448 DKK a month as a maximum. If you are a company owner, you have to distribute the profit across the accounting months. Concerning this, there is no need to worry about the time of the profit during the accounting months.

You also have the opportunity to be entitled to unemployment benefits only on behalf of your own company. You still have to earn the same amount of money. However, the time period is longer, namely five years instead of three. Furthermore, there is no maximum amount you can count every month.

The legislative change of 2018 favours the entrepreneurs

Like the change regarding time stayed in Denmark, there has recently been changes regarding UIF’s for entrepreneurs. Some of the most important changes include how to determine if you are considered an entrepreneur or an employee. Before the changes, it was your status that defined whether you were an entrepreneur or an employee, whereas it is now your activities that determine it.

Another beneficial change is how the unemployment benefits are earned. Now it is based on both your primary income, secondary income as well as the profit from your own company. These types of income are now impartial, thus hindering a given caseworker to judge the definition, which creates a better overview for entrepreneurs.

Unemployment benefits transfers

In case you plan on travelling to an EEA country to work, seek employment or as an unemployed you are only covered in one of the countries at a time. For this instance applies the main rule, which says you have to be covered by the unemployment system within the country you work. Nonetheless, you have to contact your UIF, which can provide you guidance and further information.

If you are in the search for a job in EEA, you are still able to obtain unemployment benefits for your Danish UIF in up to three months, if it has been registered at your local job centre four weeks before you leave.

Finally, there are lots of benefits of being a member of a UIF for entrepreneurs and others in general – not only due to the financial benefits, but also the non-financial benefits, which both help entrepreneurs building their companies while still having financial support.