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Can You Start An Llc While On Unemployment

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Can You Start A Business While On Unemployment


The short answer is yes, you can start a business while you are on unemployment. Whether or not you are receiving unemployment benefits does not have to factor into your decision whether you find employment somewhere or whether you launch your own company. You will, however, need to research the laws within your own state. Some states have specific programs to help those who have been laid off starting a business. Other states impose restrictions on whether you can receive unemployment checks if you are self-employed or starting an LLC.

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Can I Collect Unemployment While Starting My Own Business

COVID and the ensuing pandemic didnt just force business owners to shut their doors, it forced employers to lay off employees too. And its not uncommon for people who lose their job to start their own company. After all, owning an LLC comes with perks, the biggest being autonomythe ability to be your own boss.

But a similar question looms over the heads of unemployed people toocan you collect unemployment benefits while running an limited liability company? The answer depends on two things:

  • How much money you earn from the LLC
  • And how much time you commit to the company

Regarding the first stipulation, until youre LLC begins to turn a profit, you can still receive your full amount of unemployment insurance benefits. But once you begin turning a profit, the level of profit will reduce how much money you receive in unemployment benefits.

As for the next point , some states require you to be available for part-time or full-time work to continue receiving unemployment. They may even ask for evidence that youve been looking for work.

So, if you work on your LLC part-time, you havent turned a profit, and you submit proof of your job searchyoure still eligible. But if you start a business that requires a full-time commitment, you will most likely lose your unemployment compensation.

Unemployment Programs To Help Start A Business

A few states have initiatives encouraging individuals on unemployment to start a business. The Department of Labor has a program called the Self Employment Assistance program . This program allows people to collect unemployment compensation while they work on their business. By choosing self-employment over getting a job, there are different reporting requirements.

That program was launched during the last recession and many states have since stopped offering it. A few states that still offer the SEA program include:

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How To Start A Business Using Your Unemployment Money

Many Americans are, unfortunately, receiving unemployment compensation right now. But that could be an opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs. Have you considered starting a business with that unemployment money?

And theres a real need for innovation.Unemployment rose in the U.S. in April with the biggest monthly spike since 1948. Small Business Trends contacted Mike Nunez, Chief Communications Officer at Incfile, to find out how to get your business up and running this way.

So Can You Still Use Those Benefits To Start A Business

Can You Start A Business While Collecting Unemployment ...

State rules regarding unemployment benefits and how to qualify for them vary from state to state. In general, however, recipients typically have to prove they are looking for a new job in earnest in order to keep getting unemployment benefits.

When the SEA initiative was launched, the DOL encouraged states to create their own SEA programs. At one time, it even offered them funding to do so. But only a few states offer SEA programs today:

SEA programs dont provide easy money. To receive self-employment assistance benefits, recipients typically need to demonstrate theyre starting a business with the potential to provide full-time income. They need to write a business plan, take classes to improve their business skills or otherwise show that theyre serious about entrepreneurship.

If you live in Mississippi, Oregon, New Hampshire or New York, check with your states unemployment insurance program via the links above to get details.

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Pros And Cons Of Starting A Business While Unemployed In 2021

If youre an entrepreneur whos on a mission to start a business, there are a number of factors to watch out for. has compiled a number of pros and cons to help you understand what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

  • Try and consider other options
  • Test what it takes to test being your own boss
  • Find opportunities of finding home-based businesses
  • Use the benefits you get to provide financial backing
  • Utilize the resources around you

Think of all the great things that you can accomplish when you do the work that is involved in starting your own business. The benefits of starting your business as you can see, outweighs the other areas. What is important at the end of the day is finding the ideal balance, the space where you can function at your very best.

Can I Continue To Collect Unemployment If I Start A Llc In New Jersey

  • Posted on Dec 2, 2014

This is a complicated question and you should consult with an attorney. Generally you report earnings from your new business when the money is received, regardless of whether you put it back into the business or take a draw. You must be seeking full time work and be willing to take the work while you do your own business after hours or on weekends. Years ago there was an SEA program with Unemployment which would have applied to you, but sadly that program has been eliminated. Be careful as Unemployment is on a search for any reason to take back your benefits , not pay them and the charge you with fraud or ask for repayment years later.

