Bank account question
Thread poster: Philippe Oubelhaj

Philippe Oubelhaj
Belgium
Local time: 21:33
French to Dutch
+ ...
Mar 23, 2009

Hello,

I have a question. A Dutch translation agency wants to add me to their list of freelancers, and they had a list of ‘demands’ for their administration (for example: provide “evidence of good behaviour-document). I have done all that so I thought it would be ok now, but now they tell me that I need an account number with a Dutch bank for the payments.

Apparently, their system only works with Dutch banks…

I find this hard to believe…
And I have also told them this.
It’s a global market now so it’s easy to pay someone via PC-banking for example, even if he or she is on another continent.

However, they insist they need a Dutch account number and have asked me if I would be prepared to do that (open an account there).
What should I do?

What is your opinion?
Or has someone had a similar experience?

I'm a Belgian translator by the way, with a Belgian bank accounyt number...

Best regards,

Philippe


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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:33
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
?? Mar 23, 2009

If the concept of international money transfer is unknown to a translation agency, I would not bother applying for work with them.

In 2002, the European Commission relegated the regulation of the fees that a bank may charge for payments in euros between European Union member countries down to the domestic level, resulting in very low or no fees for transfers within the Eurozone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_transfer


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:33
English to German
+ ...
Educate or drop them Mar 23, 2009

Hi Philippe,
If the prospect is interesting, you could try and educate them about SEPA payments.

Otherwise, forget them: they are obviously unaware of current payment methods.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:33
English to Dutch
+ ...
NL is no underdeveloped country Mar 23, 2009

As a Dutchman, I can assure you that international payments from the Netherlands are no problem whatsoever. These people are just lazy. Extremely lazy, in fact, as international payments require only a few clicks more in online banking systems, as I know from experience.
Indeed, educate them or drop them.


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CFK TRAD  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:33
English to French
+ ...
Agree with the fellows + tax effects. Mar 23, 2009

Hi,
I write you both as a freelancer and (more and more) as the head of a TA (in France).

I have outsourcers all over the world, and if I ever asked them to open a bank account in France, they would run away! Any TA in Europe can pay freelancers in Europe via a Bank Transfert system called SEPA. As far as I'm concerned, it's the same process (I mean ABOSLUTELY the same, no change at all) when I pay outsourcers in France or in Spain, Portugal or the Netherlands. I need the IBAN and BIC/SWIFT, full stop.
There's no extra-cost (it's a EU law) between domestic transferts and SEPA.

Furthermore, if you open a bank account in a foreign country (which is completely legal), you have to consider the tax implications. It means that you'll get paid on a foreign bank account, so should you add this income to your fiscal return in Belgium, or have another fiscal return filled in the Netherlands, with the Dutch fiscal services? This issue has to be solved with a tax adviser. It's a bit expensive, so if you're not 200% sure to get a lot of money with this agency, you might well lose money in fact.

I would reply them that either they pay you to your Belgian account (or Paypal), or they'd better forget about you. Don't forget that, if you're a good translator, agencies (basically) need you more than you need them (I know it's hard to believe, but trust in my experience both as a freelancer and as a TA head).

Best

CFK


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Saskia Steur  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:33
English to Dutch
+ ...
I agree Mar 23, 2009

educate them or drop them - is the best advice, I agree.

There is no reason a Dutch business in The Netherlands cannot deal with international bank accounts...


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Philippe Oubelhaj
Belgium
Local time: 21:33
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree! Mar 23, 2009

Hello everybody,

Thanks for your comments first of all! And I agree with those comments. I also proposed using cheques (I have some clients who uses cheques) and that's fine for me too. But they replied that I would then be the only one for who (or is it for whom?...) they would be using cheques.
I'll send them a last mail this evening, and if they still can't come up with a solution, too bad for them then.
And agencies need freelancers more than vice versa, that's true.

Good luck everybody with your work and I'll let you know what their answer is!

Best regards,

Philippe


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