Franchise FAQs

What does it cost to become a franchisee?

Iolante’s directors have worked in the translation industry for many years (read up on Erika Baker and Mecki Testroet here). they, therefore, have a realistic attitude to what cost level is affordable to freelance translators. Currently – while still in the trial phase – we charge no upfront fee, just a modest “royalty fee” as a percentage of the turnover created by the Iolante website. This fee is available on application. Turnover produced by non-Iolante clients will not be included in our fee calculation.

Once the concept has proven successful, accepted franchisees will pay a modest initial fee (to cover the substantial website set-up and maintenance costs) plus ongoing royalty fees as a percentage of the turnover created by the Iolante website.

The franchise fee is calculated to recoup the significant franchise set-up costs. The royalty fee provides fair remuneration for continuous online marketing (maintaining and hosting the freelancers’ pages on the Iolante website), provision of an extensive operations manual and ongoing practical support.

For precise figures please contact us.

Why pay Iolante, if my own website could work for me just as well?

Why should I pay Iolante, if my own website could work for me just as well?

Because the devil is always in the detail! In this case in the little word “could”.

Yes, your website has the potential to produce just as many enquiries as a site like Iolante, but WILL it?

To achieve top rankings in search engines, a site has to have excellent content and be search engine optimised. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is very involved. As search engines generally don’t tell you precisely how they rank pages, it is a constant guessing game. To do SEO well, you need to either invest a lot of time into researching SEO techniques or find yourself a well-skilled, experienced SEO expert. SEO experts charge considerable hourly rates.

Have you got the time to do the work yourself? Have you got the money to pay a web designer?

Even if you find a good web designer and an SEO expert, you will have to provide them with a lot of the information they need to optimise search results. Chances are that they have no experience in the translation industry. This means that you will have to tell them which keywords you need in your URLs, which meta descriptions you think will work and, most of all, you have to provide them with relevant content. All they do is present it in an SEO-friendly way – if you have chosen your experts carefully.

So you’ll still need time, knowledge and money.

If you join Iolante, all you have to do is follow our comprehensive guide to writing your profile page. You will then become part of our online translators’ directory, giving you access to direct clients. This means that you need spend no more time on marketing your translation services online.

But, yes, you need to pay us a small fee. This reimburses us for the time and money we have to spend on creating and maintaining a good search engine ranking. We believe that being a member of Iolante’s team of translators will be much more profitable to you than trying to get your own site to the top of the list.

What is more, cooperating with Iolante should leave you better off than working for agencies as you can achieve higher translation rates and pay much lower charges.

What are the minimum entry requirements to become a member of the Iolante network of freelance translators?

What are the minimum entry requirements to become a member of the Iolante network of freelance translators?

In line with the European quality standard EN-15038 Iolante expects its freelance translators to have acquired translation competence by one or more of the following routes:

  • Advanced translation studies (recognised qualification);
  • Equivalent qualification in another specialisation plus a minimum of two years documented experience in translation;
  • At least five years of documented professional experience in translation.

Translators must be members of at least one translators’ professional association. In the UK, this is either the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). For translators who live outside the UK, equivalent professional bodies are acceptable – either in the translator’s country of residence or in the country of the franchisee’s target language.

Please use the following link to learn about the experience and qualifications we expect our translators to have.

How do I find out which franchise opportunities are currently available?

Language pairs are continually being added to the site. To find out whether your language combination is still needed in your country of residence visit our freelance translators’ directory. If your pair isn’t there yet, give us a ring or send an email. As a rule, each translator only offers ONE language pair on the Iolante network. Please read the About our translators page; if you fit the profile please contact Iolante for further details.

Due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit, we are currently only recruiting in the UK.

Which services/support does Iolante offer?
  • Iolante undertakes to host and maintain the Iolante website. This includes achieving and maintaining an excellent search engine placement.
  • The company provides business support, ranging from a start-up package including a profile page template to ongoing support, be it by telephone or email.
  • Furthermore, Iolante supplies its franchisees with a comprehensive operations manual, intended to give detailed advice on the most important aspects of running a translation business.
What happens if the franchise does not fulfil the expectations of a particular translator?

If after working with Iolante for a year, either the franchisee is not happy with the level of response he’s getting from the site or Iolante’s directors believe that the translator’s engagement with the network is not sufficiently committed and the turnover achieved therefore falls below a certain level, either party can end the franchise agreement. The franchisee may receive a partial refund of his initial fee at the discretion of the Iolante directors.

What do Franchisees receive in return for their payments to Iolante?

Franchisees post their profile on the Iolante website. Iolante provides them with a template which enables them to publish key information. this includes their translation qualifications/experience, subjects of specialisation, translation rates and other information relevant to obtaining work as a translator, including client testimonials. The profile page will also contain contact details, so translation clients can contact the translator directly.

Franchisees will have access to a detailed operations manual, including a start-up pack (choosing keywords for profile page, researching target market, pricing etc.). The manual will give advice on many aspects of operating a translation business, including credit control, customer communication, working with subcontractors and time management, to name but a few.

Furthermore, franchisees will have access to telephone and email support from the directors of Iolante.

Do franchisees become Iolante employees?

No, all franchisees are self employed in their own country of residence. They are therefore solely responsible for running their business according to their own countries’ laws, including income tax, value added tax and any other taxation or legal issues arising from running a business. Iolante does not employ translators. All we do is simply provide them with a profile page within the Iolante website, thus undertaking their online marketing for them.

What customer base does Iolante attract?

Iolante provides freelance translators with an internet platform which will attract small and medium size enterprises as well as private individuals looking for a translator.

In the directors’ experience large concerns or companies that deal with foreign business partners on a regular basis tend to use agencies or have in-house translators.

What experience does Iolante have in marketing translation services?

The directors of Iolante have themselves successfully provided translation related services for more than 20 years each. Initially they mainly worked for agencies. Later they used the Internet and developed their own website,, the forerunner of the Iolante freelance translators’ website. They now seek to share their considerable online marketing expertise in the provision of freelance translation services with fellow translators.

How many languages is the Iolante website available in?

Initially, core pages of the Iolante website have been translated from English into German, French, Italian and Spanish. The main website contents will be translated into other languages as the franchise develops. The number of languages the website is available in is therefore continually changing.

Do I need to be proficient in English to become an Iolante franchisee?

Iolante’s working language is English. The franchise agreement is written in English and subject to UK jurisdiction. All support is given in English.

The operations manual will also be written in the English language. It would therefore be advisable to have a working knowledge of English but it is not a condition of the franchise agreement.

If there is a dispute which jurisdiction is applicable to the Iolante franchise?

England is place of jurisdiction and English law applies to all disputes.

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