Why self-employed people should send professional invoices
You are a professional, but since you are self-employed, you don’t have the backing of a large company to make sure you are paid properly. You need to have clear, organized invoices that include enough detail to highlight the great work you have provided, as well as show your clients the advantage of working with you.
Your invoice actually plays two roles: it provides the correct information for you to get paid, and it is a reminder of your outstanding work, so your clients will want to buy your products or services again. An attractive, well-designed invoice template also instills confidence and credibility in your personal brand.
You are an expert in your field, so make sure your invoice reflects your skill and professionalism.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our great selection of self-employed invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best
- Download the template in the format you usually use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s fast, and best of all – it’s free!
- Add in your business name, address, phone number, and email address
- Insert your wonderful business logo, along with your website, and any graphics you use to represent your self-employed business
- Add in your client’s name and all their correct and up-to-date contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it on
- Include the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- List the work you’ve done, services you’ve provided, or products you’ve sold, along with the appropriate prices and fees
- You can add lines to include any extra charges, such as for travel, or for rush or overnight jobs
- If you are including a discount to encourage clients to work with you again, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting an extremely good price
- Calculate the total price, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Make sure you add a personal note at the end, such as a thank you, or to tell your client how much you enjoyed working with them. You are self-employed – so give your invoice that personal touch that sets you apart from larger companies
- Save a copy of the invoice – and give it to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice when you are self-employed?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of business you are in. Many self-employed people invoice at the end of a job or project, or at the time of purchase.
You need to keep the revenue coming in, so if your services are required for a long period of time, or if the customer has made a large order, ask for payment up front, or for a percentage of the estimated cost up front.
Whatever payment time period you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.