Unemployment benefits while establishing a company

Bilde av mann og mobiltelefon, som illustrerer artikkel om dagpenger under etablering.

You can apply for keeping your unemployment benefit while establishing your company. A few years ago, some new rules were introduced.

You can keep your potential unemployment benefit after being employed if you wish to establish your own company.

You have to apply, and the business has to be new and able to make you self-sufficient, according to NAV. In the real world, I see it as more appropriate to have an ambition to have the business make you self-sufficient.

Have you resigned from the job – or are you temporarily laid off?

Have you resigned from the job for no reasonable reason, or are you in any other way responsible for being unemployed?

In this case, you have a quarantine period of six months before you can get an unemployment benefit while establishing.

NB! If you are temporarily laid off, you will not get unemployent benefit while establishing a company whatsoever.

Send an application to keep unemployment benefit while establishing

Up until the exit of 2017, you could apply to keep your unemployment benefit in a development phase of up to nine months. After that, you could apply to keep the benefit in a startup phase of up to three months.

From January 1st, 2018, this changed:

You can now apply to keep your unemployent benefit while establishing for up to 12 months. According to Nav, you can decide by yourself at which point in this period you want to start the business.

The reason for the change is that “it is considered important to be able to start with sales of goods and services early. This is presumed to increase the likelyhood of a successful establishment.”

Establishers who receive unemployment benefits will continue to be followed up by the Nav offices, which will, among other things, process business assessment and check that establishment is registered in public registers.

Very important: Make sure to stay within the rules. I have heard of several examples of establishers having to pay back benefit because of unclarities around the transition to revenue-generating work. Have an open dialogue about this with your contact person at Nav!

This is what Nav emphasizes in the application

  • The establishment has to be presumed to lead to you being able to provide for yourself.
  • The business has to be new.
  • It has to be your own company (this is an absolute demand):
    • A sole proprietorship, or
    • a company (usually an LLC) where you own more than half of the shares.
  • That you have a professional assessment of the establishment plans from an agency that Nav has approved. This could be the actor in your municipality who is responsible for following up establishers.

Here is the form for professional assessment.

NB! This is an application process, and the assessments that your Nav office make are crucial when it comes to whether or not you will get to keep the unemployment benefit during the establishment of your company.

News about travelling abroad

Previously, in order to use this solution, your business had to be established and run in Norway. Now you can apply to NAV to get to travel abroad in connection with the establishment. The stay needs to be approved before you go in order to keep the benefits while your abroad.

You can contact NAV about this here.

How about work assessment allowance?

Yes, you can apply to keep work assessment allowance during the establishment of your own business as well. There are still two types here:

  1. Startup phase: You can apply to keep your work assessment allowance during a startup phase of three months. (Remember to apply before the business has started.)
  2. Development phase: You can apply to keep your work assessment allowance during the development phase (six months). (Here you also need to apply before you start your business.)

Select the form of organisation that suits you best

There are several types of business to choose from when starting a business. The two most common forms of organisation are sole proprietorship and private limited liability company. Nearly 10 out of 10 establishers choose one of these alternatives.

See our startup guides:

How you can start a sole proprietorship step by step

How to start an LLC – step by step

Opprett konto her – og få en kortfattet sammenligning av enkeltpersonforetak og aksjeselskap.

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