Why business professionals should send professional invoices
As a business professional, you bring experience, skill, and knowledge to everything you do. Make sure you create clear, itemized invoices that include all the important details so your clients understand exactly what you are charging for, as well as the advantage of working with you.
You want them to retain your business services again, as well as refer you to their colleagues, so instill confidence and trust in the business services you provide by sending sophisticated, well-designed invoices.
You reliably deliver expert services – make sure your invoices reflect your skill and professionalism.
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).
- Browse through our wide range of business invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like in the format you use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s free!
- Add your business name and contact information. If you provide specialized business services, make sure you mention it here where your clients will take notice
- Insert your business logo, website address, and any professional designations or qualifications you may have
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Insert a unique invoice number and add it to the template
- Include the date of the invoice and/or the dates the work was started and competed, and the payment due date
- List the work you’ve done or services provided, and the price based on your hourly or flat rate
- Add lines to meet your billing needs for that particular business client
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a great price for your business expertise
- Calculate the total price of the project, including applicable tax, and enter the total at the bottom
- Include your payment terms, including your accepted payment methods
- Add a personal line at the end, such as a thank you, or to tell your client how much you enjoyed working with them. It could lead to more work and some valuable referrals!
- Save the invoice – and send it off!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your business clients?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of business you are in. Some business professionals wait to send an invoice at the end of a job or project.
As an independent business owner, you need to keep the revenue coming in; if you are invoicing for your work on a complicated project, or a job that will take several months, invoice for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder being paid upon completion. If you have been retained for an extended period of time, discuss the option of invoicing monthly, or at certain significant milestones in the project.
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.
Handy invoicing tips for business professionals
Include professional recommendations
Include a few lines to describe any future business services you think would be helpful for your client. It lets them know you are thinking about their best interests and are providing them with your expert knowledge. If you write a business blog, include a link, as well as links to other articles you think would be of interest to them. This lets your clients know you understand their business.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Make it easy for your customers to do business with you by accepting as many payment options as you can, especially fast and convenient electronic methods such as e-Transfers, debit cards, and online payments.
Add a timesheet
If you charge an hourly rate for your business services, keep an up-to-date timesheet to accurately track your billable hours. Include your timesheet as an attachment to your invoice so your client can see the amount of work you need to be compensated for.
Keep a record of your work with numbered invoices
Numbered invoices help you keep track of how much money is coming in, and shows clients you have an organized system in place. You can also assign a job code if your business services for that client are going to be spread out over a long period of time and involve several invoices.