How to Create a Freelance Invoice in 2023 [+ Free Templates]
December 14, 2022
Knowing how to create an adequate invoice is essential if you’re working as a freelancer. Not only is it a form of legal contract between you and the client, but it also makes it possible for you to communicate with them whenever necessary, receive payment on time, appear more credible, and much more!
If you are looking to create a freelance invoice for your services, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll show you how to make a perfect one in a breeze and with zero complications thanks to our online invoice generator!
Why is it Important to Use Freelance Invoices?
Although there are numerous advantages to working as a freelancer, one disadvantage is that you must create your own invoices, which can be a daunting task. Still, once you come up with an adequate invoice layout, you can use it repeatedly with multiple clients.
For a freelancer, having an invoice is vital. It includes contact information, which is essential for easy and timely communication. It also includes important information about your services and payment terms. These specifics are crucial since, without knowing the price of your services and your preferred payment options, your clients won't be able to properly compensate you.
Also, because a freelance invoice is a legally binding contract, it protects you as a creator and doesn’t allow your clients to avoid paying for your work.
Freelance Invoice Types
Invoices for freelancers come in various forms, and being familiar with these can help you choose the best type of document for you and your work.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of freelance invoice you can use:
- Recurring. You can create this type of invoice when a client frequently requires the same type of service, as there’s no need to make a separate invoice for each occasion.
- Pro forma. Before you provide the service, you can request payment with a pro forma invoice that includes an estimated pay rate for the offered service.
- Standard. A standard invoice gives the client all the details about the services they need to pay for after these have been delivered.
- Prepayment. With this type of invoice, the client must provide a down payment or a portion of the total before the service is rendered.
- Commercial. You can use this type of invoice when the service you should provide entails the transshipment of goods, as it acts as a type of customs document.
- Timesheet. This kind of invoice includes a breakdown of the hours required to execute the task the client requested. Therefore, the payment is based on the number of hours worked.
What to Include on Your Freelance Invoice
Now that you know more about all these kinds of freelance invoices, it's time to pinpoint what you should include in them.
#1. Contact Information Header
Always provide contact details on your invoice. A higher placement at the top would be preferable, along with a company logo.
Contact information is necessary because it facilitates communication between you and the client. Moreover, it showcases the participants in the process, providing a sense of legal security in case disputes do emerge.
#2. Invoice Number and Dates
The invoice number and date of issuance can be seen right underneath the contact details.
Each invoice is assigned a special number. This number guarantees that the income is accurately recorded for accounting and taxation needs. It's also good for monitoring late or unpaid bills.
When it comes to the date, it should encourage your clients to pay you within the given time frame and help you keep track of the invoices.
#3. Work Breakdown
In this section, the invoice should include the following information:
- Type of service you are providing
- Quantity of the work you are delivering
- Total cost of the service
You won't be able to request payment from the client or receive compensation if you don't have this information. To develop a mutual understanding and prevent any future issues, it is essential that your client understands exactly how much they need to pay and what they are paying for.
#4. Payment Methods
Payment terms may appear with the work description or right after it.
As the title suggests, this section should contain information on the preferred payment methods. Do you take direct deposits, bank transfers, or PayPal? What details should the client use while making a payment? Be sure to answer these questions as you finish working on your freelance invoice.
When & How to Send the Invoice
The dates selected for issuing freelance invoices depend on the size of the project and the conditions you have set. Let's consider a few examples:
If you are a freelancer working on a large project, it would be ideal to issue an invoice at least once a month so that you can have consistent cash flow. This way, your client will also be reminded to meet the payment deadlines on time, which will enable them to avoid missing or delayed payment.
It will be most practical for both parties if you deliver the invoice just once when you are working on a short project. So, if the project takes a few weeks or a month, you can send the invoice either at the start to get paid before you deliver the product or at the end once the service is provided.
This indicates that you have set a certain time for sending the invoice. Depending on when you would like to get compensation, you can invoice the client at the beginning of each month, on the 15th (which puts it in the middle of the month), or at the end of the month.
Benefits of Creating Freelance Invoices
Creating freelance invoices has a lot of advantages. Let's look at a few of the most notable ones:
Clients will know that you're a professional if they see you take care of your paperwork and pay attention to every detail.
