family For Members

What parental benefits are you entitled to as a freelancer in Denmark?

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
What parental benefits are you entitled to as a freelancer in Denmark?
A father and baby. Photo: Pixabay

Freelancers and self-employed people in Denmark need to jump through some additional hoops if they want to qualify for parental leave. Here are the boxes you need to tick.


While it can be liberating to be your own boss, Denmark's strong social security system and union rules generally favour those who are employed. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't get parental leave benefits as a self-employed person.

The rules are different depending on whether you have a sole-proprietership company with a CVR-number, work as a freelancer without a CVR-number, or are employed by your own private or public limited liability company -- ApS or A/S repectively. 

Self-employed/private entrepreneur with CVR

To get parental benefits you need to meet five conditions: 

  • You need to have been in work for at least six of the past 12 months
  • You need to have worked in the month directly before you took parental leave
  • Your business must be profit-making (no profit, no benefits)
  • You need to have worked at least 18.5 hours a week 
  • You must be physically with your child every day of your parental leave

If you have been self-employed less than six months, you can count periods where you have been a salaried employee. Times off on sick pay or on other benefits do not count as work. 

Self-employed/private entrepreneur without CVR

If you're self-employed but are not registed in the CVR database, you need to contact Udbetaling Danmark, part of the public benefits system, to apply for parental benefits. We're still trying to find out exactly what conditions you need to meet and will complete this section when they get back to us. 

READ ALSO: Denmark's new parental leave rules explained


Employed by your own private or public limited liability company

If you have your own Aps or A/S company, then your application for parental leave is treated no differently from any other company employee. 

This means you need to meet the following conditions: 

  • You must be employed on the day before the leave starts or on the first day of it
  • You need to have worked at least 160 hours in the four months leading up to your leave
  • You need to have worked at least 40 hours in three of the four months leading up to your leave

If you move to Denmark from another EU/EEA country less than four months before your leave, your employment in that other country counts as part of the 160 hours in total and 40 hours per month.

You need to be physically present with your child every day of you leave to receive maternity/paternity benefits.

How much are you entitled to receive in benefits? 

The amount that you can get is calculated based on:

  • the profit in your business (again, if you have no profit, you cannot receive benefits)
  • any income transferred to a co-operating spouse
  • your own sick pay and maternity benefits 

To get the full parental benefit amount of 4,695 kroner per week, your income must have been at least 244,140 kroner per year. 

Each parent is granted 24 weeks each of leave following the birth of a child, and self-employed people (unlike employed people) can transfer up to 22 weeks of this to the other parent. 


Can I work when on parental leave? 

Self-employed people are allowed to work 25 percent or 50 percent per week while only parental leave, receiving the corresponding 75 percent or 50 percent of the parental benefits they would have received if they were off work completely. 




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also