As a freelancer, sending professional, clear invoices to request payment for delivered services is one of the most essential parts of your job.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have an accounting team on board to create and monitor your invoices, an invoice template can be an absolute godsend. They allow you to create custom business invoices for your clients, get paid for all your hard work, and analyze your income.
If you’re not sure whether using a freelance invoice template is right for you, don’t fret. Below, we’ll discuss the different types of freelance invoice templates, how they can be helpful, and the right way to use and send them.
Why Use Templates for Freelancer Invoices
There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to use freelancing invoices. They can:
- Make it easier for you and your clients to review the services they are paying for
- Simplify bookkeeping and keep you organized with expenses and taxes
- Track customer purchases and payments
However, creating invoices from scratch can be a lot to take on. You could spend hours creating them and still end up with mistakes. This is where invoice templates come in–they allow you to input important information, such as payment methods and a breakdown of services and prices, while also leaving room to customize the invoices to your liking.
Instead of scrambling to create a presentable document with the right fonts, text, and styles, you can simply pick a template that catches your eye, whether it’s an elegant, professional document or a bold, creative invoice to reflect your brand’s personality.
Different Types of Freelance Invoice Templates
Due to the unique nature of freelance work, you might need different freelance invoices depending on the type of project. Here are some of the most common invoice types freelancers use:
- Standard invoice: This invoice requests payment for services at the end of the billing period and is the most common type of invoice used.
- Recurring invoice: A recurring invoice may be sent weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. This invoice reflects an ongoing agreement for work (i.e., retainer) with a consistent payment schedule.
- Memo invoice: A memo or past due invoice is used if a client is late on their payments. This invoice consists of a reminder, an updated due date, and any late fees added to the total.
- Timesheet: If you’re invoicing for hours worked (such as tutoring or consultations) instead of projects completed, you may use a timesheet instead of a standard invoice.
How to Use a Freelance Invoice Template
The best part of using a freelance invoice template is that your invoice outline is already prepared for you—all you need to do is enter your information, and you’re good to go!
Here are five simple steps to using a freelance invoice template:
- Fill in the unique invoice number, your name, and your business contact information. If you don’t want the hassle of generating and tracking unique invoice numbers, it’s best to use an automatic freelancer invoice generator like Invoice Ninja.
- Complete the template by entering information about the services provided and the agreed-upon rates.
- Double-check your totals, ensuring you’ve included all taxes, discounts, and additional charges.
- Fill in the due date for the payment so there are no last-minute surprises.
- Detail all accepted payment methods and instructions for the client if needed.
What Is the Best Time to Send a Freelance Invoice?
The best time to invoice as a freelancer will vary depending on the nature and duration of your project.
An invoice at the end of each month usually works best for a long-term, recurring contract or relationship. For small, stand-alone projects, you should send an invoice upon the completion of the project, requesting payment for the entire task in one go. For a large, stand-alone project, you could ask for a partial advance payment and then invoice for the rest when finished.
You should also consider your client’s preferences when invoicing. For instance, they might want to receive all invoices at the end of the month so they can make batch payments to multiple vendors.
Whichever the case, you and your client must be in agreement with the invoice timing. Make sure you reach a deal before you begin the project so you know when to bill and are not left hanging.
Invoicing templates can make a freelancer’s life so much simpler when it comes to generating invoices and getting paid for services provided. Even though they are templates, most of them can be customized to reflect the nature of your business.