Why you should send professional invoices
Business is complicated, but invoicing doesn’t need to be. Our simple invoice template gives you the flexibility to create clear, organized invoices with room for all the details to ensure you are paid properly.
Easy-to-use, and easy-to-understand, your invoice will serve as a reminder of the great work you have done long after the project is over. The simple, elegant design will also instill confidence and credibility in the professional services you provide.
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 simple invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best in the format you want to use for your invoicing – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the simple invoice template. It’s free!
- Add your business name and contact information. If you provide emergency 24-hour service, or any other special services – make sure you mention it here
- Insert your well-designed logo, website address, and any professional qualifications or certifications
- Add in your client’s name and current contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the simple invoice template
- Include the date of the invoice, and the payment due date
- List the products or services you’ve provided, and the price for each based on your hourly or flat rate. The simple invoice template allows you to include enough detail to make sure your customer knows exactly what they are being charged for
- Simply add or remove lines to customize the invoice format to meet your billing needs
- If you are including a discount for a regular customer, or for a large order, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a special deal
- Calculate the total price, including applicable tax, and enter the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, including the methods of payment you accept
- There is room on the simple invoice template to add a personal line at the end, such as thanking the customer for their business, or to mention a memorable detail of the project you’d like to share
- Save the invoice – and email it off to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice from a simple invoice template?
The right time to send an invoice depends on your business and on your client. Some self-employed individuals send an invoice at the time of purchase, and some 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 if it is for a large project, customize your simple invoice template to charge for payment up front (or for a percentage of the estimated cost up front) with the remainder received upon completion.
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.
Simple invoice template tips for self-employed professionals
Don’t be afraid to follow-up
If a payment is late, follow up immediately. Your invoice might just have been misplaced. Be friendly and polite and your client should appreciate the reminder. Don’t let your hard earned paycheck get lost in the shuffle!
Use 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. A simple invoice template also allows you to assign a job code if your work for that client is going to be spread out over a long period of time, and may involve several invoices.
Include a timesheet
Keeping an up-to-date timesheet can help you 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.
Change your payment terms
With the rise of e-commerce people are accustomed to paying for products and services right away. Consider shortening your payment terms from 30 days to three weeks, or even to 15 days on your simple invoice template. To sweeten the deal, you could offer a discount for early payment. Even a small percentage off your total bill can be enough incentive for your clients to get their payment in fast.