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The Components Of a Great Invoice

Your invoice isn’t just another business document or a flashy way of showing you’re the real deal. At the end of the day, your invoice is really your ticket to getting paid.

So if it reaps such great rewards, why do many business owners face the common struggle of unpaid, lost or ignored invoices? You may be missing one of the key components that ties it all together. Want to learn how to create an invoice template that leaves an impression? These are the components.

  • Company and Contact Information: These details on your invoice leave a papertrail of who your business is, as well as the business you’re billing to.
  • Date and invoice number: A simple way to keep track of invoices—especially for repeat clients.
  • Description of services, rates: Cut the project confusion between you and your client. Leave room in the body of your invoice to describe the services you’re billing for.
  • Sales tax: Don’t forget to charge applicable taxes—after all, you’ll have to pay them come tax time. Put in your per cent and share the pain…
  • Amount due: Give your client an at-a-glance look at the total amount of your invoice.
  • Invoice terms: Have a specific payment method you’d like your clients to use? Want to set an invoice due date to stay on top of your cash flow? State your terms in each and every invoice you send.

Download Your Free Invoice Template

Invoice Template FAQs

How do I use the free invoice template?

Using the free invoice template is simple. Not all invoices are built the same for every business owner. So when selecting your invoice, click on your service-based profession or industry. FreshBooks offers a ton of invoice templates, so choose the one that best suits your business needs. Next, select the file format you would like your invoice to be in. Templates are available as a .PDF, .DOC and .XLS, so you can easily create, print and send clients your free invoices.

Once you have your invoice handy, fill in the necessary information (i.e. contact information, service provided and rate, sales tax, amount due and terms). When you’re ready, you can either print and mail your invoice or send directly by email.

What information should be included in every invoice?

Having a clear, easy to read invoice is essential for your clients. Ensure you aren’t missing any of these key components:

• Contact Information: You want leave a papertrail of who your business is and the business you’re billing to on each and every invoice.
• Date and invoice number: This will help you easily stay on top of invoices going out—especially for repeat clients.
• Services and rates: Don’t let confusion halt projects. Leave room in the body of your invoice to describe the services you’re charging for and how much each one costs.
• Sales tax: Don’t forget to charge applicable taxes to your clients—after all, you’ll have to pay them come tax time.
• Amount due: Give your client an at-a-glance look at the total amount of your invoice.
• Invoice terms: State your terms in each and every invoice you send. This is helpful if you only accept a specific payment method or want to assign a due date for your invoice.

What’s better: An invoice template or accounting software?

There are some key differences between a free invoice and accounting software. The free invoice template comes at no cost and covers the general components of an invoice. But if you’re interested in building custom invoices, accounting software like FreshBooks is a great solution. Not only will you be able to add your logo, you’ll also benefit from perks like automated invoicing, setting deposits, accepting safe online payments and so much more.

Read about FreshBooks Invoices and other offered features.

What are the shortcomings of free invoice templates?

A free invoice template is a nice starting point for small business owners or freelance workers. But once projects and clients begin to pile up, you may need help with the administrative work. Here are the downsides of free invoice templates:

•  You can’t set it and forget it: You need to manually enter information on every invoice, leaving more room for error and confusion. And if you run a subscription-based business or often do recurring work, this process can be quite redundant.
•  Manual follow-up process: If you have a client who takes a long time to pay, the free invoice template won’t cover the awkward reminders for you. You’ll need to continue to manually keep tabs on clients
•  Longer wait times to get paid: With the free invoice, chances are you’ll need to wait for your paycheck to come in the mail. The basic template doesn’t offer the ability to allow clients to directly pay an invoice online.
•  Paperwork reconciliation come tax time: When tax season rolls around again, staying on top your invoices is key. That means you’ll have to manually gather all of your documents and make sense of the money you earned. With the free invoice template, you won’t have the option to automatically track of your invoices or keep them safely stored online.
•  Personalization is limited: The free invoices will cover the key components, but you won’t be unable to customize the overall appearance to fit your brand—like add your logo and colors.

Is each invoice template free?

Yes, there is no cost associated with the free invoice templates. All invoices from the invoice template gallery on this page are free for download and use. All you have to do is simply fill in the fields on your blank invoice.

If you’re interested in going from a basic invoice template to a more customizable solution, FreshBooks offers a free 30-day trial, followed by a paid option to manage your invoices and accounting. You can create invoices with your branding, set recurring invoices, send automated payment reminders and late fees and much more—saving you time and money. Here’s the proof: According to a FreshBooks customer survey of more than 2,000 respondents, business owners save 192 hours per year just by using FreshBooks to manage their invoicing and accounting.

Download Your Free Invoice Template

Invoices aren’t one size fits all—find the invoice that suits your small business and wows your customers. Create, print and enjoy complimentary invoice templates in a matter of seconds. Templates are available for Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF.

Find Your Industry and Select an Invoice Format

• Invoice Template for Creatives (.DOC, .XLS, .PDF)
• Invoice Template for Web Development & IT (.DOC, .XLS, .PDF)
• Invoice Template for Legal & Business Consultants (.DOC, .XLS, .PDF)
• Invoice Template for Trades & Home Services (.DOC, .XLS, .PDF)


Find Your Perfect Invoice Template

Different freelancers and small businesses need different things on their invoices depending on their profession. Make invoicing ridiculously easy by downloading the perfect invoice template for you and your business.

Make Invoicing Even Easier with FreshBooks

Ready to make your invoicing ridiculously easy? Quickly create and send professional looking invoices with FreshBooks. FreshBooks users save, on average, 16 hours a month so you’ll spend less time on invoicing and more time focusing on what you love.

Try It Free for 30 Days No credit card required. Cancel anytime.