Why freelancers should send professional invoices
As a professional freelancer, you bring your experience, unique skills, and knowledge to every project you complete for your clients - from writing to design. That means you need to have clear, organized invoices that include enough detail to highlight the great work you have provided, as well as show your clients the advantage of working with you.
Your invoice works double duty as a reminder of your outstanding work so your clients will call you again, as well as refer you to their business associates and friends.
An orderly, well-designed invoice also instills confidence and credibility in your reputation and personal brand. You are an expert in your field – make sure your invoice reflects your skill and professionalism.
Many other templates are available for download on our site. View our complete template collection.
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 great selection of freelancer 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 fast and it’s free!
- Add your freelance business name, address, phone number, and email address
- Insert your beautifully designed freelance business logo, along with your website, and any graphics you use to represent your business
- Add in your client’s name and 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 freelance work you’ve done, and the price for each portion based on your hourly or flat rate
- Add lines to include any extra charges, such as travel, or overnight or rush jobs
- If you are including a discount for a regular or agency client, or to encourage future work from a first-time client, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting an extremely good price for your expert freelance services
- Calculate the price, 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 with them. After all, it’s your personal touch that sets you apart from the competition in your field!
- Save a copy of the invoice – and give it to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your freelance clients?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of freelance services you provide. Some freelancers 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, so many freelancers ask for payment up front, or for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, if the project will span many weeks and involve a lot of materials or supplies.
Whatever payment time period you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.