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Time for Translators to establish LLPs?
Thread poster: deutschenglisch

deutschenglisch
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
LLP Nov 27, 2018

Samuel Murray wrote:

SD Platt wrote:
I know the UK LLP model and that was what I was referring to.


Well, if you had said so initially, we could have avoided all this hot air about nothing.

The UK LLP model is quite unique (very unique, in fact). There is practically no liability, and there is no upper limit to the number of partners. In addition, you don't have to be a UK resident to be in a UK LLP (and if all members of the LLP are non-UK resident, then the LLP pays no tax in the UK).

The LLP itself has to submit its accounts once a year in the UK and be audit-ready at all times. If you're a non-UK resident, you'd still have to pay income tax in your own country.

I'm not sure if, when working as part of an LLP, my own country's tax department will regard the LLP itself as the source of income (as opposed to the LLP's clients). If so, then, if I were to get most or all of your work via the LLP, I would lose my sole proprietor tax benefits and get taxed as a non-business at the highest income tax rate instead of the discounted rate I'm currently enjoying.


All well and good. So what country is your residence in?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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SITE LOCALIZER
@Chris etc. Nov 27, 2018

Chris S wrote:
I was actually referring more to the freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours and states of undress and so on. As soon as you become en employee/partner/employer these freedoms are curtailed.


If I understand correctly, it's not a problem for a UK LLP to have dead-weight members, so you'd still have complete freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours without the need to feel some kind of moral responsibility towards the partnership. And you don't have to work via the LLP even if you're a member of an LLP -- you can still work as a freelance translator outside the LLP.


deutschenglisch
 

deutschenglisch
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
in theory Nov 27, 2018

Chris S wrote:

David GAY wrote:
Do freelancers really work on their own terms or do they work on the terms imposed by the LSP they work for in terms of rates,
deadlines free tests, non payments etc...?


Of course we do. Because we can always turn work down.

OK, there's normally a bit of give and take. But ultimately we have the power because we're the ones who do the work. They need us more than we need them.

But I was actually referring more to the freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours and states of undress and so on. As soon as you become en employee/partner/employer these freedoms are curtailed.


Its pure theory. What matters is how things play out in reality


David GAY
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Sorry, but I most certainly do work on my own terms Nov 27, 2018

SD Platt wrote:
You do not work on your own terms
and more an more the role of freelancer is morphing into one of zero hours employee


Strongly disagree.

Nobody has to take a job on a zero-hours contract. Nobody has to accept work for GiantTranslationCorp for 2 coins a word.

I have set my rate at 20 coins a word. GiantTranslationCorp don't like this, but sometimes they need me.

Who has the power there?


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
most freelancers don't Nov 27, 2018

Chris S wrote:

David GAY wrote:
Do freelancers really work on their own terms or do they work on the terms imposed by the LSP they work for in terms of rates,
deadlines free tests, non payments etc...?


Of course we do. Because we can always turn work down.

OK, there's normally a bit of give and take. But ultimately we have the power because we're the ones who do the work. They need us more than we need them.

But I was actually referring more to the freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours and states of undress and so on. As soon as you become en employee/partner/employer these freedoms are curtailed.


Most freelancers don't, take free translation tests, work for peanuts or work for non payers, must accept haircuts...
If you have your own agency, you can also choose with whom you want to work.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
@Samuel: are you a ZZPer? Nov 27, 2018

Samuel Murray wrote:

SD Platt wrote:
I know the UK LLP model and that was what I was referring to.


Well, if you had said so initially, we could have avoided all this hot air about nothing.

The UK LLP model is quite unique (very unique, in fact). There is practically no liability, and there is no upper limit to the number of partners. In addition, you don't have to be a UK resident to be in a UK LLP (and if all members of the LLP are non-UK resident, then the LLP pays no tax in the UK).

The LLP itself has to submit its accounts once a year in the UK and be audit-ready at all times. If you're a non-UK resident, you'd still have to pay income tax in your own country.

I'm not sure if, when working as part of an LLP, my own country's tax department will regard the LLP itself as the source of income (as opposed to the LLP's clients). If so, then, if I were to get most or all of your work via the LLP, I would lose my sole proprietor tax benefits and get taxed as a non-business at the highest income tax rate instead of the discounted rate I'm currently enjoying.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Couldn't agree more Nov 27, 2018

SD Platt wrote:
My contention is you need industry experience as well as language skills.

Indeed. My standard advice to young people considering translation would be to go and make a career, then come back and look at translation when they have some domain-specific knowledge.

Regards,
Dan


deutschenglisch
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Yes, and the reality for some is different to your own Nov 27, 2018

SD Platt wrote:
Its pure theory. What matters is how things play out in reality

The reality of my working life is that I turn down clients and work that does not suit me. I control my professional environment.

To be sure, in most fields of commerce, price-takers make up a substantial part of the lower end of the market. If you cannot differentiate yourself from others, you too will become a price-taker. Both freelancers and agencies need to offer something extra (or a blend of somethings) that elevates them beyond the status of price-takers, whether it be specialist knowledge, prompt turnaround, aggressive marketing, or superior client service.

Too many freelancers don't have that "something". They don't understand how business works in general, or they neglect marketing, or they are difficult to work with, or they have no domain-specific knowledge. Then they end up on ProZ or in a Facebook translation group complaining about a lack of business.

Life is difficult. Work is hard. Success is the exception, not the rule, and the burden is heavy even for those who succeed. My own business is doing well at this stage, but that has not come without a cost to myself. For example, I regularly work into the small hours to hit my deadlines and deliver the substantial amount of work I take on. How many of my would-be competitors would consider such hours acceptable?

