Arabic Translation in Dubai

How to Establish An Arabic Translation Service Agency

Do you have a passion for Arabic translation? Do you want to take the plunge and open your own Arabic translation agency?

You are in the right place ! To guide you in this adventure, we review in this guide the steps to be taken: from the market study to the business plan, including the choice of the concept, and the search for financing.

Follow the guide !

Conduct market research for the Arabic translation industry

Carrying out your market research is an opportunity to explore in the purchasing behavior of your future customers, the major trends in the sector, and your competitive environment.

To do it, you will need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many people use Arabic translators?
  • For what type of translation services?
  • What criteria are taken into account when choosing an Arabic translation agency? Type of services offered, price, advice, experience, etc?
  • What are the most requested services? The prices charged by the players in the business?
  • How many direct competitors can you identify? Do their businesses seem to be doing well?
  • Do you think the market is large enough to accommodate a new entrant?
  • How are you going to set yourself apart from your competition and make your place in the market?
  • How will you communicate to reach your commercial target?
  • Etc.

The Arabic translation market

The global translation market has a turnover of 43 billion US dollars, and this figure is growing by almost 6% each year. There are 18,000 translation companies, which employ 480,000 translators or interpreters. In addition, there are also more than 160,000 translators or interpreters who have freelance status ( Tradutec ).

For example, according to CNET, the National Chamber of Translation Companies , the French market is approaching 400 million euros, and the average turnover of a translation company is 480,000 €. The capital invested at the start is around € 42,000. The price per word for translations from French to English is on average € 0.18 excluding VAT.

Choose the concept of your Arabic translation agency

It may be interesting to specialize in a specific area in order to benefit from a clear commercial positioning that differentiates you from what your competitors offer.

You can choose to specialize your business:

  • In video captioning
  • In video dubbing
  • In the actual translation (interpreters)
  • In text translation  
  • In professional translation (specific technical fields)
  • In literary translation

It’s up to you to choose what seems most promising to you according to: your skills, your desires, and above all, the opportunities identified during your market research.

Under what legal status to open an Arabic translation agency?

The next step in opening an Arabic translation agency is to choose a legal status for your business: this is an essential step, as it is a decision that will have an influence both on the business, but also on your personal life.

Indeed the choice of legal status will condition:

  • The method of taxation of the company: corporate tax or income tax
  • Your social security scheme as a manager: self-employed or general scheme
  • Your liability for the debts of the company: limited to contributions or unlimited
  • The administrative formalities to be completed: at the time of creation and after

If you want to open your translation agency on your own, and you do not want to employ other people, you can possibly choose the status of micro-entrepreneur.

Be careful, however, this legal form is only recommended if you want to start a small activity. Indeed, otherwise, the turnover limit may very quickly be exceeded, which will force you to change status.

The Sole Proprietorship or Sole Establishment can also be an attractive option. But be careful, with this status the entrepreneur and his company form a single entity from a legal point of view: the civil activities of the entrepreneur are separated from his professional activities but not the patrimonies. To benefit from limited liability, you can opt for the Individual Limited Liability Company.

If you prefer to get started with partners, know that the SARL (limited liability company) and the SAS (simplified joint stock company) are the most common forms.

The human and material resources to open a translation agency

Once you have decided on the legal status of your business, the next step will be to assess the needs necessary to start and operate your business.

Human Resources Requirements

The recruitment needs relating to the creation of your translation agency will be more or less important depending on the size of your company and the scope of the services offered.

You may need translators in different languages, but also:

  • Interpreters,
  • Specialists in subtitling
  • Technical specialists in a specific field
  • Etc.

You may also need staff with a more commercial profile, for marketing and customer research.

Recruitment can be done in various ways, you can internalize your employees, or decide to only recruit freelancers.

Material Resources

The material investments to open a translation agency are quite limited:

  • The rent for the rental of the offices, their fitting out, the security deposit, and the door step
  • The arrangement of a soundproof room to record audio (possible to rent a recording studio)
  • Office equipment (computers, printers, desks, etc.)
  • A car may be necessary if you work in the provinces and send your interpreters to translate live elsewhere
  • Software for the layout of translations (for example to integrate subtitles in videos)

The ancillary services required to launch a translation agency

Setting up a translation agency also means having recourse to additional services, such as professional insurance for your company.

You can also decide to use a management company to manage the administrative and accounting part (payroll management, account keeping, VAT, etc.).

To better assess these different expense items, do not hesitate to ask for quotes from several professionals. You will thus be able to obtain the best services at the best prices.

The marketing plan of a translation agency

The creation of your Arabic translation agency must be accompanied by the implementation of a marketing plan that will identify all the actions to be implemented to acquire your customers.

You will have to go and find your customers. Having a website is necessary to promote your activity, to expose your offer, and to highlight the translations you have already done, or the companies for which you have worked. Don’t overlook the positive comments, either. Put them forward, they have a strong power of reassurance.

It will also be a good idea to supplement your presence on the web with accounts on social networks. Prefer LinkedIn, more oriented towards professionals.

You can also deploy content that will allow you to be found by your prospects (blogs, SEO strategy via keywords), and make them aware of the issues on which your business can help them.

Other means of making yourself known are possible (buying advertising space, attending trade shows related to your core business, canvassing by phone, etc.) but remember that word of mouth is very important in middle of the translation.

So pamper your customers to recommend you to other companies, and the providers you work with can also recommend you to their customers.

Write down all the ideas that will help you acquire your customers. You will then build your marketing plan by prioritizing certain actions over others, taking into account their costs and potential benefits.

Write the business plan of your translation agency

Writing a business plan, or business plan in French, is another essential step when you want to start your translation agency.

The business plan is a detailed document in which you will present your project in a structured, argued and costed manner.

Schematically, the business plan of a translation agency has two main parts:

  • A written part used to present, highlight, and convince your financial and commercial partners of the strengths of your project
  • A financial forecast highlighting the need for initial financing and the profitability potential of your business

Writing the business plan will allow you to take stock of your project and ensure its financial viability.

The business plan will also be essential for you to present your project to bankers and to your partners or potential investors, who will use it to decide whether or not to grant you the precious funds necessary to launch your project.

Indeed, using specialized software has several advantages:

  • You are guided in the drafting by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can draw inspiration from business plan models already written
  • You easily realize your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the accounting aspects for you
  • You get a professional document, formatted, and ready to be sent to your banker or your investors

Raise the necessary funding to open a translation agency

Once you have drafted your translation agency business plan, you can move on to the last step in creating a translation business: finding funding.

First of all, you should know that opening a translation agency without contribution is possible because the investments are limited. On the other hand, if you wish to request a loan from banks to finance part of the purchases of the equipment, they will ask you to have a minimum of personal contribution.

Once the question of the personal contribution has been settled, you will have to study the different financing possibilities available to you to raise the sum necessary to launch your business:

  • You can call on private investors to strengthen your equity
  • You can look to banks to try to finance the purchase of the vehicle or part of the equipment
  • You can launch a crowdfunding campaign to collect donations and publicize your project
  • You can seek help to start a business, such as a subsidy, or tax relief.


We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of how to start your translation agency. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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