Working as a freelancer alongside studies
Thread poster: eva75

eva75
English
+ ...
Sep 14, 2005

I would like to do some freelance work alongside my studies, but am finding it difficult to set up my "business", as I haven't been resident long enough in the country in which I want to set up. Do agencies ever work with (postgraduate) students?

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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:51
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Fill In Your Profile!!! Sep 14, 2005

First bit of advice, fill in your profile. I don't really know if agencies want to work with postgrads or not but I do know that they want to work with qualified translators. Make sure you list those qualifications so they know you have them!

Best,
Lindsay


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 13:51
It depends... (as always) Sep 14, 2005

... on your timetable. If you're a full-time student, you might not even have time to take freelance work, especially coming up to the holiday periods.

I can totally understand the predicament as I am starting a postgrad course next month, part-time.

Most agencies state in their online job / career / freelance application webpages that they only want qualified professional translators, so they may not want to take a chance on you, unless all their other translators are not available and they're stuck. For some other agencies, the fact that you're a student means that they can get away with paying you less.

Also, have you thought about where you're going to work? Do you plan on working from the college or from home? Are you available online all day in case a job offer comes through? Do you have time to market yourself and study at the same time, this is a tough business after all - there is more to translation than sitting at a desk with a couple of dictionaries!

Don't expect to get lots of work straight away. At the end of the day, however, if you're good at your job, the work will come.

g'luck!


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 14:51
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
You're too anonymous! Sep 14, 2005

LSabadosa wrote:

First bit of advice, fill in your profile. I don't really know if agencies want to work with postgrads or not but I do know that they want to work with qualified translators. Make sure you list those qualifications so they know you have them!

Best,
Lindsay



I couldn't agree more!

I would not chose you seeing your profile - you have barely filled it in!

Where's your background info?
Where's your specialization?
Where's your native language?
Where's your CV?
Where's your software info?
etc.

Fill in your profile with everything you can possibly think off!

Feel free to have a look at my profile for inspiration - it's by no means perfect, but I do get a lot of work, so.... ;o)))


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Necessary to have a business entity or not? Sep 14, 2005

PCovs wrote:

LSabadosa wrote:

First bit of advice, fill in your profile. I don't really know if agencies want to work with postgrads or not but I do know that they want to work with qualified translators. Make sure you list those qualifications so they know you have them!

Best,
Lindsay


I couldn't agree more!

I would not chose you seeing your profile - you have barely filled it in!

Where's your background info?
Where's your specialization?
Where's your native language?
Where's your CV?
Where's your software info?
etc.

Fill in your profile with everything you can possibly think off!

Feel free to have a look at my profile for inspiration - it's by no means perfect, but I do get a lot of work, so.... ;o)))



Obviously, I am aware of all this. I haven't set myself up properly yet, because I was hoping to get more legal advice as such. I need to know if it is necessary to have an actual business to work as a freelance translator or not? Especially since I will be a student too.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 13:51
in-country requirements Sep 14, 2005

Why don't you ask the the national translation association where you live about what is required to get started? These bodies usually have a webpage or leaflet to advise new translators on how to get started.

You don't say where you are located, so we really can't give you specific information about what is required in your country.

Is your postgrad related to languages/translation? Is there a lecturer in your college you could ask about this?


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 14:51
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Sorry. I misunderstood your question. Sep 15, 2005

Regarding this, I'm with Orla.

The tax authorities or business authorities in your resident country should be able to advise you on these matters.

Or if you tell us where you live, others from that country may be able to help you out.


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Cannot set up my own business Sep 15, 2005

PCovs wrote:

Regarding this, I'm with Orla.

The tax authorities or business authorities in your resident country should be able to advise you on these matters.

Or if you tell us where you live, others from that country may be able to help you out.


I'm in France. Becoming a freelancer here is so complicated that I really don't have the time or energy to be dealing with paperwork. As I said before, I would like to do some freelance translation alongside my studies.

This is probably a stupid question, but can I make out an invoice without having a VAT number? I once did this in Germany for some freelance teaching work and there was no problem. I wasn't earning enough to pay VAT anyway and the company I was working for only cared about the work I did and weren't too hung up on formalities. Would it give a bad impression to do some translation work for companies/agencies and then send an invoice without having a VAT/company number? I am aware that this is an EU requirement.

It seems almost pointless my asking authorities here in France, as I know that everything is formalised and they want numbers for this and numbers for that... The fact that I have to be resident in a country, prevents me from setting up my own business.

If there are any translation students who translate part-time without having a proper business entity, I'd be delighted to get some advice from you. Thanks in advance.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 14:51
French to English
No way to do it legally in France Sep 15, 2005

Do you have the right to work in France? If so, then becoming a freelancer is not that difficult. You just need to register with your local URSSAF and choose your medical insurance administration (there are several in France). The rest is easy...the various agencies send you bills for your various contributions (retirement, medical, etc.) and you pay!

As for bookkeeping, lots of people do it themselves, but I prefer to use an accountant as it just takes me so long to enter everything in every month. If you set up as a micro-entreprise in France, the bookkeeping is simplified and you don't need to worry about VAT.

Otherwise, there is no legal way to do freelance work in France, unfortunately.

You might want to search the French forum for more info on getting started.

Regards,

Sara


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Lakshmi Iyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:51
Italian to English
+ ...
Portage salarial Sep 15, 2005

You don't need to charge VAT if you earn less than 27,000 euros a year. In any case, if you're not setting up on your own I don't think you need to worry about VAT.

There is a way to freelance part-time without signing up with the URSSAF and that's to use the "portage salarial" system, i.e. a billing company. You'll find lots of discussions in the French forum on the pros and cons of "portage salarial".

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I think they basically handle all the admin stuff for you and take a percentage of your earnings. You'll still have do your own tax returns though, if you earn enough to be taxable. This might be worth checking out if you already have potential clients but don't want the hassle (and the expense) of setting up on your own.

Good luck.


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