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Rates for legal documents
Thread poster: Marcela Mestre

Marcela Mestre  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:05
Member
English to Spanish
Jan 31, 2005

Could anyone give me an idea about rates for legal documents?
One is a Solemn Declaration (of personal details) (about 200 words) and the other is a Certified copy of an entry (Birth Registry)(about 400 words).
Do I charge per document or per word?
Suggestions are welcome.


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Price structure Jan 31, 2005

The actual rate will depend on the language pair, the market in your area, and how you wish to compete with your peers, but the price structure usually goes like this: You set a per-word rate for legal texts, then you set a minimum charge per job, because many documents have a low word count. If you do not set a minimum charge, you may end up charging so little it may not be worth your while. Remember in setting the minimum charge to take into consideration that many small documents require quite a bit of formatting.

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Kristine Sprula (Lielause)  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 15:05
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
It depends.... Jan 31, 2005

For such type of documents I charge at least as per 1 standard page even if the text is less than a page (of course, there are exclusions). If the text is more than 1 standard page, I charge as a regular text - per words (again, there are exclusions).

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ecuatraddesign
United States
Local time: 08:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
It also depends on who the client is Jan 31, 2005

Fuad Yahya wrote:

The actual rate will depend on the language pair, the market in your area, and how you wish to compete with your peers, but the price structure usually goes like this: You set a per-word rate for legal texts, then you set a minimum charge per job, because many documents have a low word count. If you do not set a minimum charge, you may end up charging so little it may not be worth your while. Remember in setting the minimum charge to take into consideration that many small documents require quite a bit of formatting.


I agree, and I would also like to add that it all depends on who is the customer requesting the translation. If its an agency, I would charge per word with an applicable minimum fee per document. However, I used to get "walk-ins" who wanted documents translated for immigration, DMV or other purposes, and I would just give them a rate per document (based on my best word count estimate), since any talk on word counts and other details would probably just confuse them.


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:05
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Rates for (legal) documents Feb 1, 2005

I agree with the others but also want to add that it might be the case that you have a client - not necessarily legal work - who regularly sends you little documents to be translated. I mean really tiny: 3, 8, 24 words, etc. Then there are larger jobs and manuals he sends as well.

But he is a really good client who has been sending you this type of work for approx. 4 years now. I would not want to charge him my minimum rate for each little job. So I have created a running invoice for him where I charge per source word. When the invoice becomes a reasonable amount, I send it to him. He then pays immediately.

It has worked out very well.
Oh, I forgot, there is no formatting whatsoever to do for this job. Straight translation. He already puts it in two columns for easy working.

So, if it is a case like this, with a good client, I charge just by the word, no matter how small the no. of words to be translated. I hope that this case scenario give you another view as well.

Good luck!
Lucinda


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Marcela Mestre  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:05
Member
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
time to decide Feb 1, 2005

Thank you all!
I think I will finally charge the agency a higher rate than usual because it was "specialised" literature (legal). I think I will use target word count in this case, as it comes from paper documents.
I will use this method as it is an agency that sends in work on a regular basis. Otherwise, I think the "per page" rate would apply.
Thank you once again!
mm


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