Help: Freelancing, self-employed, registration...aso
Thread poster: Verena H
Verena H
Local time: 13:11
English to German
Feb 14, 2011

Hello everybody!
My name is Verena and I am totally new in the freelancing business.
I am currently unemployed but I work as a volunteer translator for different charity organisations.
I want to get started as a freelance translator.
I need some help concerning the process of freelancing, how it is with taxes, insurances...aso.

Do I need to register myself as a freelancer? If so, do I have to do it right know before I even got a task?
I had a look at different websites but still, I am confused.
Also concerning National Insurance; I read about the possibility to register as self-employed with a low income, would you recommend that for the beginning?
Is freelancing the exact same thing as self-employed?

I am so sorry if my questions might be confusing but that’s exactly how I am feeling right now.
So I am grateful for any advice or help.
Thank you so much in advance.

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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
French to English
Registering with HM Revenue and Customs Feb 14, 2011

Hallo Verena,

it is very easy to become self-employed. For us translators, we use "Freelance" to mean " independent", pretty much the same thing.

I recomend you contact your local Revenue and Customs office. When I first started here in the UK, I attended a one-day course they offered for newly-self-employed people. very helpful.

Basically, you need to register with R&C within 3 months (or it was 3 months, you should check) of starting work as a self-employed professional. You can register by phone (amazing but true!!). You can start work before registering.

You will need to pay National Insurance contributions of approx £8 a week as from your registration.

Every year, you will have to submit your income to the tax authorities for assessment. I have an accountant to do this for me, as he knows exactly what I can claim as expenses and what not.

Then you will get a tax bill, which will include another contribution to National Insurance, depending on how much your earn. I reckon I pay about 30% of my earnings in tax and national insurance.

You only need to register for VAT if you earn over a ceratin threshold, which is quite high - something like £50,000 - you will have to check this.

Hope this helps!

Send me a private email if you need more advice.

good luck!


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Verena H
Local time: 13:11
English to German
Thank you Feb 14, 2011

Thank you very much, Mary!

That was exactly what I was looking for!

And thank you for offering further advice, I am sure some more questions might come up.


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Help: Freelancing, self-employed, registration...aso

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