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Unemployed and always had ambitions to start your own business?

Did you know that if you receive unemployment benefits, you can start as a self-employed person, freelancer or self-employed person? The UWV offers unemployed people the opportunity to start as a self-employed person while retaining your (or part thereof) unemployment benefit. UWV must then beforehand grant permission and you must meet all conditions. You will then (partially) keep your unemployment benefit. Curious about the conditions? Then read on.


You must follow the training “Independent entrepreneurship with unemployment benefit”. This workout you can find it here.
Your consultant within the UWV (consultant work) can then give permission for the next phase.

Investigation period

After approval of your work advisor, the research period follows. It is important to prepare yourself well and to conduct careful research. This way you can investigate whether it is feasible to start something for yourself. What about insurance? Do you have a location in mind? What about permits and taxes?

The research period lasts a maximum of 6 weeks. During these 6 weeks there is no obligation to apply and you keep your benefits.

Still not starting as a self-employed person? Then nothing changes. You keep your benefits and the same rights and obligations as for the research period.

Would you like to start as a self-employed person? Then the starting period begins.

Start period

The starting period lasts 26 weeks. In the starting period you will receive 29% less unemployment benefit and you have no obligation to apply. During this period you can spend all hours on your company. It does not matter how much you earn as a self-employed person and how many hours you have spent as a self-employed person.

Terms & Conditions

There are conditions. For example, you will only receive permission from the UWV if there is a good chance that you will earn enough money with your own company to be able to provide for yourself. In addition, you must also have followed the online training “Independent entrepreneurship with unemployment benefit”. In addition, you are not allowed to carry out assignments for an ex-employer. The reason behind this is to prevent the ex-employer from firing you as an employee and then hiring you as a self-employed person at lower employment conditions. If you do accept an assignment with a former employer, the UWV will no longer pay you benefits until the end of the starting period. The UWV can also impose a fine. After the starting period, however, it is allowed to accept assignments from the ex-employer.

After the starting period, you must report your hours to the UWV. This concerns both direct and indirect hours. The UWV can calculate your fictitious income based on this. The fictitious income is deducted from your unemployment benefit. How the UWV calculates the fictitious income, you can read here.

Your unemployment benefit will stop if your income as a self-employed person exceeds 87,5% of your monthly wage.


Any questions or would you like more information? Please feel free to contact the Service Center on 0345- 851 851 or We are happy to help you.