How to Become a Freelance Translator
- Guide to growing your business
- What expenses can you claim?
- Calculate your take home pay
- How to generate free leads
- Setting up as a Sole Trader
It might be easy to assume that if you can speak two languages you can be a translator, but of course, it’s never that simple! You have to be able to write as well. Have a look at our section on freelance copywriting and you’ll see what we mean when it comes to writing properly. As a translator you can’t just translate ‘word for word’ as what you end up with might make no sense at all. You have to look at the meaning of the text and to make changes where necessary, so that it reads well, but still says what the original writer meant it to say.
On top of that, if you’re translating documents which are very industry-specific – for example something IT-related - you have to have knowledge of that particular industry if you’re going to make a good job of it. If you don't know the finer detail of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (ADSL) and Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) in English, you don’t stand much chance in a foreign language!
To become a freelance translator you’ll need a significant amount of translation experience, excellent language skills and ideally a degree in translation as well. So, assuming that you have all of this, what comes next?
Many translators start off doing a little freelance work in their spare time whilst still holding onto a full time job. If you’re doing this or thinking of doing this it’s probably a good idea to have a chat with an accountant as there may be tax implications you should be considering and maybe also allowances you aren’t taking advantage of.
There are numerous benefits of freelancing, for example the freedom and flexibility to work for as many different types of client as you like as well as the obvious benefit of increasing your take home pay. In fact our freelancer take home pay calculator shows you how much you can expect to take home as a freelancer.
Having made the decision to give it a go, whether full or part time, and whether to set up as a sole trader or limited company, you’re going to need a wide range of tax and accountancy advice and support in the early days when setting up as a freelancer.
The most daunting thing about going freelancing for most people is the thought of having to engage with an accountant. At first glance it’s easy, you go down to your local high street accountant who quotes you anything from £250 to £600 plus VAT to do your end of year accounts for you. This sounds great, however what happens if you want to speak to your accountant for advice throughout the year on things like:
- Tax allowances
- Take home pay
- How much you should put aside for your tax bill
- Whether you should register for the Flat Rate VAT scheme
- If going limited would be beneficial
- What’s the most tax efficient way to run your business.
Each time you pick up the phone it is likely you will get charged. In fact, every time your accountant sends you a letter you may charged - and you may even get charged if you call to query your invoice! So by the end of the year you could easily be looking at a bill of over £1,000.
Easy Accountancy charges a fixed fee of only £60 plus VAT a month
We don’t want our clients to be scared to contact us and potentially lose out on valuable tax saving advice, that's why we only charge a fixed fee of £60 VAT a month. It’s important when you first start out freelancing that you run your business in the best way possible. As a start up you’ll probably have loads of questions, and will really appreciate the fact you can call your accountant as many times as you, like without the fear of racking up large bills.
For more information on how we can help you and your business with your taxation needs or to appoint us as your accountant, please call 0500 234 111 / 01442 275767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck on becoming a translator, we hope you found this page helpful. You may also find the following pages helpful:
- Freelancing Part Time - can you freelance whilst still in your permanent role?
- Sole Trader or Limited? - which route is right for you?
- Setting up as a Sole Trader Freelancer - what you need to consider when setting up as a freelancer
- VAT and NI - how do VAT and NI affect you as a freelancer?
- Freelancer Insurances - what insurances do you need as a freelancer?
- Freelancer Take Home Pay Calculator - how much more could you earn by going freelancing?
- Finding Freelance Work - how to find your freelance roles
- Freelancer FAQ’s - all your questions answered