The honest truth, nobody cares if the cost of living in your country is high. They only care if it's low because they can then take advantage and get cheap work.
I'm not sure I follow your plight. Logging hours usually takes minutes, it's common to log them at the end of the week opposed to as you go along. I also haven't heard the need for any business administration or licenses needed, care to elaborate?
Working at a lower initial rate will give you some experience, but the bigger win is a rating and review that could land more ideal clients at an ideal rate. Your experience outside of Upwork is great but, when people go on Upwork to find freelancers, they care about what you did on the platform too.
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