Any Nomadic Freelancer ?
Thread poster: DavidFrance
DavidFrance
Local time: 23:12
English to French
+ ...
Jun 12, 2008

Hey all !
I've decided that I wanted to live in different countries for like 3 months to a year each time
I would like to know in that case how I could be a freelance translator
I mean, would I have to create my own company in every single country to be able to legally charge my work ?
Anybody nomadic here ?
Thx for your answers
David


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maaike van Vlijmen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:12
Member (2009)
Italian to Dutch
+ ...
Kind of Jun 12, 2008

Hi David,
I am kind of nomadic. I just stay registered in my native country (The Netherlands) at my father's address when I leave for a couple of months. However, when I really move (maybe I'll move to Germany in the fall) for a long time (more than a year) I will register there of course. I think this work is ideal for leading a nomadic life. Enjoy!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:12
German to English
+ ...
Web sites on this topic Jun 12, 2008

You might be interested in these related Web sites:

http://www.laptophobo.com/
http://www.nunomad.com/

The person who writes them is active on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums (or was 6 mos. or so ago), so you might want to look there for information, too.

I think it sounds like a great idea!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:12
French to English
It's more difficult than it should be Jun 12, 2008

Hi David France (is that your real name?)

In actual fact being nomadic in Europe it made hard by the tax authorities and telephone companies flouting European Regulations. For instance getting VAT back in any country outside the country you pay tax in is a nightmare and be prepared to have to pay for 3 internet subscriptions, 3 mobile phone lines etc. Not only that but look forward to paying full price council taxes on all your homes and places of work.

Basically for translating you need a good internet connection and getting one set up in certain countries is hard work - in Italy a nightmare for instance
You have to choose one country as you main country of residence. I live between France England and Italy with France my country of residence.

Good Luck and nice to here from other nomads with useful tips.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 23:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
Great links Jun 12, 2008

Daina, thanks for those websites. They contain very useful information and I've registered, just in case I ever decide I'm brave enough to take the plunge.

How wonderful would it be to travel the world and earn money while doing so...

*sigh*


Direct link Reply with quote
 

theda  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 16:12
German to French
+ ...
nomadic Freelancer Jun 13, 2008

Hello David,

I am a nomadic freelancer, my home country is Austria but I spent 2 months in Colombia this year and I ll do that again after the summer. This is the great thing about our job, to be depending only on owning a lap top and a good Internet connection. I stay registered in Austria all the time, it doesn't really matter as long as you don't leave the country for more then 3 months.
About internet: I don't think it is sooo complicated, at home, I have a mobile Internet connection that works everywhere in Austria and if it is possible to get an Internet connection within 2 weeks in Colombia, it should be possible almost everywhere. I keep my austrian mobile turned on all the time and can communicate through sms and I buy a local cheap prepaid phone for every day life abroad. Also, skype is a good way to keep in touch at low costs. I don't even tell all my clients that I am gone, I just keep on working the same way as usual.

Enjoy your travelling!

Theda


Direct link Reply with quote
 
tenorikuma
Local time: 06:12
Japanese to English
I'm not quite nomadic, but... Jun 14, 2008

I maintain bank accounts in Canada and a mailing address at my parents' home, which I use for all international payments and clients.

For Japanese clients, I use my current address and bank account information in Japan. This arrangement seems to work quite well.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stephanie Sirot  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:12
English to French
+ ...
Yes, it is possible Jun 15, 2008

I declare all my income in Canada, where my company is registered and where I have my bank accounts.

I work both in Canada and France. It has never been a problem.

Stephanie.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
DavidFrance
Local time: 23:12
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all & 3 more questions Jun 21, 2008

Hello all, & thanks a lot for your replies

Daina, thanks a lot for the links to those websites, probably two soon-to-be references for me

I think I’ll start by being registered at my parents’ address as you Maaike.

Nicholas/ NR_Stedman, David France is NOT my real name, sorry to disappoint you Just my e-nickname, since for people I know from the Internet I am David… from France
About what you said about the cost to set up an Internet connection, etc… if I was staying somewhere just for like 3 months, I would probably do so having house mates, and hopefully would share their Internet connection (I’ve stayed at lots of people lately, through a website called couchsurfing, and most of the time I was able to use their own connection… not even having a laptop at that time)
That said, you’re perfectly right when you say that it cost some extra money to be always on the move… for sure I have to take that in account… but I see so many more advantages

Béatrice /Theda, when I spent 3 months in California last year, I heard about prepaid phones as well… I wish I knew it at the beginning of my stay there (but hey, I succeed living for 3 months without any mobile phone while having a social life, isn’t that amazing lol). Anyway, it sounds like a good idea… thanks for reminding me And Skype for sure

Tenorikuma, thanks for your testimonial. So you don’t have any company to bill your customers ? They are OK with that ? Anybody else working the same way?

Stephanie, your testimonial make me have an other question to all of you guys :
What if I don’t spend more than 3 months in any country, how does it legally work?
And what are the most interesting countries to set up a company (with the least tax)?
And what about offshore companies? Is it really legal?

Thanks again & happy translating!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stephanie Sirot  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:12
English to French
+ ...
Offshore companies and other questions Jun 22, 2008

You should choose your "base" country for taxes and registration. Normally, it should be a country where you are legally entitled to stay and where you actually stay in to some extent.

