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Freelancers Warned About Working Abroad

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 24 October 2017
You work on your laptop at the beach for a couple of hours before retiring to an afternoon in your hammock...the life of a freelancer abroad.

It's certainly the dream, an idyllic picture that many freelance professionals think about when working in the hustle and bustle of cities such as London. If only I could get a freelance job abroad they think.

While there are some benefits to working abroad as a freelancer some experts have recently expressed concern about the reality of the situation.

For every freelance worker who finds paradise in another country, there is another 2 who experience a nightmare.

Sure, you might very well be able to work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop and internet connection, but there are often other issues to be considered warned one expert.

Take the subject of tax as an example, which is often a tricky and confusing subject. Some British freelancers pack their bags and go to live in another country, only to then find they get 2 tax bills, one from the UK and one from the country they were just "visiting."

The truth of the matter is that tax laws in each country is different, and very often they might see you as a worker in their country even if you only spend a few months there and work from your laptop.

That is why I always recommend that every freelancer educate themselves about the tax laws of a country they are planning to live in. The last thing you want is two tax bills...one is enough.

Another issue that many freelance professionals never consider is that of the language barrier. Although some countries do have very good levels of English, others don't, and you shouldn't underestimate how difficult it can be to communicate, even about the most basic things.

Sure, it's ok when you are a tourist, you simply use a dodgy phrase book or talk in English but with an accent...but when you are living and working in a country then you are expected by most people to at least have a basic grasp of the local language.

This doesn't apply to all freelancers though...some relocate abroad while keeping their clients back home. In this kind of situation it's still recommended to tread carefully according to experts, because while you may get the job done on time and to their satisfaction, you can't underestimate the importance of building relationships in face to face meetings.

If you are chilling on a beach then you can't meet clients face to face, which means your freelance dream abroad might not stay that way for very long.

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