Working as a freelancer can be a great way to earn a good income. Whether you do it on the side as you have time with your day job or you have turned it into a full-time career, the work can be gratifying. To ensure you get paid for your work, you must invoice your clients what they owe you.
Sending out a professional freelance invoice will help get you noticed and cements you as an expert in your field. It also helps make the invoice official, giving you options if the client chooses to delay or not send the payment. But how do you create a professional invoice as a freelancer?
You should include a few particular items every time you prepare an invoice for freelancers. These items include:
Your Name and Logo
Begin your invoice with information about your company. Put this right at the top so it is easier for the client to see who has sent them the invoice at a glance. It can also be helpful for recordkeeping purposes. Make sure that all of your invoices include your name and any logo if you have one. If you do not have a logo, your company name is fine.
Right under your business name and logo, you should include any contact details your client may need. This keeps the lines of communication open and allows the client to contact you if they have a problem with the invoice or even questions before they pay.
Some contact information you should add to your freelance invoices include:
- Company email
- Company phone number
- Company address
You will also want to get the exact details from your client before sending out the invoice. Ensure you send the invoice to the right person, primarily if the client works for a large company. It is easy for an invoice to get lost, so addressing the document to the person directly responsible for the payment can lower your risk of that happening.
Date and Invoice Number
Next, check whether the invoice includes the date and the invoice number. Your invoice number is essential because it can help you and the client organize all paperwork. Ensure that the number is unique to that individual or company and matches the numbering system you already have in place.
An excellent way to organize these is by year. You could start with the current year and then review it based on how many invoices you send out during this time. If it is your seventh invoice of the year 2023, you will write something like 202307 for the invoice.
Ensure your invoice contains information about what you are billing the client for — describe the work you did and the amount that is due for those services or products. Use many descriptions here to ensure you and the client are on the same page.
Your client will generally appreciate a vague invoice. If some time has passed since the service rendered and the invoice, they may wish to receive clarification about what service you performed on their behalf. To that end, tell the company exactly what they received and the amount they owe.
Note whether the freelancer completed the service under hourly wages or based on the amount of work done. Once you have listed all the jobs done for the client, include the total amount the client owes.
Always include information about the deadline for the payment and all fee deadlines. This helps to put a rush on the funds and makes it less likely the client will put off paying you. If you accept a few payment options, list them on the invoice to make it easier.
As a freelancer, you should discuss the payment options with your client beforehand. Accepting more than one type of payment method can help your business grow and make it easier for the client to pick the most convenient option.
List what will happen if the client does miss a deadline, such as additional fees if they do not pay the invoice by a specific time. List out the terms of payment too. Writing this information out in black and white will ensure you get your income and the interest if the payment is overdue.
Tips for Writing a Great Invoice as a Freelancer
If you have never written an invoice as a freelancer, you may feel nervous about how to get it done right. Some simple tips to make this more accessible include the following suggestions:
- Don’t fear invoicing – You deserve to receive the money you earned for your work. Never feel ashamed to send an invoice for the work you do for someone else as a freelancer.
- Send the invoice immediately – You and your client likely agreed that the final payment would be due when you complete the project. Don’t take your time sending the invoice — do it right away.
- Keep the final delivery until the client pays – This may only work in some fields, but when possible, wait to give the final product to the customer until they pay. This gives you some leverage and makes the client more likely to pay you.
- Make the payment method easy – The easier you can make it for the client to pay you, the faster they will get the payment over. Offering a simple method or several ways to pay can help with this.
- Remember the taxes – Unless you plan to pay for the taxes on your own, always remember to add the taxes to the invoice.
The Bottom Line
As a freelance business, you must invoice your clients to ensure you receive payment for your hard work. A professional invoice can help legitimize your business and makes it easier to stand out from the crowd as a professional too.
Make sure to include a header and contact information, details about what services you rendered, and payment terms to ensure the client knows how to pay and can get the money to you. Sending out invoices promptly, with enough details will help your freelance business succeed.
Better Mind. Better Body. Better Business.
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