What freelancers need to deal with translation agencies from a financial point of view
Thread poster: Mila Di Tullio

Mila Di Tullio  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:07
English to Italian
Feb 2

Hi everyone

I would like to start a career as freelance translator and apply for translation agencies/companies.
Before starting my job hunting I believe I need to know what to do to make money out it. Can I ask you to suggest what to provide to agencies when we hand our translations back (e.g. invoice, amount of payment per word)?

Many Thanks



Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:07
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
invoice template on here Feb 4

You negotiate your own rate per word/hour/character/line/page with each agency.
Rates vary widely. There is a rate calculator under "Tools" > "ProZ.com Tools" > "Rate calculator" and you can find average rates for your language pair under "Tools" > "Proz.com Tools" > "Community rates". You can use those two figures as a guide.
Most agencies will make you sign a framework agreement and a non-disclosure agreement.
Otherwise your email exchange will be your contract.
They will often specify if you should invoice after a single project or if they prefer a collective invoice e.g. at the end of each month. Some want to receive each individual invoice together with the translation; some want it sent to a specific address (accounts department), others want it uploaded to their portal. You need to agree that with each outsourcer.
I would advice setting your own payment terms.
Personally, I expect payment within 30 days and refuse to work with outsourcers that ask for 45 or even 60 days. In some countries, longer terms are standard, and I believe some public institutions are also notorious for taking a long time to pay. You need to know the standard in your target market.
These payment terms should be stated on the invoice.

The invoice templates under "Tools" > "ProZ.com Tools" > "Invoicing" are well-designed and include all the fields the tax man likes to see, so use them as a guide for the information you provide and request from the agencies. Since you're in the UK and will likely stay below the generous VAT threshold, you should include a note that VAT hasn't been charged acc. to VATA.


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What freelancers need to deal with translation agencies from a financial point of view

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