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Chapter
2

Use our invoice template to build your own

Over the course of your freelancing journey, you’ll learn what it takes to build a thriving and durable career from the ground up. At this point, you’re in the process of actively building an invoice process. You may have a word doc with the client’s name and the cost that you recreated each month, or maybe you have no invoicing process at all. Either is okay!

In this step, we’ll review what every invoice must have (besides client name and price) and begin to add these pieces to our invoicing template.

What does an invoice always need to have

Below is a checklist containing the information your invoice must always have. As you go through each item on the checklist, find it on this invoice template in Canva and fill in the info for the client and project you selected in the last step.

If you’ve never used Canva before you can create an account here. Canva is a free and easy-to-use online design tool and we highly recommend it for any of your design needs.

Invoice checklist:

  • The client’s business info

    • This includes:

      • Full business name or client name

      • Address (try to get a full company address, but a city, state, and/or country may suffice if the client is not willing to provide this information)

      • Phone number (for the company or your contact, if you can get it)

      • Contact name, if different from the company name

      • Email address (for the company’s accounting department or client’s personal email)

      • Any other identifying information you feel is relevant, such as the client’s position and department

  • Your business info

    • This includes:

      • Full name and business name, if applicable

      • Full address

      • Phone number

      • Email address

      • Any other identifying information you feel is relevant, such as your doing business as (DBA) name

  • Invoice number

    • Typically, you track invoices with sequential invoice numbers for all of your clients. For example, you may issue invoice #100 to Client A while Client B gets Invoice #101, and so on.

    • Pro tip: In rare instances, a client may request that all invoices include numbers that specifically correlate with them. For example, Client C may want their invoices to read Invoice #C-001, #C-002, #C-003, and so on. If you encounter this, you should comply while continuing your typical invoice sequence with all other clients.

    • FYI: Invoicing softwares will count invoice numbers for you, making the numbering process automatic.

  • Issue date

    • This is the date you issued the invoice. It’s super important because it tells you how many days pass until you get paid, which informs whether or not you instate a late fee. 

  • Due date

    • This is the date the client must pay you. 

    • Note: Once a client pays, it may take a few days for financial institutions to process payment. The due date refers to the date the client must submit payment by, not the date you receive that payment in your bank account. Consider this when setting your terms so you don’t have any financial hiccups.

    • How do you know when the due date is for an invoice? It’s likely agreed upon in your contract, so refer to that if you’re unsure. The most common payment term is Net 30 (meaning the invoice is due within 30 days of receipt), but you can also use Net 0, Net 15, Net 45, or something else.

  • Description of services

    • This section doesn’t need to be super detailed, it’s completely up to you. However, it’s nice to have more information if you work on multiple projects with the same client–this clarifies, for both you and the client, which project the invoice is for.

      • For example: A freelance Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant may invoice monthly and write “October SEO Consulting” with the understanding that the services are thoroughly explained in the contract.

      • Another example: A freelance writer invoices for an agreed-upon bundle of content and describes the tentative titles and lengths of each article.

  • Price

    • This will vary depending on how you price your services. Whether you create a manual invoice or use a software, you can price using one of the following methods:

      • Flat rate

      • Per word (include the quantity you’re invoicing for)

      • Hourly rate  (include the quantity you’re invoicing for)

      • Per item or task  (include the quantity you’re invoicing for)

Heads up: If you’re charging tax, include the total pretax as the subtotal, then a line item with the tax and add them up to get a final total. It’s important to itemize this as well as any discounts, if applicable.

  • Payment details

    • This may include:

      • A link to your payment portal, where clients can pay by card, ACH, or another method.

      • Your bank account information, including the bank name and address, your account number, and the bank’s routing number.

      • Other payment information, such as PayPal username (Note: Be careful using platforms like PayPal, which can hold your money until you provide evidence of the service).

      • A note on sharing sensitive banking information: Make sure you have a contract in place, have confirmed the client’s legitimacy, and trust them. For tips on how to avoid a scam, refer to this article from the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re still unsure, you can also tap into your freelancing network to get the hive’s opinion before proceeding.

  • Terms and conditions

    • Include any Ts and Cs you agreed to in the contract or Statement Of Work (SOW), such as:

      • Late fees (for example, you may tack on a percentage of the outstanding balance for unpaid invoices after X amount of days).

      • Deposit requirements (you may want to receive a percentage of the project’s total cost upfront before beginning work).

      • Approved payment methods (check, credit card, direct deposit, etc).

Recap 

  • Reviewed logistics that go into an invoice to help freelancers get paid quickly and with minimal back and forth.

  • Filled in the gaps with key information and made your invoice more robust.

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