How to write an invoice

Providing a service for someone and collecting payment may require you to submit an invoice to a client. Learn how to create and format an invoice you can customise.

Record the transaction(s) that transpired immediately, including the date and any additional comments. Creating the future bill at the time of service (if that is possible) will make keeping track of business simple. However, that is not always possible, so it is important to timely note every billing detail that is required in an invoice.

Write your name or business name, address and contact number for the first part of an invoice. Place this information across the top of the page or on the upper left-hand corner. Even if you are writing your first invoice, you will need a reference number. Use a four-digit code, such as No. 1001, for your first invoice, to make organisation easier in spreadsheets.

Insert the invoice creation date and the date of the business transaction(s). The date the invoice was created should be across from or under the reference number. The date of services provided will be included in the portion of your invoice that covers billing. If pertinent, the time is required as part of the date in the billing section.

Clearly describe the work completed, item sold or services rendered; this is the most critical part of an invoice. Include the time spent on the project, unless a set rate has been arranged in advance. Across from that information, itemise the cost or negotiated price. A proper invoice includes as much information as possible so the client does not need to contact you with questions. At the bottom, clearly state the total, either by circling it or making the font bold.

Indicate when you anticipate payment at the bottom of the clearly stated total. Terms of payment are at the discretion of you and the client. Payment is typically expected to be due between 14 and 30 days. Simply stating "due upon receipt" will suffice and in a worst-case scenario the invoice will have to adhere to any laws pertaining collections.

Print-out and sign your invoice. Even if you have a digital version of the invoice saved, it's important to make a physical copy to provide customer service (should it be needed) and keep track of your own business records.

Tip

Space out the invoice sections so there is enough room for accounting departments to mark pertinent information.

Warning

Add tax if applicable.

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