Is it mandatory to send an invoice? Yes–sellers and service providers must provide bills to their customers or clients to get paid, and this is true for professionals in the legal field. While the process and format to do it are generally straightforward, it can get a little bit complicated when you have more unusual transactions.
For example, you might be used to invoicing to businesses or private individuals, but how does it work when you’re dealing with a self-employed client? It’s pretty much the same; you still have to include the required information, such as the list of billable items, the total amount due, and the payment terms.
The only main difference is the address of the client. If they’re self-employed, they may want to be billed through their registered business, if they have one; otherwise, they’ll generally be sent a law firm invoice that’s similar to those given to individual clients.
Why Do I Need to Send an Invoice?
The main purpose of an invoice is to solicit payment. You need to issue it to customers or clients to receive payment for the products or work that you’ve provided as it establishes (and enforces) the latter’s obligation to pay–but that’s not the only reason why you should be sending an invoice.
In most cases, it’s also a legal requirement, and it’s a crucial way to document your transactions, log outstanding debts, and keep on top of your firm’s accounting and bookkeeping process.
How to Make a Lawyer’s Invoice for a Self-Employed Client
Can I create an invoice myself? You definitely can! This may even be the ideal choice if you’re just starting your practice, and would like to manually draft, review, and send these to your clients yourself.
That said, a great way to be more efficient in your billing process is to employ invoicing software like Invoice Ninja. With this, you can automate the steps and easily create, track, and manage your invoices in one platform. You take away the tediousness of the job while ensuring that your invoices are always professional, accurate, and consistent.
What Should Be Included in a Lawyer’s Invoice?
Whether you’re invoicing a business or a self-employed client, what’s important is that you include all the pertinent information in your statement. Here’s everything that should be in your lawyer’s invoice:
Lawyer or Firm Name
Include your name as the working attorney (applicable particularly if you’re a solo lawyer) or your firm, together with your business address, whether it’s your residence for the former or your office space for the latter. Place your contact information, as well.
Add your client’s name and address. If they’re an organization, put their business name and office location. If they’re an individual or a self-employed client, write down their legal name or enterprise name and their residence or business address.
Every invoice should have a unique number. This helps you track the different payments you’re soliciting per client and eliminates the risk of duplicate bills.
Include the due date of the invoice, which is when you expect your customers to pay you. Base the date on your billing policy; for example, if your terms say that bills must be paid fifteen days after issue, then you should count those days from when you send out the invoice.
The services section shows an itemized list of all the billable activities you’re charging your client and how much it costs per line (if applicable, you may put unit price and quantity). This depends on your billing structure like if you’re billing per hours worked or asking for fixed fee payments. After every item, you should include a detailed description so that clients can see what they’re paying for.
Subtotal and Total Payable
At the bottom of your list of services and amounts, write the subtotal of all the expenses. Below that, place a calculation of any taxes and fees that the client must also pay for. Add everything up to come up with the total payable, which is the final bill.
Payment Terms and Instructions
Remember to add your payment terms and instructions to make it easier for your clients to pay you and to remind them of any notes (e.g. late payment penalties) to keep in mind.
Professional Lawyer’s Invoices from Invoice Ninja
Invoicing is an integral part of a lawyer’s business, and you must always be on top of your billing process to ensure that you’re properly paid for your services. To simplify this part of the job, use the free lawyer’s invoice templates from Invoice Ninja today!