Explore your options for unemployment fund membership as soon as you begin your business activities.
Membership of a wage-earners’ fund
You may remain a member of a wage-earners’ fund for a maximum of 18 months after beginning business activities. At that point, you must discontinue your membership. If you become unemployed before being an entrepreneur for 18 months, the employment condition accrued while you were still a wage earner remains in force. After 18 months of entrepreneurship, your employment condition as a wage earner expires and must be accrued from zero under an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund.
Membership of an entrepreneurs’ fund
Entitlement to earnings-related daily allowance accrued as a member of a wage-earners’ unemployment fund remains intact if you transfer from there to an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund within 3 months of becoming an entrepreneur. If you make the move later, your entitlement to earnings-related daily allowance will not automatically remain intact. Also, there may be an interval of no more than 1 month between fund memberships. If this 1-month period is exceeded, you must accrue your employment condition again from zero under the entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund.
If you become unemployed before meeting the entrepreneur’s employment condition (15 months of membership in an entrepreneurs’ fund), you may nevertheless be entitled to earnings-related daily allowance on the basis of post-protection. In this case, your earnings-related daily allowance will be based on the employment condition accrued while you were a wage earner.
For more information and advice on unemployment security for entrepreneurs, consult the Unemployment Fund for Entrepreneurs and the Self-Employed (AYT).
You may be a wage-earner and an entrepreneur at the same time. If you have enough paid employment to meet the employment condition but your business activities are extensive enough to meet the entrepreneur’s employment condition, you may freely select whether to join KOKO-kassa or an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund. If you are a member of KOKO-kassa and become unemployed from your paid employment, the TE Office will evaluate the extent of your business activities and consider whether entrepreneurship is your primary or secondary occupation. If it is considered a secondary occupation by virtue of the paid employment you were simultaneously engaged in, you may be entitled to earnings-related daily allowance paid by KOKO-kassa.
If you are engaged in business activities that last for no longer than 2 weeks, the TE Office will not issue a statement on entrepreneurship; instead, KOKO-kassa will investigate your business activities on the basis of data you supply. Submit a report on your business activities and your income from them to KOKO-kassa; you may be entitled to adjusted earnings-related daily allowance for the duration of your short-term business activities. Assignments and jobs done through a billing cooperative are typical examples of short-term business activities.
If your business activities last for more than 2 weeks, KOKO-kassa will ask the TE Office for a statement. The TE Office will investigate and return a statement as to whether your entrepreneurship is considered a primary or secondary occupation, and your entitlement to earnings-related daily allowance will be determined on the basis of that statement.
Post-protection applies to you if you have resigned from KOKO-kassa and joined an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund within 1 month. If you become unemployed before you meet the entrepreneur’s employment condition, you may be entitled to the earnings-related daily allowance that you would get if you were still a member of KOKO-kassa. Wage-earner’s daily allowance on the basis of post-protection is paid by the entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund. Post-protection also applies to those who leave an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund and joint a wage-earners’ unemployment fund within 1 month.
A member of an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund is entitled to entrepreneur’s earnings-related daily allowance after being a member for at least 15 consecutive months and after meeting the entrepreneurs’ employment condition during the time of membership.
An entrepreneur’s employment condition is met when a person has worked as an entrepreneur for 15 months out of the 48 months preceding unemployment with business activities of substantial extent. ‘Substantial’ is defined as activities for which the work income equivalent used as the basis for statutory pension insurance is at least €12,816 per year (2019).