In your case, you might want to reconsider the number of countries you want to translate from and live in. Or you should choose a country where you are going to live for 5 or 6 months, and make it you "base" country. Then you can divide the remaining months and spend time where you want. That is pretty much what I am doing.

I am not a tax specialist, so I don't know which country are the bests. From my own experience, Canada is quite good for small businesses in terms of registration and tax.

I believe offshore companies might work better for you if you have a lot of money!

Stephanie.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:12
German to English
+ ...
Three-month limit Jun 23, 2008

Regarding the three months - are you asking about work and residence permits? US and Schengen area citizens can stay in the respective other country/-ies for 90 days without a visa. That's where I think the 3 mo. limit came from. Other countries may have different visa-free periods depending on their relationship with your country of citizenship/passport.

My research into this issue also indicates that work permits are usually a gray area for freelancers. It's difficult to find concrete information. Some of the countries I looked into don't require them for freelancers, esp. those doing work involving third countries -- for example, my business is registered in the US, my customers are in Germany, I am working in Mexico temporarily: I don't need a work permit in Mexico -- or I simply couldn't determine whether a freelancer in this situation would need one. If you are within the visa-free period, I can't imagine a problem with work permits, although that always has to be researched on a country-by-country basis. For instance, the Wikipedia entry on Schengen says that third-country nationals intending to "take up...self-employed activity" may need visas even if they would normally be visa-free.

That's one aspect of the nomadic lifestyle that can be confusing to figure out! I'm not sure the law has caught up with this development.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:12
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I've done it a bit Jun 23, 2008

Hi, nice topic.
Well a couple of years ago I rented a flat in Cracow, and everything was very easy.
Then I moved to Florence, but go very often to my parents' place on the seaside
(just take my laptop and a couple of dictionaries). I've worked sometimes from Internet
points in Romania and Poland. Next August I'll probably travel to Gergia and Armenia
and I might carry out some minor projects from there as well as organize powwows.
I've created this group http://www.couchsurfing.com/group.html?gid=12238,
and just invite the nomadic translators to join.
Cheers,
Paola


Direct link Reply with quote
 
NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:12
French to English
VAT and sharing Jun 24, 2008

[quote]Paola Dentifrigi wrote:

Hi, nice topic.


Yes nice topic and worth having a separate forum on in my opinion as the possibility (and necessity to keep your languages up to date) of having a nomadic lifestyle for a translator is one of the major advantages of the job. One very important point not touched on above, and which I have tried to get answers to before, is that of VAT. In quite a lot of countries such as France the VAT ceiling is low and translators have to pay this tax (so they can also reclaim the VAT they pay on everything they need for their job) . This means that if you have France as your tax base and pay VAT on all your earnings there, if you buy things outside France (computers, telephone calls, books, office furniture etc) you won't be able to get the VAT back very easily.

Also in my opinion with translating you have to be very reactive, like get a job done in one hour flat for a new client. Sharing computers and internet lines with friends in my opinion is not a serious professional option.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:12
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Different types of nomadism Jun 24, 2008

NR_Stedman wrote:

Also in my opinion with translating you have to be very reactive, like get a job done in one hour flat for a new client. Sharing computers and internet lines with friends in my opinion is not a serious professional option.



I'm not saying of doing that for 3 months, but it might happen for small/routine jobs.
If I'd plan to leave Italy for over a month, I'd rent a flat

Regards,
Paola


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mathieu Jacquet  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:12
English to French
Been thinking of it too Aug 10, 2008

Hi all,

i've been thinking doing so for a while now, and I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences and points of view.

NR_Stedman is true, you have to be pretty responsive in your job, especially when you work for agencies (or direct clients) that need the job done as fast as a (double)click.

If your relations with those clients have been lasting for some time, and if you've been top professional with them so far, better tell them that you're leaving for 3 months, letting them know that when they'll send you job offers, you might just be sleeping! I personnally use a BlackBerry to get as snappy as possible when I get an e-mail. That's being a bit "extremist" (i've done that mostly when I started - not so far away) but some clients are in Chile or in Australia, so I'm able to reply even at night if need be (just push the "notify on email" setting to "loud") ). I'm pretty sure BlackBerries work in virtually every country.

As far as VAT issues go, if you're leaving for 3 months, I don't think you intend to buy lots of things while you're abroad, do you? Why not keep registered in France, get paid on your French account and do as if you were just leaving for a 3-month period? My opinion is: do not spend too much time while you're at your final destination on administrative matters, just find a flat with nice roommates, a high speed internet access, and start enjoying life abroad. For the rest, do your invoices and get paid as you do in France.

On a more personal key, I'm leaving soon for Corsica (it remains in France, I know, but I'm far away from home in a sense!), but hopefully I'm starting a 3-month ongoing translation job (a book), so I won't have to manage responsiveness issues too much (fingers crossed!). It will be a first experience of nomadic translator life, I'll reiterate that as soon as possible if it proves to be what I'm looking for.

Tell us more about your Nomadic life when you start it David!

Et amuse-toi bien à l'étranger !
Mathieu.


To Paola: Just joined your couchsurfing group!


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Any Nomadic Freelancer ?

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search