Can I Invoice Without a Company?
If you’re a freelancer, you might already own your business and not even know about it.
Sole proprietorship is the easiest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is run by one individual with no distinctions made between you, the owner, and your business. With this unincorporated business, you are entitled to all profits and responsible for your all your business debts, losses and liabilities.
To become a sole proprietor, you don’t have to take any formal actions. As long as you are the only owner, your business starts when your business activities start.
In the United States of America, you are automatically a sole proprietor and are therefore free to invoice clients as necessary.
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What Should Your First Invoice Include?
Freelancers and the self-employed are responsible for requesting payment for their services. The best way to lay out the details of the sales of your service and calculate the price is to document that information in an invoice to send your customer. Invoicing can be made easier with the use of online templates and accounting software.
Here are details of what to include on your invoice:
1. Professional Header
Your business name or full name should be at the top of your invoice in an easy to read font. The font on your name should be a little bit bigger and bold compared to all the other text on the invoice.
After your name, you will want to include your contact information, including your mailing address, phone number, email address and website. Put each item on a different like to make it easier to read like this:
PO Box 12345
Somewhere, US 90319
To add additional professionalism to your invoice, consider creating and including a logo.
2. Client Contact Information
Next, you will need to specify who you are sending the invoice to. Below the invoice header include the recipient’s name, address, phone number and additional contact information here.
Usually, your contact information should be on the opposite side of the recipient information. If your business name and logo are on the top right side of your invoice, your customer’s information should be below on the left side.
3. Invoice Details
Under your information and across from the client information, include your invoice details. This information is vital for you and your client to keep track of the invoice.
Information to include here is:
- Invoice number
- Date prepared
- Payment due date
Make sure invoice numbering system is sequential, so your tracking is easy.
Invoices usually have a due date 30, 45, 60 and 90 days for payment. You can also make an invoice due upon receipt, where the recipient is required to pay the invoice as soon as they receive it.
Now, you will need to specify what methods of payments are options that you accept. Do you accept payments through cash, check, credit card, PayPal, ApplePay, etc?
With your payment terms, include details of late fees you may charge for invoices paid past their due date. This provides an incentive for your customers to pay their invoices on time.
For tax purposes, you might also want to include a tax number here.