Why professionals should send retainer invoices
You provide services or goods that your clients need on an ongoing basis. Each client has different needs and requirements, so make sure you are being paid properly for all you provide. You need to clearly outline the work you will do during each time period, along with the associated fees or prices.
You also need to include additional charges if the workload goes beyond the agreed upon amount. Easy-to-understand, great-looking MS Office invoices also reinforce your reputation as a trusted professional – and can lead to continued retainer relationships!
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 selection of free retainer invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the invoice that fits your retainer services
- Download the free invoice template in the format you prefer, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Insert your business name, phone number, email address, and the type of retainer services you are providing
- Add in a logo, and a website address, if you have one
- Next, add in your retainer client’s name and current contact information
- Add a unique invoice number. If you assign a job number to your clients, add it here too
- Put in the invoice date, and the time period for your retainer services
- List your retainer services and the costs. Include a description of each service and specify whether you are charging an hourly or flat rate
- List any materials or miscellaneous costs – and specify if the costs are included in your retainer fee, or to be billed to your client
- Add or subtract lines to make sure the invoice covers all services for the agreed upon time period. The template is easily customized to meet the specific retainer requirements
- If you are including a discount on top of your regular retainer fee, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a special rate for your services
- Calculate the total price you’re charging, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include the decided upon payment terms, the agreed method of payment, and the payment due date
- Since this is usually a regular client, it’s a good idea to add a personal line at the end. Make sure they know you appreciate the opportunity to provide ongoing services to them
- Save a copy – and send the invoice off to get paid!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your retainer clients?
Since you have been hired on retainer, you will need to send the invoice to your client before starting to provide the services and/or goods. If you are charging for your services at regular intervals, send your invoices at the same time each month or quarter so your client will know when to expect the invoice – and know when you expect to be paid.