Being a freelance translator in the UK
Thread poster: Cecilia Di Vita

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
English to Italian
+ ...
May 24, 2009

Hi there,

I am Italian but will move to the UK over the summer and would like to set up a translation business as a freelance. I've been working as a part-time freelance translator here in Italy over the last few years but I've never opened a VAT number.

I was wondering if any of you can give me any useful advice on where to start from and what requirements the UK law has.

Any suggestion would be welcome.

Thanks in advance

Cecilia


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
Flemish to English
+ ...
Bureaucratic heaven May 24, 2009

Cecilia Di Vita wrote:

Hi there,

I am Italian but will move to the UK over the summer and would like to set up a translation business as a freelance. I've been working as a part-time freelance translator here in Italy over the last few years but I've never opened a VAT number.

I was wondering if any of you can give me any useful advice on where to start from and what requirements the UK law has.

Any suggestion would be welcome.

Thanks in advance

Cecilia



The UK is the opposite of Italy with regard to bureaucracy (and taxes).
No requirements. Joe and Jane Do can annoint themselves "translator".
You should register as a self-employed and get an N.I.-number.
VAT-treshold £61000 unless it went up againicon_smile.gif.
The best thing to do is to go to : http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm and read the relevant pages. Welcome to bureaucratic heavenicon_smile.gif.


 

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a couple of questions May 24, 2009

Williamson wrote:

The UK is the opposite of Italy with regard to bureaucracy (and taxes).
No requirements. Joe and Jane Do can annoint themselves "translator".
You should register as a self-employed and get an N.I.-number.
VAT-treshold £61000 unless it went up againicon_smile.gif.
The best thing to do is to go to : http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm and read the relevant pages. Welcome to bureaucratic heavenicon_smile.gif.


Oh thanks. Just a couple of questions:

- how do you register as a self-employed and get a N.I. number?
- VAT-threshold (according to the site you gave me, it's 68,000 £ now): does that mean you don't have to have a VAT number unless your sales reach that amount?

Sorry if these questions sound silly. I will go through the link you sent me anyway, it looks full of useful informations!

Cheers


 

Gemma Collinge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Registering May 24, 2009

I'm not sure how getting an NI number works. They simply sent me one when I was at school but getting one shouldn't be too hard. Registering for self-employment is ridiculously easy. I just made one phone call. They also send you details of useful workshops you can attend to understand more about the tax system.

And you're right about VAT. If you sales for a twelve month period don't hit the threshold then there is no need to register for a number.

Almost everything is moving online now too which makes it even more convenient.icon_wink.gif

Good luck!


 

xxxFinlegal  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Romanian
+ ...
Good luck! May 24, 2009

Hello, Cecilia!

Registration

- You register as self-employed by phone, mail or online. See the details here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/iwtregister-as-self-employed.htm

- You register after you move to the UK, not before.

- You have 3 months to register after you start working. If you start working and you don't register within 3 months, you may be liable to a £100 fine.

- HMRC will send you an acknowledgement of your registration. You will find a 10-digits number on it, keep it well, it's your UTR (unique taxpayer reference) number i.e. the number that identifies you as a business. You will need it for completing your tax forms and when dealing with HMRC.

NINO

- After registration you make an appointment at Jobcentre Plus to get your NINO. See details here: http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/Customers/outofworkhelplookingforwork/Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_National_Insurance_Numbers/index.html

VAT

- Yes, unless your turnover reaches £68,000 in the previous 12 months, you won't have to register for VAT, so you won't have a VAT number.

Hope it helps.

Best of luck in the UK!


 

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks a lot! May 24, 2009

awww thanks a lot everyone! all your suggestions are so helpful! However I will bother you again in case I need more help!icon_smile.gif
Cecilia


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
Flemish to English
+ ...
En Italia May 24, 2009

How about the situation in Italy?

 

Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
Finnish to English
Sour note May 25, 2009

In my opinion there are already too many translation companies in the UK

I imagine the competition is fierce

spencer


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 09:19
Turkish to English
+ ...
Very simple May 25, 2009

Cecilia Di Vita wrote:

Williamson wrote:

The UK is the opposite of Italy with regard to bureaucracy (and taxes).
No requirements. Joe and Jane Do can annoint themselves "translator".
You should register as a self-employed and get an N.I.-number.
VAT-treshold £61000 unless it went up againicon_smile.gif.
The best thing to do is to go to : http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm and read the relevant pages. Welcome to bureaucratic heavenicon_smile.gif.


Oh thanks. Just a couple of questions:

- how do you register as a self-employed and get a N.I. number?
- VAT-threshold (according to the site you gave me, it's 68,000 £ now): does that mean you don't have to have a VAT number unless your sales reach that amount?

Sorry if these questions sound silly. I will go through the link you sent me anyway, it looks full of useful informations!

Cheers


Try calling in at your local tax office. You will find them quite helpful. I remember when I set up as a freelancer in the UK in 1999 that I simply called at the local tax office, filled in a very short and simple form there and then, and that was it.


 

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a few notes May 25, 2009

Spencer Allman wrote:

In my opinion there are already too many translation companies in the UK




well so should I give up my plans just because the competition is fierce? I don't want to found a translation company, I just want to be a freelance translator. I already have a 4-year degree in Translation, 6 years of working experience, even though as a part-time, and have applied for a post-graduate course at a very good London university. It's been my goal since I was 12 and I won't give up just because there are lots of translation companies in the UK.

Williamson wrote:

How about the situation in Italy?


well as I said I've never registered for VAT so I don't exaclty know what the Italian system requires for freelancers. I just know it's quite complicated and you have to deal with Italian bureaucracy which is not exactly easy...

Tim Drayton wrote:


Try calling in at your local tax office. You will find them quite helpful. I remember when I set up as a freelancer in the UK in 1999 that I simply called at the local tax office, filled in a very short and simple form there and then, and that was it.


thanks Tim for your tip. I will make sure to contact my local tax office as soon as I move there!


 

Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
Finnish to English
Misunderstood your message May 26, 2009

I thought you wanted to set up a buisness as an agency

sorry about that


always room for good translators, though

best

s


 

Lingua.Franca  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:19
German to English
+ ...
A little late, but this may help . . . Jun 25, 2009

THE HMRC holds workshops on a regular basis for the self-employed. There are many sessions, including ones about getting established, registering for VAT, paying contributions, etc. You can sign up on their web site.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/bst/map.htm
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/bst/london.htm

[Edited at 2009-06-25 14:28 GMT]


 

xxxTIL Ltd
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:19
English to Italian
+ ...
not the best ): Jun 29, 2009

Williamson wrote:

How about the situation in Italy?


Hi,
I'm Italian as well. I have just moved to the UK.
In Italy, there is a lot of more bureaucracy. You need to have a vat if your income is 5000€.
Rates are really low as well.

Regards
Val


 


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