what is necessary to create a translation agency?
Thread poster: gnomo

gnomo
Local time: 10:29
Spanish
+ ...
Jun 3, 2003

Hello, friends of the forum
We are a group of people who teach different languages (French, English, German, Italian and Arabic) in a Language School in Spain. We like translating ( we do it as best as we can )and we are thinking of setting up a translation agency.What is necessary for this? What are the legal requirements? Can anyone help, please?
Thanks in advance.


 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
experience Jun 3, 2003

Without experience in translation project management you will very likely get into trouble because there are so many things which can go wrong.
But with common sense and good contacts you can minimize your learning costs.
Good speed,
Harry


 

SimplyMe (X)
English to German
Translators Jun 3, 2003

I think this really is the hardest part.

Because you'll easily find people who have the needed background knowledge, you'll quite easily find people with the needed translation skills, you'll have problems to find persons a) you like and b) who have the badly needed knowledge of their own mother-tongue.

So you will have problems gathering that group of people.

And you'll have severe problems finding the ones that fulfill all criteria.


 

PaulaMac (X)
French to English
+ ...
Uh oh! Jun 3, 2003

I sense trouble - you'll have to do better than translate "as best as you can." Do any of you have professional translation experience? I think that would be the number one criterion for setting up your own agency.

 

Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
Do some freelance translation work first. Jun 3, 2003

I would suggest for each of you individually to do a couple of test translations and then post them on ProZ as proofreading jobs. Ask the editor to be critical (brutally honest).

It will cost you some money up front for these trial runs, but it will save you large amounts of time and money in the long run (that is if you still need a lot of training). And the most important thing, you will practice safely and not have a very irate client on your hands who is unhappy with the quality of the translation.

And to set up an agency, you will definitely need Translation Project Management training. Or someone who is savvy running a business with independent contractors as workers.

Think very carefully before you leap. You cannot only do it "as best as you can." That will kill your agency professionally in a heartbeat.

I am sorry that I was blunt, but I guess that you guys are looking for honesty otherwise you would not have posted the question.

Good luck in your endeavors! I hope that your agency becomes a huge success and that I get a chance to work for you sometime.

Lucinda


 

Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:29
Chinese to English
+ ...
Money Jun 4, 2003

Enough money to be able to *pay* freelancers on time instead of going on about how the client hasn't paid yet so you won't be paid until February 30.

Enough money to be able to go after quality clients, so that you are not reduced to merely shuffling papers translated by people working for US$0.00003 per word, who learned their second language out of a discarded, outdated textbook.

Enough money to be able to pay a quality staff to actually perform translation management, to provide reasonable deadlines instead of throwing a job on someone's e-mail and forgetting to follow up, then yelling at the translator because s/he did not check his/her e-mail as the job was put there Friday night at 10 p.m. and s/he had something to do on Saturday.

Oh, I could go on and on...


 

Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:29
Chinese to English
+ ...
Actually...why open an agency? Jun 4, 2003

If what you really enjoy doing is translating, then why not take on freelance work, encourage each other, join your local translators' group together, travel to events together, and so on?

I don't think running an agency would allow you to enjoy translating! Running an agency is at heart a management job, not a linguistic one. It's helpful to understand the translation process, but at the end of the day the agency mostly has to make hiring decisions, financial decisions, quality control stuff...the usual business items. I don't know too many translation agency owners who have any serious time to translate, if their agencies are enjoying any success. People who can manage the whole company are usually too valuable to be used as "mere" translators...they hire and fire translators instead.


 

Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 03:29
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
This link will surely be useful Jun 4, 2003

http://www.emprendedores.navegalia.com/emprende/pnegocio/01agplan.pdf

Saludos

J. Payan

gnomo wrote:

Hello, friends of the forum
We are a group of people who teach different languages (French, English, German, Italian and Arabic) in a Language School in Spain. We like translating ( we do it as best as we can )and we are thinking of setting up a translation agency.What is necessary for this? What are the legal requirements? Can anyone help, please?
Thanks in advance.



 

gnomo
Local time: 10:29
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks to you all Jun 4, 2003

I am so grateful to you for all your comments and advice. We will think twice before starting it up. Rather, we should gather some experience before taking the leap.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart.


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 15:29
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Bad agency practice Jun 5, 2003

I can personally give you poor and unsuccessful agency service. Why not ask me ? I have tons of bad ones.
Soonthon L.


 

Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:29
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Setting up a company in Spain is a mess... Aug 11, 2003

I would strongly suggest that you do *NOT* set up an agency until you have done quite a lot of freelance work and have at least a minimum base of customers.

On the other side, setting up a company in Spain is quite complicated, apart from expensive - to set up a small company (sociedad limitada) will cost you around 1500 euros & two weeks of paperwork.

You must realize also that your tax obligations are much more complicated than a simple freelance translator. For example, a freelance translator has to add VAT- an agency has to add VAT but also DEDUCE 15% income tax from its (national) freelancers, pay it to the taxman and provide its freelances with an annual justification of such retentions.

If you are still interested, go ask at the local "Cámara de Comercio", they will gladly help you with information.

BTW, registering as a freelancer costs you zero (0) euros and 1 trip to the local tax office. All my declarations I do afterwards over the internet...

[Edited at 2003-08-11 00:24]


 


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


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

what is necessary to create a translation agency?

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 »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



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