Why self-employed people should send professional invoices
Microsoft Word is the word processing format most people know and love. It’s intuitive and easy to use, so it’s the perfect choice for creating clear, organized invoices that include all the details needed for customers to understand what they are being charged for.
Besides being flexible, Word invoices also look polished and professional.
Sending organized, well-designed invoices can instill confidence and credibility in the products and services you provide, and reflect positively on your hard-earned reputation. Explore sending invoices in other formats as well - Excel and Google Sheet invoice templates are extremely flexible and allow for more advanced calculations.
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 wide range of Word invoice templates available in different designs and colors
- Download the Word invoice template in the style you like best. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s absolutely free!
- Add in your business name and all your contact information. If you provide unique specialty services – mention it here
- Insert your amazing logo, your business website address, and any professional qualifications or certifications that are important to your customers
- Enter your client’s name and all their contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the Word template
- Include the date of the invoice, and your payment due date
- List the products you’ve supplied, or the services you’ve provided. A Word invoice template makes it easy to add lines for quantities, hours worked, and prices and fees. Simply add or remove lines to customize the invoice format to meet your billing needs for each particular client
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work, or to encourage more business, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a wonderful deal for your products or services
- Calculate the total price, including applicable tax, and enter the total at the bottom
- Include your payment terms, including all methods of payment you accept
- To stand apart from the crowd, add a personal line at the end of the invoice to thank your customer for the business, or to mention how much you enjoyed working with them.
- Save the invoice if you are using an invoice software – and send it off!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your clients?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the job and the client. Some freelance professionals wait to send an invoice at the end of a job or project, and many small businesses invoice at the time of purchase.
Your Word invoice template is flexible, so if your services have been retained over a long period of time, you can invoice for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder on completion, or you could send in bi-weekly or monthly invoices.
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.