Business Collaboration with Fellow Translator
Thread poster: Caroline Moreno

Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:56
Chinese to English
+ ...
Feb 5, 2008

I'm considering a collaboration with a fellow translator who is a native in my source language. We are trying to work out the details and I'm wondering if I act as his agent, how should that work? If I sent him job leads, how would I know if he took the work or not? If I requested a flat percentage rate of commission, how much should that be? Does anyone have a sample contract for this type of arrangement? Also, would the business licensing and tax implications of this be different (I'm in the US)? Thanks in advance for your advice!


Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:56
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Talk to a lawyer Feb 5, 2008

Given that this collaboration seems to be more than simply "I don't do that combination. Why don't you talk to X, who does?", I think it's better to work out these details with a lawyer than sue each other later.


Vito Smolej
Local time: 15:56
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"Talk to a lawyer" Feb 5, 2008

duh... No wonder, lawyers and accountants are reigning supreme.

Why not talk it over with the other party? You do have the common interest to rely upon - I would be very much surprised if you could not work out details. Make a list of questions and discuss it with the other party. Coming out full blast with a lawyer will very probably kill any fun the other party may see in the deal.

That's the way deals are supposed to happen - face to face. Who needs lawyers...

Regards and keep us informed

[Edited at 2008-02-05 19:44]


Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:56
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Talk to a lawyer anyway Feb 5, 2008

Of course you talk it out with each other first. After all, lawyers charge substantial amounts for their time. (I can see how my previous post might come across as a suggestion of seeing a lawyer and confronting the other party with "here's a contract. Take it or leave it." That wasn't intended.) But after you've basically worked out the arrangement, then you get with the lawyer (and you both agree which one) and formalize the arrangement.
The questions you asked about commissions/knowing whether work was accepted are probably best discussed face to face. (Bear in mind that the other translator may be sending you work as well.)
You asked specific questions about tax implications and licensing. These will probably differ from one jurisdiction to another. That is probably best discussed with the lawyer.


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Business Collaboration with Fellow Translator

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