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How to Become a Freelance Translator

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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:

  • Expenses
  • 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 heather@easyaccountancy.co.uk

Good luck on becoming a translator, we hope you found this page helpful. You may also find the following pages helpful:

Why Clients Choose Easy Accountancy

Easy Accountancy offers a low cost, fixed fee accountancy package with all clients receiving their own dedicated, friendly, approachable accountant.

All of our accountants specialise in providing accountancy services to the self-employed, freelancers, sole traders, small to medium sized limited companies and private individuals. All accountants are employees of Easy Accountancy and we never outsource or offshore work.

Our low cost, all-inclusive fixed-fee accountancy service includes unlimited access to your own dedicated accountant throughout the year and covers all your business and personal tax affairs needs.

All our accountancy services include:
  - Unlimited access to your accountant
  - Ongoing advice on how to manage your business
  - Proactive tax advice throughout the year
  - Updates and reminders so you'll never miss a deadline
  - Free bookkeeping software

As a sole trader our fees start at just £60 + VAT a month, for this you receive the above plus:
  - Completion of your Self-Assessment tax return
  - Advice on how much Income Tax to pay
  - Guidance on National Insurance contributions

As a limited company our fixed fee packages are bespoke to your needs, however typically you’ll receive the above, plus:
  - Completion of your year end accounts*
  - Completion and submission of your annual return Companies House
  - The director/s Self Assessment tax return
  - Payroll bureau
  - Dividends and corporation tax computations

We’ve saved our clients up to half on their accountancy bills – if you’d like a quote, click on the quote me button to the right of this page. Alternatively, call us on 01442 275767 or email heather@easyaccountancy.co.uk.

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of Easy Accountancy for one year or have made 12 monthly payments.