Does a Business Need to Have Documents in Multiple Languages?

In the United States, it is a requirement that all business owners have critical documents translated into a second language. While there may be some debate as to what qualifies as “critical” and which languages should be translated, if you own a business in this country it will undoubtedly come up eventually. The fines for not having these translations can be steep, but as long as your organization is aware of the penalties and makes an effort to stay compliant with federal law – or at least minimize any legal damage you might incur – then you needn’t worry too much about the possibility of facing massive fines.

The most common document translated into another language is naturally your company’s official paperwork and documentation: Articles of Incorporation (Federal), Business Licenses, IRS Tax Forms, etc. There are also other documents that should be considered critical to the success of your business, such as important employee manuals and handbooks. Additionally, you will likely want vital records translated into more than just English alone – especially if you operate in an area where there is a high concentration of people using another language day-to-day. These records might include contracts with suppliers or customers who only speak Spanish (or whatever else), important letters, manuals for machinery used in production, etc.

Are There Any Consequences If I Fail To Comply?

Other than the obvious legal ramifications involved in not having these documents accurately translated into another language, there are several ways that failure to comply can affect your company’s productivity. If an employee isn’t given proper training on how to do their job, for example, they are likely to take longer to perform it – which can affect more workers if the training doesn’t get done. Another way that failure to have documents translated into another language can harm your business is by losing customers or employees who cannot speak English well enough to carry out their daily duties effectively.

There are a few exceptions to the Federal Law requiring vital documents to be translated into another language. In order for a company to be exempt from providing these documents in several languages, they must qualify as an employer that earns less than $500,000 USD per year and have fewer than 14 employees who speak a different language other than English. If your business fits these criteria – or if you’re not sure whether it does – then consulting with a legal representative is recommended before doing anything else.

Fortunately, those fines mentioned earlier for failing to provide these documents can often be waived by simply bringing your organization back into compliance as soon as possible. The best way to avoid any fines at all is by ensuring you aren’t affected in the first place, so having crucial documents translated into multiple languages is one of the best ways to do that.

Business documents translated into multiple languages

What Are Some of The Most Common Types of Business Legal Translations

Sworn Translation

Sworn translation is a legally recognized translation of a legal document, generally for administration or government purposes such as declarations and birth certificates. At the authorities, you must provide actual hard copies of the document and swear under oath that it is genuine and correct. Translators who work with such documents must be certified and ensure the faithfulness, accuracy, and legal validity of the translation.

Legal Contract

The legal translation of a commercial contract is one of the most essential tasks in the profession. A contract is required to safeguard one’s rights while negotiating with another person, making an offer, and having it accepted. Contracts with foreign partners are common, therefore multi-lingual contracts must be prepared and translated. Contracts are legally binding, therefore a precise and verified translation is required to avoid exacerbating conflict or incurring financial penalties. Another essential element of contract localization is compliance with international trade rules and local legislation.

IP – Intellectual Property

Patents, by definition, are property rights that individuals and businesses use to protect their ideas and inventions. It allows businesses to take legal action if others try to copy their goods or names, or if they refuse to cease using the patented invention illegally. Intellectual property documents frequently cover the description of new ideas and technologies in detail. The translator must have thorough background knowledge of the property in order to guarantee that all elements and information about the new invention are properly localized.

Litigation Documents

When a company is part of a lawsuit caused by commercial rivalries, it must submit documents. Documents such as complaints, response documents, and written evidence are just a few examples of this category. The knowledge of unique litigation terms, legal jargon, and detailed legal document syntactic structure are critical components of a successful and reliable business legal translation.

When you’re looking for a competent and thorough translation company, look no further than the translation professionals at English to Spanish Raleigh. The importance of engaging skilled professional translators and agencies that specialize in particular topics cannot be overstated. It’s indisputably important since a poor or misinterpreted translation might have far-reaching consequences for a business.

Get in touch with our team today for the best English to Spanish Translations in the USA

If you want more information on this topic or would like to discuss it with someone over the phone, get in touch with our team at  919-629-0020. For vital record translation services, employee handbook translation, HR document translation, and everything in between, English to Spanish Raleigh is your one-stop-shop for all your translation needs.