Apart from leaving a good impression, a good freelance invoice will also make clients more inclined to trust your services or book you for more than one job. Needless to say, it can also help you stand out as a verified professional and grow your business.
Great for Tax Purposes
The tax you are required to pay for that specific transaction should be included in your invoice. You may simply compile all of your invoices for the relevant period when it is time to pay taxes.
It would be challenging and time-consuming to calculate exactly how much you are obligated to pay after you have completed the transactions without the invoicing system. With it, you can simply compile all your invoices for the relevant period when it’s time to pay taxes and make the process easier.
Invoices are used to keep track of the finances of your company, or in this instance, the freelancing services you are offering. They are an excellent tool for bookkeeping because they serve as a record of every sale you have ever made.
Thanks to them, you can also calculate your revenues, profits, and overall cash flow. This can help you create a solid strategy for boosting your profit.
You would undoubtedly want to keep track of your payments if you were a freelancer or an organization providing a specific type of service. Fortunately, you can easily do so with the help of invoices.
You can also readily determine if any payments are overdue because invoices clearly state when they were issued and when the payments were due. Since these documents also include the contact information of both parties, you’ll be able to speak with the client about the matter and eventually get paid.
To be on the safe side, you can also consider adding a late payment fee to your invoice as well.
Best Practices for Freelance Invoicing
Even though you may already be aware of how to proceed with issuing invoices, a few more pointers won't hurt!
- Make sure your clients can reach you easily. You are mistaken if you think that adding your company name and address would be sufficient. You must provide an email address or a phone number that you use frequently so that your clients can reach you easily.
- Be kind, but don't back down. It is essential to come to an agreement with your client regarding the services you will be providing and the compensation you anticipate receiving. You can always try to comply with their requests, but be sure to maintain your independence. You should set the rules, and you shouldn't let anyone take advantage of you.
- Obtain payment in advance. Although you shouldn't assume that your customers will not pay you once the services have been rendered, you can ask for the payments upfront if you want to be secure. It would be awful not to receive the compensation you deserve after putting so much effort into your work.
- Offer a variety of payment options. There have been countless instances where people have been denied compensation simply because the client was unable to accept the suggested payment method. To avoid this, you can list a few payment options that work best for you. This way, the client will have more options in case one of the payment methods you suggest doesn't work for them.
- Make reminders. Although clients occasionally forget about the payment due to the numerous other tasks they must take care of, you shouldn't. You should thus set up a reminder system, either for yourself to ask for the payment (if you haven’t received it yet) or for the clients so they are aware of the due date for the payment.
Freelance Invoice FAQ
#1. How do I write a freelance invoice?
Writing a freelance invoice is not as difficult as it may seem. The order of the information should be as follows: contact details first, date, invoice number, work description, payment methods, and overall sum at the bottom.
You may always utilize a freelance invoice generator or consult freelance invoice examples if this still sounds a little challenging to you.
#2. Is there a freelance invoice template in Google Docs?
Yes, both sample and professional invoice templates are available in Google Docs—you can edit them and add your information as desired.
#3. Should I add my logo to the freelance invoice?
It's always a good idea to include a logo on the invoice. Your client will know exactly who they are working with, which helps you stand out from the competition. Clients will trust you more because of the professionalism and credibility this little detail gives to your service.
#4. How frequently should I send out the freelance invoice?
There are a few variables that affect the frequency. For example, if you are engaged in a small project, it is best to send the invoice out just once—either before the work begins or after the product has been delivered. If you are working on a larger project, you can send it out once or even twice a month.
- Freelancers do not have the same legal protections that come with working for a company.
- There are many benefits to creating freelance invoices, including professional looks, simplified tax payments, improved bookkeeping, and better payment tracking.
- Contact information of both parties, a unique invoice number, due dates, a breakdown of the work, and payment options should always be included on freelance invoices.
- There are multiple kinds of freelance invoices, including the recurring, pro forma, prepayment, commercial, and standard ones.
- You can send the invoices once or twice per month, at the beginning or end of the month, depending on the project size.