Sheila Wilson wrote:
I've enquired with a lot of translation agencies about becoming a freelancer for them but have got almost nothing in reply. A friend suggested contacting agencies abroad which I hadn't really considered, I guess I thought it wasn't the done thing. Is there anything to be wary of like tax if I did this? I think I can get paid in Euros using transferwise.
I agree with the advice already given. But don't even restrict yourself to Italy, Switzerland, France and other francophone countries. You'll find the most work there, of course, but anywhere else in the world is possible. I've done FR>EN translations for a boutique Bulgarian agency
. So many native speakers of all languages end up in different parts of the world nowadays -- as we can see from the example we set here on ProZ.com! There are also potential clients for you in other countries that speak English (as long as they're happy with British English). I've had a few minor jobs (at my rates) from Hong Kong, for example. I received a job from an Indian agency once, but that went rapidly pear-shaped
Although your invoices must be in your country's language, and it may be best to mention the amount in the local currency, there's nothing to stop you issuing bilingual invoices (or trilingual ones, as I do!) and asking for payment in whatever currency you're prepared to accept. I accept EUR (my own currency), GBP (as I have a GBP account in the UK still), and USD (as I have a USD stream in my PayPal account and I can usually find something to buy online in USD so they get used without any conversion losses).
An accountant who specialises in cross-border B2B transactions
will tell you what you need to do to stay legal. As a freelance translator using the internet, you certainly aren't doing yourself any favours restricting your business to local clients.