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How easy/difficult is it to move to another EU country to work as a freelancer?
Thread poster: markj
markj
German to English
+ ...
Oct 22, 2004

Does anyone here have experience of moving to another EU country to work as a freelancer? I have heard that in actual fact it's quite difficult as you have to prove that you have enough resources to keep yourself going for a whole year without becoming a burden to the state, etc., etc. In my case I am thinking of moving to either Austria, Belgium or the Netherlands, but I would be interested in hearing the experiences of other freelancers who have moved around, regardless of the country they moved to, just in case some are more difficult than others.

Mark


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 04:14
Turkish to English
+ ...
No problems in the Republic of Cyprus Oct 22, 2004

I am British and came to the Republic of Cyprus this June. I starting doing freelance translation work in August. I have now completed all the formalities required to become self employed here - residence permit, registration with the tax and social security authorities. Since Cyprus has become an EU member, citizens of other EU countries are entitled to enter employment, become self employed or start their own businesses without any restrictions. I found the staff at the government offices to be helpful and efficient. I have worked in a number of countries in my life and experienced many difficulties with obtaining work and residence permits etc., and by comparism found the process here in Cyprus to be very smooth. I was even worried that I would face hostility here in Greek-speaking Cyprus because I translate from Turkish, but such worries have proved unfounded. In fact, I find Cypriots of all ethnic origins to be very civilised and hospitable people.
Hope this information is of use.


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
French to English
Moving to UK Oct 22, 2004

I moved from France to the UK to start work as a freelancer and it was very easy. You just have to register with the tax authorities as self-employed, pay national insurance of approx. £8 per month, and off you go!

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2004)
German to English
Easy enough Oct 22, 2004

I moved from the UK to Germany - not known for being friendly to anyone not German, even EU citizens - and here I had to apply for a residence permit (though from 1/1/05 I wouldn't need to any more) and for that they required a spreadsheet of last year's earnings, local documents proving I had somewhere to live and German health insurance. Then you register with the appropriate tax office(s) and away you go.

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Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Czech to German
+ ...
In the Czech Republic... Oct 22, 2004

I needed a registration with the tax-authorities and the social insurance (health insurance was not required but I have to pay for insurance for unemployment - as a freelancer! - and for pension) as well as a piece of paper called trade licence which is issued by a special office which cost me about 45 euro. Apart from that I had to get a visa at the Foreigners police (another 30 euro) for which I had to provide a paper from Germany that there is no evidence of any criminal delict there which had to be proved by an "Apostille" (45 euro) and the same from the Czech authorities (without Apostille:)) - it was a rather long process with a lot of stress but that was before the Czech Republic joined EU last May. It seems that now at least a visa is no longer required if you are EU-citizen and want to work as a self-employed person.
There may be another problem, though. If you are still registered as a tax-payer in your original country you have to report your income from the new country to the former tax authorities and - depending on whether those two countries have concluded a treaty concerning double taxes (don't know the correct word! Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen in German) - you will have to pay taxes in both of them or at least your income will be considered as well.
But probably one of the colleagues knows more about those things

Good luck with your new business!

Charlotte


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 04:14
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Residence permits Oct 23, 2004

Most countries seem to be doing away with them now. In Spain it's no longer a legal requirement. As an EU citizen, all you need is an ID number, which can be obtained by anyone, including illegal immigrants. You sometimes have to try and convince people though, and I've even found some people who are convinced that the UK (or England, as they put it) is not part of the EU (obviously they're confusing with the Euro).

When I was last in France, it was still a legal requirement, in theory, but I had plenty of friends who never bothered getting one and never had any problems.

It looks like Germany are getting rid of it.

In the UK, you've never needed anything.


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2010)
Italian to English
Italy Oct 24, 2004

I moved to Italy three years ago to work as a freelance translator. I had no problem getting work, but I had to plod through an awful lot of the usual Italian red tape. I had to get a residence permit, tax number, Vat number, residency etc. and was sent back and forwards from one office to another, as they all said I needed one of the other documents first. Tax is also extremely high here. However, I imagine that everything is much simpler in other European countries.

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markj
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Oct 26, 2004

Thanks to everyone for all their replies. I found them all very interesting and helpful and will now probably take the plunge as regard moving!

Mark


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