How to Start an Online Translation Service

by Business Editor; Updated September 26, 2017
...

How to Start an Online Translation Service. You don't have to be a translator to start an online translation service. Hire freelance translators to do the work for you. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions to find out how simple and inexpensive it is to start your own online translation service.

Items you will need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Website and email account
  • Voicemail
  • Cell phone
  • Telephone
  • Business cards
  • W-9 tax forms for freelance translators
  • Non-disclosure agreements for translators

Get Started

Step 1

Fill out business forms as required by city, county and federal agencies.

Step 2

Get a D-U-N-S Number. Go to the D&B website and scroll to the bottom of the page to the ¨Customer Resources¨ heading. Select the ¨Get a D&B D-U-N-S Number¨ option.

Step 3

Follow the website prompts. Wait about a week to receive your D-U-N-S number by email. You need a D-U-N-S number to register as a vendor with corporate and government offices.

Step 4

Set up a user-friendly website that allows visitors to upload files. Don´t spend too much money on a website. Search the Internet for the best website hosting deals.

Step 5

Generate a pricing list. Call your competition and ask what they charge per word translated.

Step 6

Visit local law firms and corporate offices to hand out business cards and introduce yourself. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Attend their meetings and breakfasts. Spread the word.

Step 7

Register with city, county, state and federal agencies as a vendor by visiting each procurement office. Search the phone book or online for contact information.

Translate Documents

Step 1

Allow users to upload documents directly to your website.

Step 2

Find a translator by visiting the American Translation Association website. Click on the ¨Find a Translator or Interpreter¨ button, then select ¨Search ATA´s online directory for individual translators and interpreters.¨

Step 3

Read the information on the page and select the ¨Find a Translator¨ option. Follow page prompts to select translators. Contact the translator and ask for their fee per translated word. Decide if it is within your budget and negotiate a price. Send the translator W-9 and non-disclosure agreements, and wait to receive them before doing business.

Step 4

Review documents uploaded to your website and generate quotes immediately. Wait for written approval and confirmation from clients before starting translations.

Step 5

Establish a payment method for translation services with customers--upfront and in writing. Send the translator the file to be translated, with set time constraints.

Step 6

Check for errors and format of the translated document, then return the finished product to the client.

Step 7

Follow up with the client and ask for referrals.

Step 8

Pay the translator after you receive payment from the client for the translation services.

Tips

  • Download W-9 forms from the IRS website. Join a prepaid legal service to get a non-disclosure agreement. Shop around. Don´t spend too much money; most services are modest and charge a low monthly fee. Spend most of your time marketing and generating leads. Provide quality service and use certified translators consistently. Watch your bank account grow.