Most of us who are self-employed freelancers get paid by submitting invoices to our clients. The process of creating an invoice can be tricky and frustrating, especially if you’re using outdated software like spreadsheets or other legacy software solutions.
This can lead to a sense of dread around creating an invoice, which can lead to invoices going unsent for weeks or sometimes months. Alternatively, you may have forgotten to send an invoice to a client for a one-off project from months ago. Is it too late? At what point does an invoice become invalid?
There are better and more modern solutions, such as Invoice Ninja with our invoice templates for graphic designers and more. First, let’s discuss sending invoices in a timely manner.
Invoices Can Expire (Sort Of)
Let’s just get this out of the way—an invoice is payable so long as there is a customer willing to pay it. So, even if it’s been six months or six years, it never hurts to send an invoice to a customer with an apology and ask for the invoice to be paid. With any luck, the customer will uphold their end of the bargain and pay your invoice.
Six years is the federal statute of limitations on an invoice–this means that invoices outstanding can be collectible for up to six years. However, that’s from the date the invoice was provided to the customer, rather than the date the goods or services were provided.
For this reason, it’s best practice to submit invoices to your customers as soon as possible. If you can’t provide an invoice immediately, you should at least set aside time each month to process your invoices in a batch. This way, your invoices are being sent out on a monthly basis or within thirty days, which is a generally accepted time frame when it comes to how freelancers collect payments.
The Ball Is in Your Court
As a contractor, it is often up to you to choose the payment terms and terms of service and stipulate them clearly on your invoice. The language used for this is often something similar to “all payments must be made within thirty days, and payments not made within thirty days are subject to a late fee of “XX” each week/month until such time as the payment is made.”
Concisely explaining the terms of payment and when the payment is expected are entirely your responsibility as the freelancer. Anything not expressly agreed to by the customer is not an enforceable contract, so make sure you put it in writing.
Skip the Headache With Invoice Ninja
With Invoice Ninja’s intuitive and easy-to-use online invoice creation tools, you can create beautiful invoices for your customers in seconds. Simply choose an invoicing plan that works for you, from our free options all the way to our Pro and Enterprise offerings. We have something that can help every size of business streamline their invoicing and payment solutions.
Whether you need to write an invoice for an interior designer or submit a quote for your customer to examine, with Invoice Ninja, you can provide your customer a quote for your work on the spot. With a single click of approval from the customer, the quote becomes a payable invoice.
With another click, the customer can pay your invoice, and they’ll automatically receive notifications as well as a receipt. Through our wide network of approved payment providers, your customers will have a wide variety of payment options to make sure your invoices get paid as quickly and as easily as possible.
You’ll receive a notification the second a customer pays an invoice. You’ll even be able to see if they’ve examined your invoice yet!
Never miss a payment with our automated email reminders that get sent out to customers who’ve invoices have gone past due. Forget about chasing payments and start chasing your dreams.
As a freelancer, after you’ve done all the hard work, the part that gets you paid should be easy. Let Invoice Ninja help you design and send beautiful invoices, so you never again have to worry if you’ve waited too long to send an invoice.