This paper explores the relationship between self-employment, partner's employment, the household and children on a mother's and father's probability to choose self-employment. Few studies are available on this topic and their analysis is mainly limited to the female role in the North American context. In this study, we examine the influence of personal characteristics, household and labor market characteristics for both mothers and fathers in a family context and their probability to be self-employed as compared to parents who have chosen formal, gainful employment. We focus on the data from the European context comparing results from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Using these large and comparable data sets, our logit model estimates show that mothers who choose self-employment do not work fewer working hours than those in gainful employment. Similar results were found for fathers in Spain and Italy. Perhaps the most striking result is the very strong significance of the partner's self-employed status on the choice for self-employment for both mothers and fathers in all three countries. Other effects such as human capital, household income, presence of grandmothers and number of young children indicate country differences.