How to Write a Winning Invoice Letter in 8 Easy Steps: A Guide for Small Businesses
Small businesses need to be paid on time to maintain cash flow. It’s important to find ways to get paid faster. Entrepreneur recommends being clear about payment schedules and costs from the beginning. Good communication sets client expectations and helps get payments to you faster.
One way to do this is to include a winning invoice letter with your invoice. A good invoice letter sets a professional but friendly tone that establishes when payment is due and who to address with any questions.
The format of an invoice letter should be that of a standard business letter. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to write one.
Need an invoice template? FreshBooks has free downloadable invoice templates for small businesses to make invoicing even easier.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Get a Template
- Insert Your Address
- Add the Date
- Include the Recipient Address
- Add a Salutation
- Write the Body of the Letter
- Write the Closing
- Mention Attachments
1. Get a Template
To write an invoice letter for payment, you can use a blank document. Or you can download a business letter template. MS Office has a simple free template you can download for Word.
Open whatever word processing software you prefer and open either your template or create a new blank document.
2. Insert Your Address
Skip this step by printing your invoice on company letterhead.
If you don’t have letterhead, write your name or company name and your full address (street address, city, state and zip code) at the top of the letter. Align the text to the left.
Standard address format:
City State Zip Code
64 Sunnyside Road Ste 400
Beverly Hills CA 90201
This convention follows U.S. Postal Service guidelines. Please note there are no punctuation and one space between each word or number, except where there is two spaces between the state and zip code.
3. Add the Date
Add either the date the invoice was written or completed if you wrote the letter over a number of days.
Use American date format: month, day, year.
- For example: January 1, 2019.
Write the date one line below your address. If your address is left justified, the date should also be on the left. If you’re using letterhead, center the date, says the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
4. Include the Recipient Address
Add the recipient’s address below the date. Include the recipient’s name, title, company and address. Make sure you include the street address, city, state and zip code. It should be left justified and one line below the date.
It’s best to include a specific name here. Entrepreneur recommends that you double check who you’re supposed to send your invoice to. This is especially critical at larger companies where you may need to send your invoice directly to the finance department or a third party hired to handle payments.
Contact your client to discuss who will be making the payment, who your invoice should be addressed to and who, if anyone, you should copy on the invoice. Address the invoice letter to the primary person making the payment.
When adding a contact name, you may be wondering what title to use. Standard personal titles are Mr., Ms., Mrs. and Dr.
Women can be addressed as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. When in doubt, use Ms.
5. Add a Salutation
Now it’s time to open the letter. Use the same name and personal title as included in the recipient address. Include a salutation under the recipient address.
If you know the recipient well, you can use their first name only. If not, use their personal title and last name. Add a colon at the end.
- Dear Anne:
- Dear Ms. Smith:
Not sure of the recipient’s gender? It’s okay to include their full name instead, such as:
- Dear Anne Smith:
6. Write the Body of the Letter
Single space your letter and left justify your paragraphs. You don’t need to use a first-line indent. Include a blank line between each paragraph.
In terms of the content, the writing should be as clear and concise as possible.
First, include a friendly opening. Here’s a sample:
- I hope that you’re well.
Then, get right to the point:
- Please find attached invoice [number] for [project name].
- Your order of [order details] has been shipped. Please find attached an invoice for these items.
- Please find attached an invoice for [insert amount].
Now add some payment details, such as:
- A reminder of my payment terms: payment is due on January 20, 2019. There’s a 5 percent discount if you submit payment in 15 days.
- Please send payment via check or direct deposit.
- Please note we charge a late fee of 5 percent per week.
It’s best to list the right contact in case they have any questions:
- If you have any questions about your invoice, please contact [name] at [contact details].
- I’ll be back in the office next week if you have any questions or concerns.
- For project matters, please contact [name] at [contact details]. For billing concerns, please contact [name] at [contact details].
Now add a friendly line:
- Thank you for your business.
- It’s been a pleasure working with you.
- I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.
- Please let me know if we can help you again in any way.
- We appreciate the opportunity to do business with you.
- Please confirm that this invoice has been received.
7. Write the Closing
The closing is one line after the last line of the body. Only the first word should be capitalized and a comma should be added at the end. If a signature is being added, include four blank lines between the sign off and your name.
8. Mention Attachments
Attachments, in this case your invoice, are also called enclosures. Write “Enclosures” four lines below your closing. You can either simply add the number of attachments or list them by name.
- Enclosures: 3
- Enclosures: Invoice 001, Preliminary Drawings, 3D Model
Your invoice letter is now almost ready to go. Before sending it, be sure to proofread it thoroughly for spelling or grammar mistakes.
People also ask:
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Invoice
A cover letter for an invoice is essentially an invoice letter. Follow the steps above to write a professional business letter.
Here are some additional tips to writing a cover letter, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
- It should be one page only
- Tailor your cover letter to the client. Address specific project details and timelines. Mention any further invoices to come.
- Avoid jargon. Use the active voice and short sentences. Be clear. Convey respect for the client and professionalism.
- Focus on the aim of your letter: to get paid. Include the reason for the invoice and the total due in the first paragraph of the body of the letter. Always include contact information so a client can address any concerns about the invoice immediately.
- Each paragraph of the body should be focused around a single point
- Proofread your work. Ask a trusted colleague or friend to do this.
This article has tips on how to write an invoice for freelance work or as a small business plus invoice wording examples.
How to Write an Invoice Email
Here’s how to write an email with an invoice attached. Emails are often much less formal than business letters but they should still be professional and well-written.
Here’s an example:
Hi [insert client name],
Please find attached an invoice for [insert project name].
Thanks for your business. If you have any questions about your invoice, please contact [name] at [contact details].
[insert your name]
This article covers exactly how to send an invoice via email.