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Anyone Have Experience Of Remote Contracting For A Foreign Country (Norway)

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Hi, I doubt anyone will read this, but I'm a freelance illustrator and I might have the opportunity to take on some work from a Norwegian company.

I've only worked on domestic projects before so does anyone know what the differences are? (apart from language!)

I mean I'm registered self-employed in the uk, I'll be working from home, so I guess I just get the money from the company and then pay uk tax in the normal way?

Does anyone know the best way to be paid?

can the Norwegian company pay into my UK bank account or is that more of a headache than normal internal transfers?

I want to make it as easy as possible for them,. I want to be cheap (compared to norway anyway) and easy. I don't want them to think that getting me to create images for them is more hassle than it's worth! Norway seems to be one of the few places where outsourcing work TO the uk makes financial sense, due to their high tax rates, so I want to take advantage of this if I can!

I know there are lots of experienced people on here from all sorts of backgrounds.

Any advice more than welcome!

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Hi, I doubt anyone will read this, but I'm a freelance illustrator and I might have the opportunity to take on some work from a Norwegian company.

I've only worked on domestic projects before so does anyone know what the differences are? (apart from language!)

I mean I'm registered self-employed in the uk, I'll be working from home, so I guess I just get the money from the company and then pay uk tax in the normal way?

Does anyone know the best way to be paid?

can the Norwegian company pay into my UK bank account or is that more of a headache than normal internal transfers?

I want to make it as easy as possible for them,. I want to be cheap (compared to norway anyway) and easy. I don't want them to think that getting me to create images for them is more hassle than it's worth! Norway seems to be one of the few places where outsourcing work TO the uk makes financial sense, due to their high tax rates, so I want to take advantage of this if I can!

I know there are lots of experienced people on here from all sorts of backgrounds.

Any advice more than welcome!

Stage payments try and be a little tighter with stage payments - if there are any payment issues you will have more trouble getting the money from a foreign company - be professional and get payment terms / currency payments are made / billing / stage payments all clear up front. One you have a working relationship then you can be more flexible/trusting. Depnds on thesums really - if it is one or two small starter jobs probably to go a little more on trust.

They'll most likely want to pay in Krona - say a cheque dran in Krona, the bank will convert into sterling and take some bank fees. Alternatively SWIFT/IBAN Bank transfer -still most likely Krona, and again bank fees charged by bank (possibly both ends).

Billing/invoicing them should be just like billing any UK company, just goes in your books, so yes tax in normal way.

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Hi, I doubt anyone will read this, but I'm a freelance illustrator and I might have the opportunity to take on some work from a Norwegian company.

I've only worked on domestic projects before so does anyone know what the differences are? (apart from language!)

I mean I'm registered self-employed in the uk, I'll be working from home, so I guess I just get the money from the company and then pay uk tax in the normal way?

Does anyone know the best way to be paid?

can the Norwegian company pay into my UK bank account or is that more of a headache than normal internal transfers?

I want to make it as easy as possible for them,. I want to be cheap (compared to norway anyway) and easy. I don't want them to think that getting me to create images for them is more hassle than it's worth! Norway seems to be one of the few places where outsourcing work TO the uk makes financial sense, due to their high tax rates, so I want to take advantage of this if I can!

I know there are lots of experienced people on here from all sorts of backgrounds.

Any advice more than welcome!

Hi BN. I'm a freelance technical translator based in the UK, but most of my customers are in Germany or other Eurozone countries. I invoice them in euros, and they pay into my account in Germany (which I retained from when I lived there). This method of payment is free and straightforward for any Eurozone company. Every now and again, I transfer a lump sum from this account to my UK account (edit: attempting, not especially successfully, to hit highs in the euro/sterling exchange rate!).

If the company has a VAT ID No, you don't need to charge VAT, but you must quote that number on the invoice and include some bit of legalese pointing out their obligation to pay VAT in their own country. In the unlikely event that they don't have a VAT ID No, you are obliged to charge VAT at the UK rate (which they may be able to claim back, but this can be tricky).

As far as income tax is concerned, you just have to convert your invoices into sterling and treat them just like any other invoice. Since you are based in the UK, you pay UK taxes, regardless of where your income comes from.

Of course, this applies to EU countries, and Norway is not in the EU. However, Norway is party to many of the EU agreements, so I guess your situation is likely to be similar. Hope this helps!

Edit: I have never not been paid for a job in the 6 years or so that I have been doing this, so I don't worry about non-payment at all nowadays. Hopefully your industry/customers are similarly honest!

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Thanks all, for the useful and speedy advice. This really is one of the more helpful forums on the internet! (especially considering that my query wasn't anything to do with house prices at all!)

Yes, initially it will be a small starter project so I will have to go more on trust to get a foot in the door. They are a pretty big company compared to what I am used to (150+ people) so I think that bodes well as they are used to paying freelancers and have a billing department rather than just a secretary.

