Why you should send professional invoices
You work hard to make a living as a self-employed individual or small business owner. You need clear, printable invoices that include details of all the great freelance or contract work you have provided, as well as to highlight the advantage of working with you.
An orderly, elegant invoice that is also designed to look good when printed can instill confidence and credibility in your reputation and personal brand. Let your clients know you strive to be the best in your field by making sure your invoice reflects 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).
- Look through our great selection of printable 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 business name, address, phone number, email address, and your area of expertise
- Insert your lovely business logo, along with your website address, and any graphics you use to brand your business
- Add in your client’s name, address, phone number, and email address
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the template, along with a job code, if required
- Include the date of the invoice, and the payment due date
- List the produces or services you’ve provided for the client, including the price you charge based on an hourly, daily, or flat fee
- Add lines that clarify any extra charges you incurred, such as travel, research, and materials and supplies
- If you are including a discount for a regular customer, add a line explaining the discount so your customer knows they are getting an extremely good price for your expert services
- Calculate the price, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- It’s a good business practice to add a personal note at the end, such as a thank you for the business, or to tell the client how much you enjoyed working with them. It may lead to a valuable referral!
- Save a copy of the invoice – and send it off!
When is the right time to send a printable invoice to your clients?
The right time to send a printable invoice varies with the type of business you are in. If you sell goods or products, print off the invoice and give it to the customer at the time of purchase. If the invoice is for services for a small job or project, print it off at completion.
As an independent business owner you need to keep the revenue coming in, so for longer contracts, you can ask for a percentage of the payment up front, with the remainder on completion of the contract, or send in bi-weekly or monthly invoices.
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.