I would like to know how I can create an agency without having to pay the agency membership $20. Is there a way? If there is no way for me to create an agency without paying the agency membership, how and when do I make a payment?
There is no way to create an agency profile without paying fees. If you will create an agency profile then, you need to pay upfront.
Keep in mind that don't bite the hands which feed. Upwork is a reliable platform which give us customers so, it is our right to pay them their fees