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Starting a Business

Can I collect unemployment from my former employer if I now own my own business?

I was recently laid off and I didn't take a salary from my business.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Generally, the act of becoming self-employed precludes you from obtaining unemployment benefits. This begins from the date you formed your company precisely because you are now employed--even if employed by yourself.

The fact that your revenues were low and that you collected no salary is not relevant. However, unemployment insurance agencies may look back over a six- to 12-month period when calculating unemployment benefits.

Had you been employed by a company other than your own and then laid off, the agency would apportion your benefits between the two companies. Because the calculation of unemployment benefits can vary from state to state, it would be worth consulting with an attorney who specializes in this area to get a clear handle on exactly what you're entitled to.

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