The key issue is not necessarily what course I choose - whether I opt to work long hours or not - but that I acknowledge that I do have the luxury of choice. I have agency. I take responsibility for my life. I believe that conversely most freelancers fail to accept that they have a choice and they too often say "yes" when they should be saying "no".

If freelancers refused to work on poor terms more often, then they would raise their chances of success, not least because the mindset of saying "no" until the terms are right is more likely to be indicative of business acumen than the "freelancers are victims" mindset of resigned capitulation.

To go back to your original point, If a freelancer is already successful then they don't need to do change the way they work, and entering into a partnership would arguably dilute their existing franchise, and if they are not already successful an LLP is unlikely to change anything.

Regards,
Dan


Kaspars Melkis
Chris S
Vera Schoen
Jennifer Forbes
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Sheila Wilson
Michele Fauble
 

The Misha
Local time: 22:49
Russian to English
+ ...
Speak for yourself, please Nov 27, 2018

SD Platt wrote:

Chris S wrote:

I used to do work for a couple of translator co-operatives/partnerships. They were just agencies in a very slightly different form.

Remember that the reason why many of us work alone is that we want to work on our own terms. As soon as we start working with others, that changes.

I would agree that it's best for everyone when agencies are run by translators, but they all seem to be getting bought up by the big boys now.


and more an more the role of freelancer is morphing into one of zero hours employee


I, for one, do work on my own terms, and I am not an employee, let alone a "zero hours employee," whatever that means. Extrapolating from your own experience isn't a particularly effective way of assessing what others are doing and how well, or badly they are doing it. Ever heard of garbage in, garbage out?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:49
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Really? Why is it so? Nov 27, 2018

David GAY wrote:
Most freelancers don't, take free translation tests, work for peanuts or work for non payers, must accept haircuts...
If you have your own agency, you can also choose with whom you want to work.


I just couldn't get it.





[Edited at 2018-11-28 13:12 GMT]


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:49
German to English
+ ...
answering this one Nov 28, 2018

David GAY wrote:

Do freelancers really work on their own terms or do they work on the terms imposed by the LSP they work for in terms of rates,
deadlines free tests, non payments etc...?

I am sometimes bemused by an agency contacting me, usually via a platform, "telling" me how much they will pay me for a translation, by when it will be done, sometimes wanting tests to be done first, and questionnaires to be filled out. It always seems a bit delusional.

No, my customers do not impose what they think they should pay me; only the expert in the field can know what deadline is feasible, and tests are fine as long as you pay me for it.

Btw, aren't we the "language service providers"? I mean, we provide the service, don't we?


Arkadiusz Jasiński
deutschenglisch
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
W.r.t. zero hour contracts Nov 28, 2018

The Misha wrote:
I am not an employee, let alone a "zero hours employee," whatever that means.


A zero hour contract is an employment contract in which you are treated as an employee but in which the minimum number of hours per week is zero.

In other words, you are a "permanent" employee with benefits (if any) and responsibilities of any permanent employee, but the minimum number of hours that the employer is required to make you work, is zero. This means that if during a given week there are 40 hours of work for you, then you work 40 hours and get paid for 40 hours, but if during another week there are only 7 hours of work for you, then you work 7 hours and get paid for 7 hours, and if during yet another week there is no work for you, then you work 0 hours and you get paid for 0 hours (although you may still get benefits).

If a freelance worker's entire income is from a single client (or just a small number of clients), or if a freelance worker's working conditions are dictated almost entirely by his clients, then he is in the same position as a zero hour employee (no guarantee of income, but still expected to be available at short notice).

[Edited at 2018-11-28 14:05 GMT]


deutschenglisch
 

deutschenglisch
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good point about freelancers picking and choosing Nov 30, 2018

Samuel Murray wrote:

Chris S wrote:
I was actually referring more to the freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours and states of undress and so on. As soon as you become en employee/partner/employer these freedoms are curtailed.


If I understand correctly, it's not a problem for a UK LLP to have dead-weight members, so you'd still have complete freedom to pick and choose jobs and hours without the need to feel some kind of moral responsibility towards the partnership. And you don't have to work via the LLP even if you're a member of an LLP -- you can still work as a freelance translator outside the LLP.


A good point about freelancing here. My feeling is it is gradually going out of style. It just isnt that easy to find suitable staff at short notice, perhaps clients may even start entertaining the idea of paying retainers


 

deutschenglisch
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
dont try that on this site :) Nov 30, 2018

Chris S wrote:

SD Platt wrote:
You do not work on your own terms
and more an more the role of freelancer is morphing into one of zero hours employee


Strongly disagree.

Nobody has to take a job on a zero-hours contract. Nobody has to accept work for GiantTranslationCorp for 2 coins a word.

I have set my rate at 20 coins a word. GiantTranslationCorp don't like this, but sometimes they need me.

Who has the power there?


depends if you can still find clients. You wont find many on proz.com with that approach
Its like this idea that everyone has power because they can vote cum election time. In practice looks very different.


 

deutschenglisch
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advice Nov 30, 2018

Dan Lucas wrote:

SD Platt wrote:
My contention is you need industry experience as well as language skills.

Indeed. My standard advice to young people considering translation would be to go and make a career, then come back and look at translation when they have some domain-specific knowledge.

Regards,
Dan


I feel the industry is going that way i.e., towards hiring domain rather than (just) language experts.
Usually when rates drop the next step is automation.

At the top end, fewer people will be needed but the labor supply will also restricted because of much higher barriers to entry.
I bet there is a handful of people on the planet who for example are experts in Germanic and Anglo tax and commercial law in some niche area.
Plus, its not really a pretty translation clients are asking for but information.
Perhaps this is already happening.


 
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