Working independently gives you the power of a company CEO, allowing you to steer your business in any direction you see fit. It’s like being a professional explorer—you can try new things, meet interesting people, and develop your abilities.
However, as a freelancer, earnings tend to be unpredictable. You need to have multiple clients and a healthy cash flow to meet your financial obligations, but administrative tasks can take up much of your time and keep you from doing billable work.
Guide to Invoicing as a Freelancer
Invoicing for freelance work can be challenging. To get paid quickly, follow these easy invoicing steps:
- Choose the best invoice format. Invoice templates, such as a graphic designer invoice template, can be downloaded online for free or for a small fee. You can also create your invoice from scratch using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Google Docs. Alternatively, online invoicing solutions like Invoice Ninja provide easy-to-use invoice formats that may be modified to suit your needs.
- Don’t forget to include your name and contact information, as well as your logo and website URL.
- Make sure to include your client’s name along with their address, phone number, and email address.
- Create a unique number for each new invoice. If you have many customers, this helps you organize and keep track of your invoices.
- Include a due date on the invoice.
- Provide the description and cost of each item or service you provided. These are usually itemized in a table detailing everything the client pays for. The items on your invoices should reflect the terms of your agreement or contract. There should be no hidden fees, and the client should be familiar with all aspects of the bill.
- Include a separate line if you are offering a discount.
- Add all necessary taxes. Payment discrepancies can be avoided when all applicable taxes are listed in your invoice.
- Indicate your payment terms and conditions and the payment methods you accept. Indicate your preferred form of payment in the invoice so the client knows exactly how to pay you. Payment methods, such as cash, checks, credit cards, or an online service like PayPal, Square, or Venmo, should be specified along with all relevant information. Provide detailed instructions and clickable links to your preferred payment portal to expedite payments and reduce the chance of confusion.
- Don’t forget to add a closing statement thanking your client and showing your appreciation for being hired for the job. Adding a personal touch demonstrates your willingness to work with them again.
- Send a PDF copy of the invoice to the customer via email. Make sure the email’s subject line and text reflect the correct information. Keep a copy of your records.
Frequently Asked Invoicing Questions
Here are answers to questions we frequently get from freelancers about the invoicing process:
Can I Create an Invoice if I Don’t Have a Company?
Even if you didn’t form a company for your business, you are still responsible for billing for the freelance services you provide as a sole practitioner.
What Are the Payment Terms for Freelancers?
Freelancers should discuss and agree on payment terms with clients before beginning work to avoid misunderstandings or payment delays in the future. Usual terms include:
- Payment is due within fifteen days of the invoice date.
- Payment is due within thirty days of the invoice date.
- Payment is due immediately upon invoice receipt.
- Half of the payment is due upfront, and the remainder is due upon project completion.
- Payments need to be made at specific milestones, such as at the completion of a certain amount of work or reaching a specific stage in the project.
What Should You Do if Your Client Doesn’t Pay You on Time–or at All?
In a polite but firm email, remind the client of the open invoice and that they must pay immediately. If you don’t hear back from them, it’s a good idea to call them directly. If your customer still hasn’t paid after all your attempts, you may have to take legal action to get paid. One option is to file a claim in small claims court.
Online Invoicing Solutions
To make an invoice for a freelance artist, you can use Invoice Ninja, an online invoicing software that helps you streamline and automate billing processes. We offer various time-saving features that help freelancers get paid on time. Avoid late payments by using automated invoicing and setting up automatic reminders; you can also track invoices that are due and follow up accordingly!