Work From France for UK clients
Thread poster: amdi
amdi  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:36
English to French
Dec 22, 2013

Hello there,

I moved back to France and would like to work for UK clients. Does someone based in EU already work for UK clients? How do you organize?

Thanks
Amy


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wotswot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:36
Member (2011)
French to English
UK clients Dec 22, 2013

I live and work in France (French to English) and have a few UK clients (agencies), but they don't pay as much as French agencies, as tax and social security rates are higher here in France.

There's nothing special about working for EU clients outside France, other than the fact that you bill them exclusive of VAT (if you're registered for it).

Richard


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:36
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
By our nature, most of us work for "foreign" clients Dec 22, 2013

wotswot wrote:
There's nothing special about working for EU clients outside France
I've worked for clients in over 10 different countries (across Europe, America, Asia...) this year alone, and it hasn't been an extraordinary year.

Can you say what it is you need to organise, Amy? A few of the issues that spring to mind when invoicing a client in any country other than your own are:

They may wish you to quote their tax numbers and other information on your invoice, but that's no problem; just add it along with your own.

You may agree to invoice them in a different currency, if you're happy with the likely banking costs and extra risk due to exchange rate fluctuations. You just need to find out how to handle those amounts in your accounting, something your local tax office should be able to help with. I'm personally happiest receiving euros as that's what I spend mostly, but I'm happy to accept sterling from UK-based clients into my UK bank account, and I will accept US dollars from non-EU countries if refusing to do so would cost me the job. Remember, all your tax office is interested in is the amount you earned, expressed in euros.

There may be rules about language used, but that shouldn't prevent the client understanding the invoice: for that reason, my own invoices are always trilingual - French and English (my language pair) and Spanish (my country nowadays) - although the free-form description of the job is only in the language I use with that particular client. I also give all dates in YYYY-MM-DD format as that's the only one that's truly international.

As Richard says, there may be different requirements regarding VAT. I don't know about that as I wasn't VAT-registered in France and the Canary Islands aren't actually within the scope of VAT.

Remember, the French tax authorities want to tax your world-wide income. They aren't actually interested in where the money is now (maybe it has never left the UK, or it's in the 'PayPal ether zone'), where it came from (as long as it wasn't laundered), which currency you received it in...


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amdi  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:36
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
TAX SYSTEM Dec 23, 2013

Thanks Richard and Sheila

Actually, by "organize" I was referring to the tax system. I don't have UK clients for now, but in some freelance ads I often see"candidates must be living in Uk".

So I was wondering if there were special rules for freelancing with UK clients.

My language pair is English to French, and I didn't find a lot of work in France. That's why I am starting to look for jobs in UK.


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 03:36
French to Dutch
+ ...
The only reasons I can see Dec 23, 2013

amdi wrote:

I moved back to France and would like to work for UK clients. Does someone based in EU already work for UK clients? How do you organize?


is that the translator is expected to come to the translation agency's office from time to time.
Most UK clients will specifically ask for British English or will have British English to translate for you.
Another reason may be that they know that they cannot expect UK prices from a translator living abroad. One of my French agency clients sends all his translations to the UK for half the price.
From the tax point of view, as Sheila says, you won't be charging VAT even if you are VAT-registered.
Just a hint: create your invoices in the two currencies, one column for € and one column for GBP, at the exchange rate of the date of creation.


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:36
English to French
+ ...
UK residents for UK clients Dec 23, 2013

Some clients prefer that their translator lives in their country for whatever reason like they want to have face to face meetings during the project, they feel more secure with local providers in case something goes wrong ... it is their choice.

From France you can freelance for clients all over the world. It will be a bit more complicated outside the Eurozone (including UK) regarding bank transfer fees, exchange rate. You will have to check in advance for bank fees, they can be very high.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:36
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
"candidates must be living in Uk" Dec 23, 2013

Clients have the right to specify it, so some do, sometimes with a valid reason (to them, anyway) and sometimes for no reason at all, it seems to me. But a great many don't specify where the translator should live. Thank goodness - seeing as my pair is French to English yet I live in Spain now!

My personal advice to you would be to seek out quality clients wherever you can find them. With English as your source language you'll find potential clients in all English-speaking countries as well as in all French-speaking ones, and there are some bigger agencies around the world who work in all pairs. There will always be a slightly higher risk associated with working for clients outside your own country, but the risk only refers to the difficulty of chasing payments abroad, so if you're careful in your choice of client then it can be much better to work with three good clients in three different countries, than with 15 poor ones in your own country. Personally, although I've had a couple of bankrupt clients (and that can happen anywhere, at any time), I've only had to sue one client, and we were both living in France at the time - all my "foreign" clients have paid my invoices in full, although not always on time.


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