Unemployment coverage for the small business owner

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

An award-winning small business attorney in New York City, Nina is a sought-after professional speaker and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She is the go-to counsel for knowledge economy and creative companies, delivering legal services and educational resources that save them time, money, and aggravation.

Posted on April 24, 2015 in Business Essentials

Q.: I recently got laid off from my full-time job. My small business only makes enough to cover my business expenses. Can I still collect unemployment from my full-time job even if I have a sole proprietorship?

A.: Generally, you cannot get unemployment coverage if you are a small business owner.  The purpose behind unemployment insurance is to provide assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.

That your business is only breaking even may not really factor into the equation.  Becoming self-employed can be grounds for disqualifying you from benefits–but this can vary depending on state law—so it would make sense to consult with an attorney to get a clear sense of what you can and cannot do in your state concerning unemployment coverage as a small business owner.

Here are more law questions about small business insurance



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