Requirements for translators in Austria
Thread poster: EvaVer

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Sep 12, 2017

There is no category "translation in Austria", so I am posting it as "getting established". What are the requirements for a translator to get a business licence in Austria (and is it a business licence, or something else)? I might have to move there for some time and to register as a resident, but I am afraid I would not be allowed to continue my business, as I 1) don't speak German, 2) have no higher education (but 30 years of successful practice). My clients are all over the world, none in Austria, although some have branch offices there, so it is theorically possible I would work for an Austrian client (but unlikely in view of my language pairs) - just to say that I wouldn't take work away from the locals. In my current country, there are no special qualification requirements for a translator, so my existing licence is no proof of qualification that could be recognized there. Thanks in advance for any insight!

 

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:44
Member (2011)
German to English
Eur 120 / year Sep 12, 2017

In Austria, translation falls under the category Sprachdienstleistung. This also includes interpreting, and language instruction. For translation, at least when I applied for a Gewerbeschein or (business license), there were no other requirements than paying the application fee and the annual fee thereafter. You will be required to have health insurance however, if you're not already insured through an employer.

For more info see https://www.wko.at/service/suche.html?searchTerm=gewerbeschein


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Sep 12, 2017

This is a relief, I was afraid there would be qualification requirements as in some other countries!

 

Mibellaz
France
English to French
+ ...
Where to start ? Feb 21

Hi,

I may also settle down in Austria in the near future and would like to start working there as a freelance translator EN > FR.
Note that I got a translation master's degree but never worked as a freelance translator before.

Austrian burocracy being completely new to me, I'm confused as for where to start:
- business licence (is it mandatory to have a Gewerbeschein to work as a translator in Austria?)
- health insurance (SVA?)
- taxes (UID?)
- legal setup
- retirement
- invoicing (in English, French, German?)
- contracts (Do you sign contracts with each and every client/agency? How do you create a contract, is there any template somewhere?)
- terms & conditions (any template somewhere?)

Is there in Austria such thing as umbrella companies, that take care of the invoicing and contract part with the clients? Or is it even possible for me to work with an umbrella company in France although I will be living in Austria?

Sorry in advance if my questions sound stupid, I couldn't find any answer in earlier posts and just want to be sure I got the right info to start working in the best conditions from the start.

Thanks!

Mibellaz


 

Haneder  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:44
German to French
+ ...
In Austria Feb 21

Hi,

First of all I would say that if you go to the chamber of commerce and create a sole company, this is pretty much centralized, one place is informing the other.
The chamber of commerce will help you to register to your local office, and once you have registered you will see that when it comes to be paid, you do not have to run after them. You will then register to the SVA (which is the health and retirement office for self employed people).

I usually invoice in the language of the target country or in German. If you go for the EN-FR pair, you will likely see that you work 99% of the case with agencies abroad, Austrian agencies are mostly offering jobs that have German as source or target language and for crossover you will have to be creative. Personally i am been asked maybe 1-2 a year in Austria for EN-FR jobs.

As for the contracts and terms and conditions, there are templates, one template is being offered by the section of the chamber of commerce for translation agencies but in my experience, this is very competitive and pushing your own conditions as a starter means you won't get the job. I think in the first time you will work for the same clients you have been working for in France.

I do not know of umbrella companies. About 90% of agencies do not have staff and are just in fact freelancers acting as agencies too. Sometimes I do work for agencies in France, some agencies might be strict about the fact that you have to be in France, other less.

Some translator do not have a business licence, this is however nowadays highly recommanded.

If you do not speak German, you will have to learn quick, and on a side note, the German that is spoken here is not the German French people learn at school. It took me a while to understand it even with a degree in German (for Germany).

Probably at the beginning you will do the same as from France, just invoicing from Austria instead of from France and if you do not have to send documents per snail mails, the clients will mostly not care.

Yolande


 

Mibellaz
France
English to French
+ ...
Thanks a lot for this exhaustive answer! Feb 21

Thanks a lot for this exhaustive answer!

So Chamber of Commerce first. I read as well that I need to get a UID (= numéro de TVA intracommunautaire ?) from the Finanzamt. Is that automatic as long as I register at the WKO?

Regarding terms and conditions, do you use them with every client? Or do they sometimes provide you with their own contract?

My first message wasn't very clear. I graduated in 2006 and worked for a short time in a translation agency before moving to a project manager position in a different field after my graduation. But now I miss translating and I decided to give myself a chance to get back to it. So I'm totally new to the world of freelance translation (looking for clients, invoicing, etc.).

I also studied German, but I don't feel it's good enough right now (after ~10 years without practicing) to offer translation services from German to French. I'm working hard on getting back to speed in this language though and hope to work with it in the future. And I do know that the language spoken in Austria is not the German we study in France as my boyfriend is Austrianicon_smile.gif Another challenge indeed! (how do you deal with clients on the phone? ^^)

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help! And if you have any tip to share on invoicing tools/methods, tax saving, etc. I would be grateful as well.

Mibellaz


 


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Requirements for translators in Austria

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