Why actors should send professional invoices
As an actor, you bring creative talent and a very disciplined technical skillset to every role you play. You deserve to be paid for your creative process, your professionalism, and your dramatic acting skills, so you need a clear, organized invoice that captures everything you do to prepare for a role and put on a great performance.
An orderly, well-designed invoice also instills confidence and credibility in your reputation as a professional actor.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our beautiful range of actor invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best in the format you usually use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s free!
- Add your stage name, address, phone number, and email address
- Insert your personal logo, along with your website, and any graphics you use to represent your professional acting career
- Add in your client’s name and the correct contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the template
- Include the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- List the acting services you’ve provided, along with rehearsals and research, and the price for each based on your hourly or flat rate
- Add lines to customize the invoice to include any extra charges, such as travel or overnight accommodations. Also include any pertinent information or requirements from the actors’ union you belong to
- Calculate your acting fee, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Make sure you add a personal note at the end, such as a thank you, or to tell your client how much you enjoyed working on the acting project and making the character come to life
- Save a copy of the invoice – and give it to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your clients as an actor?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of acting services you provide. If it is for a one-time performance, or a short video, invoice upon completion. If it is for an acting project that will take a longer period of time, such as a feature film, you can ask for a percentage of the estimated cost up front.
If you are on tour with a stage show, or involved in a television show, it is a good idea to set up a regular payment schedule. Your actors’ union may also have regulations in place for how often you must be paid.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Invoicing tips for actors
Include a little promotion
Include a few lines to list your future performances, or links to some of your film or television work. Let your invoice do double duty as a great way to highlight more examples of your acting talent.
Follow-up on outstanding invoices
If a payment is late, follow up immediately. Be friendly and polite and your clients should appreciate the reminder. After all, just because you are an actor, that doesn’t mean you don’t have bills to pay!
Always include a ‘payment due’ date
Always clearly indicate when you expect payment. You have supplied your talent and skill – you deserve to be paid in a timely manner.
Keep a record with numbered invoices
Numbered invoices help you keep track of how much money is coming in, which is important for the long-term financial health of your acting career. It also shows your clients you have a professional, organized system in place.