Sending invoices legally
Thread poster: Henar Martín

Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
Feb 5, 2010

Hello everyone,

I am in the process of getting my first job as a translator for a translation website to be launched. I am from Spain but I currently live in the UK. I am not registered as self-employed but if I need to do so for this job I will to do it ASAP (they haven't still asked me to do so). The thing is I need to fill an online register for them in order to start working, and one of he questions is:

"Can you legally send invoices to translation companies ?"

I have checked on the HMRC website but couldn't find the answer. So do you need to be registered as self-employed or is it enough with my NI number? or maybe that has nothing to do...I need to fill it as soon as possible.

I haven't got any idea of how that works so I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Thank you very much.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Italian to English
Not just invoices Feb 5, 2010

Hello Henar

It is not just a question of invoices.
If you are working as self-employed you must register as self-employed (unless of course your permanent base is Spain and you are paying taxes there).
Can I suggest you read the most recent thread in this forum, here: http://www.proz.com/topic/156970
which gives information both on registration and other relevant issues.


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Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
not self-employed work Feb 5, 2010

Hello Russell,

Thank you for your quick reply. I've had a look at the link and I think it will be very useful for me. However I still need to know if what they mean with that question is whether I am self-employed or not, because I may work with them with a contract as their employee, as they told me they would send me the contract by post. So what I think is they are just asking that in order to know if I can work as self-employed or as an employee for them...

I am sorry if my questions sound a bit silly but I still really don't know much about this. I just need to fill that form and don't want to make any mistakes. If not being registered as self-employed means I can not send invoices then I will just say "no" in the form and they will tell me if I need to register.

Thank you very much.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Italian to English
Strange question Feb 5, 2010

This is not a question I have ever come across but my guess is that they just want you to declare that you are working legally.

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Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Advice? Feb 5, 2010

So do you think I should just say YES?

"Can you legally send invoices to translation companies ?" YES/NO

I have sent an email to them asking about this but they haven't replied...

If you are not sure I should better wait to say what they mean if they answer the email... if it is a strange question for you it is even worse for me.

Anyway thanks a lot for your help.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Italian to English
Type of contract Feb 5, 2010

I didn't read your second post carefully enough.
If it's a contract of employment there will be no invoice!
So it seems much more likely that it is a contract to supply services as a freelancer to their company.


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Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Feb 5, 2010

Many thanks for your time and advice!

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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:23
English to Russian
+ ...
comment Feb 5, 2010

everyone can send invoice to anybody.
It is not illegal at all. Always provided you and your client pay relevant taxes.
The point, as I see it, is that your customer didn't specify whether you can send invoice leagally AS A …

Did they mean you can send your invoices as a 'self employed person' or someone else?

Don't be afraid to ask your client what they had in mind.

[Edited at 2010-02-05 22:31 GMT]


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Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I'd better call it employer than customer Feb 5, 2010

Hi Sergei,

As I see it, they are going to be my employer rather than my client. I am supposed to work for them regularly from home but when they contacted me they said they would send me the contract by post if the assessment of my application was successful, so I understand I am going to be an employee for them and not a self-employed working for them. The thing that is confusing me is thus the question in the form, if they mean if I am self-employed or not, why don't they just ask that???

It must be something else then, but I guess I'll only discover it when they reply to my email... You are right that I shouldn't be afraid to ask, but I didn't want to give a bad impression, although anyway I did ask them because I don't want to give any wrong information.

Thank you for your post


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:23
Member
English to French
two options Feb 6, 2010

Henar Martín wrote:
...As I see it, they are going to be my employer rather than my client...

Either this one, and they employ you with a working contract, pay taxes and everything on your behalf (deducted from your salary).
However, I doubt it, because their question would be irrelevant.

Or the other option: to me, if they ask the question, it means that you are going to work for them as a freelancer, even on a full-time basis or on their premises, but as a VENDOR. Therefore you likely have to be somehow registered with local authorities to be able to invoice legally and pay taxes.

It would help if you knew what you applied for: an in-house position (even remote) or a assignment as a freelancer. Working as an employee and as a freelancer is about as close as scuba-diving and poker-playing, so I suggest you clarify the matter before thinking further about this opportunity.

Lastly, a contract doesn't necessarily mean a working contract as an employee, but also a contract for services between two independent entities.

Philippe


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
Employees do NOT send invoices to their employer Feb 6, 2010

Whether you choose to call them your employer or your customer is irrelevant.

If the company wants you to send them invoices they do not regard you as an employee. Consequently, they're very unlikely to be paying tax on your earnings via the PAYE system (as you're resident in the UK, this is where they would have to pay these taxes, not the country where they are based).

My educated guess is therefore that what they're asking you is whether or not you're complying with the law in your country regarding tax status, etc. As a UK based sole trader (which is the "easiest" form of "company" you can opt for), you have to register with the HMRC as such in order for them to calculate the tax and NI you need to pay.

The only way to avoid registering with HMRC, and being legal, is if you're only in the UK temporarily (less than about 180 days). If so you would instead have to register with the Spanish equivalent authority.


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Henar Martín
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I will clarify with them Feb 6, 2010

Hello and many thanks for your help.

I think that it will be better to clarify the kind of contract I am going to have with them (as I agree with Philippe that it could be a contract for services instead of what I think). It is all a matter of misunderstanding from that point. I guess it wasn't clear for me and that's why I didn't understand the question.

I really appreciate everything you all said (it will be a future reference for me in any case) but I will try to talk to them about all this before accepting anything, it is probably a beginners mistake or misunderstanding...

I am still waiting for their email reply so I'll see...

Thanks again!!!


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