Pro forma invoice template

As a small business owner you send your invoices out as soon as possible to keep the revenue coming in – but what about ensuring your clients won’t be surprised when they see your final bill? By sending a pro forma invoice ahead of time you can outline the services that have been agreed on, when they are due, and how much they will cost. Select one of our ready-to-use pro forma invoice templates in Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, and Google Sheets to avoid any problems or misunderstandings that can delay payment.

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Choose the best pro forma invoice template for your business

Provide an estimate

Cut down on the worry of clients challenging your final invoice. This free pro forma invoice template acts as an estimate for your services and products and can be customized to your exact requirements.

Give clients a heads-up

Download, customize, and send this pro forma invoice to your clients so they know what to expect from you – and how much it will cost. Simply add or subtract lines to describe the specific details of the service or products you are providing.

First-time clients

It’s great to acquire new clients – but it’s even better when they are clear on exactly what you will be doing for them. Get rid of any first-time misunderstandings by sending out this easy-to-use pro forma invoice template before you start working with them.

Courtesy estimate

A pro forma invoice is a great way to build strong relationships with your clients. By giving them the courtesy of seeing your estimated costs in advance, they can figure out their finances and be prepared when you send in your official invoice.

Complicated projects

If what you are providing has many moving parts and several delivery dates, use this pro forma invoice template to ensure both you and your client are on the same page regarding expectations. By providing these details upfront, you can save a lot of headaches down the line.

Alternatives to using pro forma invoice templates

Make your small business a success by finding out more about what Wave can offer you. Save time and take even more work off your hands by trying our free automated invoicing and accounting.

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Why small business owners should send professional pro forma invoices

Illustration of invoice being sent

As a small business owner, you work hard to provide great quality service and/or products – so you deserve to be paid fairly for your skill and effort. Save time and eliminate frustration by sending out a pro forma invoice ahead of time to clearly explain the work you will be providing and how much it will cost. That way you avoid having to explain or justify your fees – which can delay payment.

An organized and detailed business invoice also emphasizes the professional quality of your work and creates confidence and trust in your business.

How to fill out your pro forma invoice

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:

  1. Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
  2. Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
  3. Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
  4. 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.
  5. Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
  6. 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.
  7. Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
  8. 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.
  9. Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
  10. 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).

What should be included on a pro forma invoice for your small business

Give your clients a heads-up on exactly what services you are providing and the cost for each by sending a fully customizable pro forma invoice before your official invoice. It’s easy to do – and will help eliminate payment problems.

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  • Select one of our clear and elegantly designed templates in the format you like to work with – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
  • Download your pro forma invoice template for free!
  • Insert your business name and your up-to-date contact information
  • Add your logo and any other graphics to the template
  • Generate a unique invoice number and add it on to the invoice
  • Insert your client’s name and contact information
  • Put in the date of the invoice and the payment due date
  • List the services you will be providing for this project or order, delivery dates, and an estimate of the price for each. Be as clear and detailed as you can so your clients understand exactly what they will be paying for
  • Add or subtract lines. The template is easily customized to meet your specific business needs
  • Remember to include a line that explains any discounts you are giving so your client knows they are getting a reduced price
  • Calculate the total estimated price, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
  • Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept, and any other special requirements
  • It’s always nice to add a personal line at the end – such as a ‘thank you’ for the business, or a note to say you are looking forward to working with them
  • Make sure you save the pro forma invoice for your records – and send it off!

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When is the right time to send a pro forma invoice to your clients

The best time to send a pro forma invoice is when you have discussed the scope of the service or project with your client and calculated the cost. The sooner you get the pro forma invoice to the client the better.

That way you will not have started doing any work that they don’t want to pay the estimated cost for. This gives you an opportunity to explain what the work involves and adjust the services you are providing, if necessary.

Illustration of hourglass timer

Handy pro forma invoicing tips

Delivery dates

Detail, details, details

Accepted payment methods

Include any customs information

Free Invoice Template vs. Wave Invoicing Software

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