How to Invoice as a Freelancer
When you’re working as a freelancer, it is up to you to get paid for the work you have done for your clients. The best way to obtain those payments is through invoicing.
You might have provided your client a quote that let your client know how much their job request from you would cost. An invoice is provided after your work is completed to explain the work that has been done and the amount of money you expect to be paid for the work you have completed.
What Should Be Included on a Freelancer Invoice?
Make sure to include your name (or business name, if applicable) and address. Include your email and phone number, in case the client wants to contact you. Add in a company logo, if you have one, to make your invoice look more professional.
Your customer’s name or business name and address should also be listed. If you know the person who reviews their invoices, you should include their name.
An Invoice Number
Whether you use an accounting software that generates invoices or you create them manually, you should always be tracking your invoice numbers. As a freelancer, you might have to answer client questions about your work or track down late payment. Having organized records of invoices will help you answer those questions when they come up. An invoice number will help the client and you know that you are talking about the same transaction.
The Issue Date and Due Date
The date the invoice is issued is when the payment timeline starts, so it is so important to include the issue date on your invoices. If for some reason you incorrectly numbered your invoices, referring to the issue date can also help distinguish one invoice from another.
Also, remember to include your due date for payment. The number of days payment is due after the issue date. This will depend on the terms you have established with your client in your contract or agreement.
Line Item Description and Total Due
The most important information on the invoice is the breakdown of good and services you provided. List each item separately with a description of the work you have done or the good you provided, the quantity of that product that was provided, the rate of that product or service and a clear total amount due.
Make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay you. Include options for how clients can get payments to you, along with any information associated they will need to complete that payment.
If you accept checks, make sure to clearly indicate an address they can send that check to. Also, include any email associated with your business’s PayPal account or bank information for bank transfers.
You could also use payment software that allows you to accept other payment methods like credit card but there’s often a fee associated such payments.
Additional Fine Print
Include other fees, discounts or fine print points that need clarification at the bottom of your invoice. This could be related to fees for late payments or discounts offered for early payment.
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6 Invoicing Tips For Freelancers
As a freelancer, your independence from the corporate world comes with the added responsibility of handling your own finances to make sure you are getting paid for the work you are doing. Sending invoices to your clients is a vital part of your freelance business, so here are some tips for invoicing as a freelancer.
Review Your Contract
Before you start work with a client you should have outlined the details of the work you were planning on doing for the client and the amount of money the client is expected to pay you for that work. This should have been outlined on a freelancer agreement, contract or work offer. One of the most common reasons that freelancers are not paid is that the request for payment did not quite match the original contract terms.
Carefully review the terms on your freelance contract and decide whether:
- You met the required deadline
- Discussed payment methods
- Discussed payment timelines
Make sure you keep track of your initial contract so that you can be follow agreed terms when you are creating the invoice.
Describe Your Work
Your client could be dealing with multiple freelancers, so make sure you are clear in your description of the work you are providing to your client. In your invoice provide a detailed description of the assignment and include identifiable information like your company name, the assigned date, due date and contact details. This will help you get paid faster because it will eliminate client clarification.
Name Your Price
When you accept work from a client before clear about your pricing upfront in your freelance contract or work offer. Be clear about potential fees for things like edits or late payments. If the initial conversation about the work request was done informally in a conversation or over text message, send a follow-up documenting the agreement and specifying your pricing.
In your invoice make sure to clearly outline the work you have completed in itemized lines rather than grouping your work all together as “work completed”. If your client has to get approval for your work from someone at their company, this clarity will help that happen faster.
Include Taxes and Fees
Some freelance contracts are more complicated and might require out of pocket expenses or fees on behalf of the freelancer. If you incurred additional costs, be sure to include those items on your invoice. If you charge a fee for late payments, include that information on your invoice too.
Make sure to include and separately list any applicable taxes and that you understand tax rules for freelancers.
When you’re a freelancer it is so important to keep the lines of communications open with your clients. After you have sent your payment request with your invoice, make sure that you make it easy for a client to contact you about any questions regarding the invoice or your payment.
Deliver your invoice with a friendly email note or cover letter that includes a thank you in the body of it. This extra touch will with any additional follow-ups about due payments.
As your due date approaches, send friendly reminds and ask them if they have any questions or concerns about making the payment. In some cases, your invoice might have slipped through the cracks, so this friendly nudge is a good reminder for your client too.
Consider Using Software
Using invoicing software can make the process a lot easier on you. This will save you time and help you stay organized with your invoices. The software often helps you number and track your invoices and help you keep track of when payment is due or overdue. It is a much easier system to handle than manually entering this information into a spreadsheet.