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Can You Start A Business When Youre Collecting Unemployment Benefits

Youve been laid off from your job and youre applying to collect unemployment benefits. But instead of looking for another job, this time you want to finally start that business youve been dreaming of for years. Can you use your unemployment benefits to finance your startup?

Back in 2012, the Department of Labor announced its initiative for a program called Self Employment Assistance that would allow people collecting unemployment benefits to keep getting those benefits while starting their own businesses.

At the time, of course, the nation was just recovering from the Great Recession. Today, the employment picture is much brighter and the unemployment rate is lower. But still, not everyone is happy to remain an employee . And despite low unemployment rates, there are still many people who are eligible for unemployment benefits for one reason or another.

Each state has its own rules regarding who can file for unemployment benefits and how to qualify. However, most of them require the recipients of unemployment benefits to continually prove that they are searching for a new job, or lose their benefits.

The DOL encouraged states to create their own SEA programs and at one point, provided funding to do so. Today, however, only a few states offer SEA programs:

  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New York

Can You Collect Unemployment If You Have A Side Business


Under most regular unemployment insurance regulations, independent contractors and self-employed workers cant collect unemployment benefits. But the CARES Act, which expired at the end of 2020, provided relief to freelance workers, independent contractors, self-employed workers and small-business owners who wouldnt otherwise qualify.

Since 2020, Congress has passed two pieces of legislation that extend the unemployment insurance benefit period for individuals who are self-employed, including those with side businesses.

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How To Start A Business While On Unemployment

Depending on your state, you may be limited in how much money you can make while receiving unemployment benefitsbut you may also access free resources to put you on the road to self-employment.

While losing your job may be devastating, it opens up the possibility of doing something you loveand getting paid for it. Many people think it’s impossible to start their own business while on unemployment. It isn’t.

Will Ward, an entrepreneur and CEO of Translation Equipment HQ, has founded multiple businesses. “Though unfortunate, unemployment can be a great opportunity to take the entrepreneurial route,” he says.

Can You Use Unemployment Insurance To Start A Business

With unemployment on the rise each week, more and more Americans are applying for government assistance. The job market has significantly contracted, and the chances of finding new opportunities for employment are few and far between. As a result, many Americans are planning on foregoing the job search and starting an LLC, also known as a limited liability company. Lucky for them, collecting unemployment and starting an LLC is a viable option that is supported by the Department of Labor and a number of states.

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Being Employed While Unemployed

It’s possible your state may consider the time you spend on your new business to be the same as being employed. Whether or not you are yet earning an income from your new business, the state may regard your business venture as a job. This could make you ineligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits.

What Type Of Financial Relief Is There For Side

Can You Start A Business While On Unemployment

Under normal circumstances, people with side businesses are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, the CARES Act and now the latest American Rescue Plan Act expanded coverage for nontraditional workers, including freelancers, independent contractors, small-business owners and other types of workers who are self-employed. Even if you do your side business only a fraction of the time, youre eligible to receive some compensation if you lost work.

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Strategies For Starting A Business While On Unemployment

During an economic downturn, being strategic with the type of business you start may be key. Specific businesses like auto repair, resume writing services, and tutoring often thrive. You can also make choices based on what will take your startup capital farthest.

For example, while opening and running a restaurant is expensive, a food truck requires far less startup capital. For professional services, working from home and hiring contractors and virtual assistants instead of full-time employees can cut down your costs, too.

Theres also the challenge of knowing when to forgo your unemployment benefits. According to Davis, the job search requirements may be a distraction to starting your business, so the decision to stop is a personal one. Youll need to look at your states unemployment requirements and your own financial situation.

This life-changing decision is made by the individual, Davis said. Everyones financial situation and reasons for wanting to start a business are different. Remember to educate yourself and use the resources available for new and existing small business owners.

Can I Form An Llc While Employed Or Working At Another Job

If an LLC, or Limited Liability Company, seems like the ideal vehicle for your side business, you may be wondering if you can form an LLC while employed at another job.

Starting a business on the side while still holding down your day job is an ideal way to dip your toes into entrepreneurial waters. Its also a good way to earn some much-needed supplementary income. But in most cases, you want to hang onto your regular job, whether its because the regular paycheck will help your new start-up business stay afloat until it becomes financially viable or whether youre just wanting to start a side business to earn some extra money.

Its, therefore, a good idea to make sure your idea to start an LLC wont lead to unwanted consequences when it comes to your job.