It's a shorter process than I'm used to (i'd normally model buildings from CAD plans and taking them through to final print images, but they do the modelling in house so there are fewer stages for me to do), which means I should only have two charging points (lighting/rendering and then final photo-shopping), perhaps even just the one to be honest. We are talking a couple of weeks work to begin with, so nothing like the 20K you got stiffed tr1ck5t3r, blimey that sucks!

I'm on firmer ground because the person I will be dealing with there is an old friend from university (but a native Norwegian) so it's all on very friendly and trusting terms.

Thanks for the advice about the money, VAT and invoicing snowflux and OnlyMe, really helpful! :)

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Snowflux - just a quick question about the VAT thing.

I'm not VAT registered as I'm just a guy sat in his bedroom doodling on the computer, and my turnover isn't anywhere near the VAT level. The company I will be dealing with is a medium sized one with regional offices so I assume they are all above board with their finances. So I don't understand if I need to bring up the VAT thing with them, as I don't currently charge VAT in the UK anyway so I assume it would be the same in dealing with them.

Sorry if that is too rambling to make sense.

Cheers

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open an account with the postal bank in switzerland in euros and get them to pay you there.

can be useful for other international contracting work you may have in the future.

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The staged payments is the way to go - make lots of small steps so you get small regular payments for each stage of the work.

If they decide to pull and not pay then you have not done too much work without being paid.

A Norweigan bank cheque would be OK to be paid into your Sterling account. Just be aware of your banks charge for this and the fact that the exchange rate will vary each time you cash a cheque.

The Krona is a strong currency and do not underestimate how much the work would cost for them to have it done in Norway - don't price yourself out, but don't under-price yourself. Only you can judge this.

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Snowflux - just a quick question about the VAT thing.

I'm not VAT registered as I'm just a guy sat in his bedroom doodling on the computer, and my turnover isn't anywhere near the VAT level. The company I will be dealing with is a medium sized one with regional offices so I assume they are all above board with their finances. So I don't understand if I need to bring up the VAT thing with them, as I don't currently charge VAT in the UK anyway so I assume it would be the same in dealing with them.

Sorry if that is too rambling to make sense.

Cheers

Sorry, I'm not sure how it works if you're not VAT registered. :(

I'm also just a guy sat in my home office (aka 3rd bedroom) with a computer and an internet connection, and my turnover is also well below the VAT threshold. However, voluntary registration for VAT is pretty straightforward and has the advantages of 1) letting you claim back VAT on expenses and 2) making your company look more professional. It might be worth considering for you too.

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The staged payments is the way to go - make lots of small steps so you get small regular payments for each stage of the work.

If they decide to pull and not pay then you have not done too much work without being paid.

A Norweigan bank cheque would be OK to be paid into your Sterling account. Just be aware of your banks charge for this and the fact that the exchange rate will vary each time you cash a cheque.

The Krona is a strong currency and do not underestimate how much the work would cost for them to have it done in Norway - don't price yourself out, but don't under-price yourself. Only you can judge this.

Generally good business for any sizeable work in the UK too - one very easy way to shield yourself from large losses through non payment. Very little really for any client to quibble about and tends to tighten up deliverables and puts a line under work done preventing project creep.

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hayder - thanks for the tip but Norway isn't in the Euro so I'm not sure if having a Euro account for them to pay in is any use to me, I don't want to be exchanging into multiple currancies! (although that account might be useful, as you say, for other european work)

The Masked Tulip - thanks for that, good advice. Another Norwegian friend pointed me in the direction of a website where you can find the earnings of EVERYONE in Norway, for the last few years, including the tax they played and any houses they have bought! (how's that for transparency - imagine that in the UK!) so I found out about the sort of pay they get for certain jobs (based on the few people I knew to search for) so yeah I'm going to go in high (relatively), and then knock my price down if they baulk at it. I think it's better to do it that way, than to go in low and then spend the next few projects trying to get the price back up to a decent level!

Thanks again everyone.

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I've worked for a number of foreign companies (including a Norwegian one) but always through a one-man contracting company. I get book royalties paid direct to me from a foreign publisher.

It's never really been a problem in terms of getting paid: direct bank transfers work well within Europe (though strangely, US companies seem backwards in using them and commonly prefer cheques or even western union). Your prospective client will know if there are any issues like withholding tax in Norway (if you work as a company, that kind of issue doesn't arise).

Up to you and them what terms you agree, as in what currency, fixed price vs hourly rate, etc.

As for tax, I've found HMRC thoroughly helpful when I've asked. When the royalties first came, I asked how to deal with it. I suggested I enter the figure as it appeared in my bank account (i.e. after exchange and charges) and deduct my quantifiable costs (a notary's fee for certifying my identity, so I could get a US taxpayer number and my publisher wouldn't have to withhold tax). They just said yes, no problem. I expect that's normal when they don't have reason to suspect you're trying something dodgy.

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I've worked for a number of foreign companies (including a Norwegian one) but always through a one-man contracting company. I get book royalties paid direct to me from a foreign publisher.

...

cheers :)

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  • 277 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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