How To Create A Professional Invoice
If you’ve set up a business or started working as a freelancer, chances are you need to start creating invoices.
The practice itself is very simple, but if you’ve never made an invoice before you may need some guiding tips.
What is an invoice?
An invoice is a document sent to clients, customers, or employers requesting payment for goods or services. The most important information on an invoice is what you’re requesting payment for and how much, but there are other things that should go on an invoice too.
What needs to go on an invoice?
- Your company’s name, address, and contact details.
- The invoiced company or individual’s name, address, and contact details.
- The date you provided goods or services and the of the invoice.
- An invoice number for your (and the receiver’s) records.
- The details of the product or service being invoiced for, including price, quantity, and a brief description.
- Payment terms and details.
How to create a professional invoice
One of the easiest ways to create a professional-looking invoice is to download a free invoice template, such as this invoice template by FreshBooks.com. This will mean the formatting of the invoice will look great and it will also immediately look like an invoice to the person who receives it.
If you run a small business, you may want to adjust the invoice template to match your brand. This means changing colours and including your logo. You can also add a thank you note at the end of the invoice to add extra brand identity to the invoice. Invoice templates will have a space for all of the above information, but be sure to fill this in carefully as errors on invoices can lead to problems on both sides and damage trust between you and your client or customer.
A professional invoice should also have clear payment terms. This means that the client or customer should be able to look at the invoice and know exactly how to pay you and when you require payment by (if you expect this).
If you run a VAT registered business, it’s important that you use VAT invoices. These should include your VAT registration number, the tax point (time of supply) if it is different from the invoice date, the VAT rate and the VAT charged for each item, and the total VAT charged. Luckily there is a helpful guide for VAT invoices on the U.K. government website.
Once you’ve put together an invoice, it’s time to send it. The best way to send invoices is over email, as this makes it easier for you and your client or customer to save the invoice to their records. The invoice should be sent as an uneditable PDF as this prevents fraud and you should have a clear description of the invoice in the subject and body of the email – including the invoice date and number. Some companies, however, need invoices in a specific format or require hard copies to be posted, so it’s always best to check with the company first.