Payment-Newbie
Thread poster: David Sousa

David Sousa
Spain
Local time: 01:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jul 15

Hello,

I'm new to Proz, and I have some common questions on payment, I'm sure these have been asked, so If anyone is kind to tell me how I can find such post please I'd be thankful.

How to deal with payment, should I ask for a percentage in advance? How can I be sure I'll get paid?

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?

Do you just expect clients to pay and trust their good will or there is some kind of warranty or a solution to deal with payments?

In small jobs you trust the client and in bigger jobs you demand an advance?

Because I guess it's very easy for clients to not pay...

Any answer that can clear me a bit is appreciated.


Thanks a lot, greets, David


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Deleted Jul 16

I keep trying to delete this....

[Edited at 2018-07-16 12:20 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Before you begin Jul 16

[quote]Tom in London wrote:

Before accepting the job:

Agree the exact amount (or the rate per word) they will pay you for the job. Make sure they give you:

(a) their business address
(b) their VAT number.

Then wait for them to confirm.

When they have confirmed, that is a contract - even if it's only an email, so keep all you emails until you've been paid.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
deleted Jul 16

zz

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
deleted Jul 16

...

 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
French to English
It'll take time, but it'll be worth it Jul 16

David,

As you say so yourself, all of your questions have been discussed on this forum at length. It will take a bit of time, but I suggest that you simply use the search function and do a bit of virtual legwork. All the info you need is out there. This is the beauty of this type of forum and it also avoids repeating what has already been said.

Check the "money matters" section but also the "getting started" section.

As for clients not paying, you will discover there is a lot you can do to avoid that type of situation, although it is a risk when you are self-employed. The key is setting up key procedures that reduce that risk. Happy searching!icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2018-07-16 12:42 GMT]


Teresa Borges
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@David Jul 16

David Sousa wrote:
Should I ask for a percentage in advance?


You can try, but most clients prefer to pay the entire amount afterwards... sometimes 30, 60 or even 90 days after you've sent the invoice.

How can I be sure I'll get paid?


It is always a risk. However, sometimes there are things you can do to find out if a client is likely trustworthy. Things like whether they can be found (e.g. have an address), what other translators have said about then (e.g. Blue Board), and the way they communicate with you.

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?


I've never heard of such a payment method, sorry.

Do you just expect clients to pay and trust their good will...
or there is some kind of warranty or a solution to deal with payments?


There is no warranty. However, most clients do want to pay, so as long as you deliver the goods, you'll mostly get paid.

In small jobs you trust the client and in bigger jobs you demand an advance?


You can do that, if it makes you feel better.

Because I guess it's very easy for clients to not pay...


If the client is a business, and especially if the client is a translation agency, then he is likely to want to pay, because that is how business works. It can be more risky if the client is a private person.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:17
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
First do your research and then "due diligence" is the watchword Jul 16

David Sousa wrote:
How can I be sure I'll get paid?

1. You only work with clients who seem to have a good reputation or at least give you no reason to suspect them of ill will; 2. You only allow clients a certain credit limit. No need to tell them how much it is but it should be low for a new client, then bigger as you learn to trust their goodwill. But never too big in case they go under. And you chase any late payment issue promptly, following established escalation procedures (friendly reminder, more formal one, final demand, etc.) until you get paid.
Check out the Risk Management Wikis and the Scam Centre here on ProZ.com.

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?

You're on one of them! Info also in the Getting Established and Doing Business forums.

Some people here will say that doing a particular thing will avoid non-payment issues. For example, get a signed contract and/or a formal PO and you'll magically be paid. But it doesn't work that way. As said by another poster, an exchange of emails is as good as a signed contract. And as long as one party describes the job in black and white, the other party doesn't disagree, and you have the client's authorisation to do the work (explicitly for the first job but implicit is good enough once in a relationship) then you've got the equivalent of a PO. The only way to avoid payment issues is to collaborate only with clients who intend to pay. I've been doing it for 20 years and haven't ever been done out of my payment, aside from two small bankruptcy losses (about €800 in total). It has sometimes taken months, mind you: a client in the Middle East battled for six months to get round international sanctions (as if he was a terrorist and I'd sold him guns icon_rolleyes.gif ) until finally his wife managed to pay while on holiday; and I've had to sue one client and initiate proceedings against another. And I've invoiced clients in over 30 countries spread over most continents. So business can be done internationally without loss.


 

David Sousa
Spain
Local time: 01:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thx! Jul 16

Tom in London wrote:

Before accepting the job:

Agree the exact amount (or the rate per word) they will pay you for the job. Make sure they give you:

(a) their business address
(b) their VAT number.

Then wait for them to confirm.

When they have confirmed, that is a contract - even if it's only an email, so keep all you emails until you've been paid.



Thanks so much!


Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

David,

As you say so yourself, all of your questions have been discussed on this forum at length. It will take a bit of time, but I suggest that you simply use the search function and do a bit of virtual legwork. All the info you need is out there. This is the beauty of this type of forum and it also avoids repeating what has already been said.

Check the "money matters" section but also the "getting started" section.

As for clients not paying, you will discover there is a lot you can do to avoid that type of situation, although it is a risk when you are self-employed. The key is setting up key procedures that reduce that risk. Happy searching!icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2018-07-16 12:42 GMT]



Thank you so much Nikki!

Sheila Wilson wrote:

David Sousa wrote:
How can I be sure I'll get paid?

1. You only work with clients who seem to have a good reputation or at least give you no reason to suspect them of ill will; 2. You only allow clients a certain credit limit. No need to tell them how much it is but it should be low for a new client, then bigger as you learn to trust their goodwill. But never too big in case they go under. And you chase any late payment issue promptly, following established escalation procedures (friendly reminder, more formal one, final demand, etc.) until you get paid.
Check out the Risk Management Wikis and the Scam Centre here on ProZ.com.

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?

You're on one of them! Info also in the Getting Established and Doing Business forums.

Some people here will say that doing a particular thing will avoid non-payment issues. For example, get a signed contract and/or a formal PO and you'll magically be paid. But it doesn't work that way. As said by another poster, an exchange of emails is as good as a signed contract. And as long as one party describes the job in black and white, the other party doesn't disagree, and you have the client's authorisation to do the work (explicitly for the first job but implicit is good enough once in a relationship) then you've got the equivalent of a PO. The only way to avoid payment issues is to collaborate only with clients who intend to pay. I've been doing it for 20 years and haven't ever been done out of my payment, aside from two small bankruptcy losses (about €800 in total). It has sometimes taken months, mind you: a client in the Middle East battled for six months to get round international sanctions (as if he was a terrorist and I'd sold him guns icon_rolleyes.gif ) until finally his wife managed to pay while on holiday; and I've had to sue one client and initiate proceedings against another. And I've invoiced clients in over 30 countries spread over most continents. So business can be done internationally without loss.



Thanks so much!


Samuel Murray wrote:

David Sousa wrote:
Should I ask for a percentage in advance?


You can try, but most clients prefer to pay the entire amount afterwards... sometimes 30, 60 or even 90 days after you've sent the invoice.

How can I be sure I'll get paid?


It is always a risk. However, sometimes there are things you can do to find out if a client is likely trustworthy. Things like whether they can be found (e.g. have an address), what other translators have said about then (e.g. Blue Board), and the way they communicate with you.

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?


I've never heard of such a payment method, sorry.

Do you just expect clients to pay and trust their good will...
or there is some kind of warranty or a solution to deal with payments?


There is no warranty. However, most clients do want to pay, so as long as you deliver the goods, you'll mostly get paid.

In small jobs you trust the client and in bigger jobs you demand an advance?


You can do that, if it makes you feel better.

Because I guess it's very easy for clients to not pay...


If the client is a business, and especially if the client is a translation agency, then he is likely to want to pay, because that is how business works. It can be more risky if the client is a private person.


Thanks so much!

Sheila Wilson wrote:

David Sousa wrote:
How can I be sure I'll get paid?

1. You only work with clients who seem to have a good reputation or at least give you no reason to suspect them of ill will; 2. You only allow clients a certain credit limit. No need to tell them how much it is but it should be low for a new client, then bigger as you learn to trust their goodwill. But never too big in case they go under. And you chase any late payment issue promptly, following established escalation procedures (friendly reminder, more formal one, final demand, etc.) until you get paid.
Check out the Risk Management Wikis and the Scam Centre here on ProZ.com.

Is there a section here on Payment in Forums?

You're on one of them! Info also in the Getting Established and Doing Business forums.

Some people here will say that doing a particular thing will avoid non-payment issues. For example, get a signed contract and/or a formal PO and you'll magically be paid. But it doesn't work that way. As said by another poster, an exchange of emails is as good as a signed contract. And as long as one party describes the job in black and white, the other party doesn't disagree, and you have the client's authorisation to do the work (explicitly for the first job but implicit is good enough once in a relationship) then you've got the equivalent of a PO. The only way to avoid payment issues is to collaborate only with clients who intend to pay. I've been doing it for 20 years and haven't ever been done out of my payment, aside from two small bankruptcy losses (about €800 in total). It has sometimes taken months, mind you: a client in the Middle East battled for six months to get round international sanctions (as if he was a terrorist and I'd sold him guns icon_rolleyes.gif ) until finally his wife managed to pay while on holiday; and I've had to sue one client and initiate proceedings against another. And I've invoiced clients in over 30 countries spread over most continents. So business can be done internationally without loss.



Thanks so much!


 
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