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Unemployment During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds under the CARES Act through March 14, 2021. On March 16, the unemployment benefit for side businesses was again extended through September 6, 2021, under the American Rescue Plan Act.

PUA funding is available through each states unemployment board. Workers who are eligible for PUA can receive an extra $300 weekly benefit under the program.

Under the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program, workers who are eligible for other types of unemployment benefits and have earned $5,000 in a year through self-employment can continue receiving a $100 weekly benefit on top of regular unemployment insurance.

Since the start of the pandemic, workers with side businesses or who are self-employed, freelancers or independent contractors can receive up to 86 weeks of unemployment insurance through PUA.

Can You Use Unemployment Benefits To Help Start A Business

How To Start Your Own Business While On Unemployment

As a general rule, no, you are not allowed to use your unemployment benefits, or unemployment insurance money, to bankroll your startup. The money you invest in your new business should be your own money. The purpose of unemployment benefits is to help you buy food and pay bills while you are looking for work. Using that money to invest in a business may be considered improper use of those funds.

Some states have made use of federal law that enables them to set up Self-Employment Assistance programs. These programs can provide up to 26 weeks of benefits while you are busy starting your business. Usually, your state would require you to be looking for work during this time to remain eligible for unemployment benefits. If you don’t have an SEA program in your state, you can still start a business. You just have to be sure you declare any earnings and follow your state’s requirements to continue receiving benefits.

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What If Your State Doesnt Offer Self

Its still possible to lay the groundwork for your own business while youre unemployed and receiving benefits. Keep in mind, however, that any income earned while youre on unemployment will reduce your benefits. Thats true whether the income is from an outside source or from self-employment.

Here are some tips to help you use unemployment as a springboard for a startup.

  • Toe the line.Dont try to game the system. Make sure to follow the rules regarding eligibility for unemployment benefits. Always report any income you generate. Review your states rules to see if there are ways you can stagger your income so as to minimize its effect on your benefits. For example, you might be better off having a client pay you in one lump sum, or spread the payments out over a period of weeks.
  • Explore the industry you want to enter.Many people dream of starting businesses in industries theyre not really familiar with. For instance, if youre a laid-off bookkeeper planning to turn your passion for home-baked pies into a food business, why not try looking for a job at a food business in the meantime? Even if you dont get the job, youll learn a lot about the industry from going on interviews and doing research.
  • Use your time wisely.Yes, youre spending hours on job boards and composing resumes, so working on your business idea is probably the last thing you want to do. However, this window of time is highly valuable so dont let it slip through your fingers.
  • How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits

    To collect Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if you have a side business, youll apply in person, over the phone or online through the unemployment office in the state where you worked.

    Although the application process varies by state, some basic steps to take include:

  • Locate your states unemployment office. The U.S. Department of Labor offers this helpful unemployment benefits locator map.
  • Prepare your personal information. Youll need to have details like your address, phone number and Social Security number, as well as bank information if youd like to receive your benefits through direct deposit.
  • Gather your income information. You might be asked for financial information, like your total income for the year. If your unemployment office requests additional documentation, you should have 1099s, your annual tax return or other proof of income on hand.
  • If youre approved for PUA, youll need to recertify your unemployment status at regular intervals. Intervals might differ depending on the state you worked in.

    Workers who own small businesses but are denied PUA benefits can appeal the unemployment offices decision. Each state has its own formal process to initiate an appeal, such as a downloadable appeal form or address to direct handwritten appeal letters to.

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    The Basics Of Unemployment Benefits

    Unemployment benefits are a form of unemployment insurance meant to provide temporary financial assistance when you lose your job through no fault of your own. Its a joint program between states and the federal government to provide out-of-work Americans with cash.

    Each state has its own set of rules and requirements for unemployment benefits, including how long youve been out of work, how much you earned and the conditions in which you lost your job. For instance, if you were fired for poor performance, youre not eligible for unemployment benefits.

    Who Qualifies For Unemployment Benefits


    A person who is unemployed must meet specific criteria to receive benefits. If you hope to collect unemployment compensation in Colorado, the Department of Labor and Employment requires you to:

    • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
    • Be physically capable of working, actively seeking employment, and available to work
    • Have earned a minimum of $2,500 during the base period

    The base period in Colorado is the 12-month period before you lost your job. More specifically, this period consists of the last four out of the five most recent calendar quarters you worked before filing for unemployment.

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