How To Start A Translation Business From Home

If you are good with languages, proficient in English, and accurate with grammar and spelling, you could do well as a translator. What’s more, is that you can run this business entirely from home. We have outlined the steps to start a translation business from home.


As with any project, planning is the starting point. You will want to choose an appropriate name for your business. Follow these tips for finding the perfect name. In Canada, you don’t need to register the business if you use your name, without any additions. Otherwise, you can use these guidelines.

Determine your fee structure. The average rate is 0.14 Canadian dollars per word. Some translators charge per page, working on 250 words a page. You can charge more if the job is complex, on a tight schedule, or requires research. Decide on a platform for sending invoices to your clients.

To set up your business from home, you will need to allocate space for your office, ensure good lighting, and obtain an office chair and desk. Acquire a good laptop or desktop, work from home headsets, and a printer. Make sure that you have a stable internet connection. Stock up on grammar books and dictionaries in the languages you will be translating. Get a business email address.

Open A Bank Account And Get A Line Of Credit

You will want to keep your business bank account separate from your personal one. With a business account, you may qualify for small business loans. This may become necessary if you are doing well and need to hire staff. A separate account will make it easier to fill out your tax returns.

Apply for a business credit card. Use this for all your business expenses. As you use the card, you will develop a credit profile, which will help when you need to apply for funding.

Do not mix your home and business finances. You can allocate a salary to yourself as ‘Drawings’ and transfer it to your personal bank account every month. Allow the business to grow by reinvesting profits. Set something aside for an annual bonus.

Qualifications And Licences

Canada does not require licences for translators. You do have to have certification of your skills. Check out your local university or an online institution for suitable courses. Clients will expect you to be suitably qualified. Here are the national standards.

Legal Protection

Obtain general liability insurance to protect you against claims from clients. Draw up a standard template for a service agreement with clients. It should spell out the service to be provided, timelines, intellectual property ownership, and payment information.

Marketing your Brand

Design a logo that distinguishes you from competitors. You can use a logo generator for this. Set up a website; there are many tools available to help you construct a professional site within a couple of hours. Many small business owners hire a company to assist with search engine optimisation to help online users find your site. However, by reading up online, you should be able to do this yourself if you don’t want to pay someone to do it.

Getting Clients

Sign up with freelancer translation companies. Build up a database of government agencies and language hubs in big cities as these groups often require translation work, and then email them. Write a blog on your website and offer a free newsletter to potential clients.

A career as a translator in Canada has great potential to grow into a small business.