An invoice is a bill presented by a seller to a buyer. In this case, an artist is selling a painting to a client or doing a specialized painting project at a client site. The invoice details the services provided and/or what is being transferred between the two parties and how payment should be made.
As someone making a living as an artist, invoices are a necessity. They allow you to track sales to private clients and provide paperwork to accounting departments of corporate clients that they need to make payments.
Invoices also help painters get paid and keep track of their finances. In addition, being familiar with invoice templates for painting will make your work look more professional.
Components of an Artist Invoice
Invoices tend to look much the same because the law requires limited liability companies, sole proprietors, and VAT-registered businesses to provide specific information in every invoice sent to customers.
An artist’s painting invoice must clearly state that it is an invoice. Other key information you should include can be divided into the following sections:
Every invoice you send to clients must contain your legal business name, address, and contact information. If you don’t want to include your personal address, you can use a registered postal address instead. Adding your company logo to the invoice makes it look more professional.
Every invoice has a unique identification number, which is part of the invoice header. Your tax identification code may also be added to the invoice, which some corporate clients will request, anyway.
Your invoice must also include the name of your client and their address, client contact, and any reference number used. You need a valid address if your invoice is to be honored.
The invoice also needs a clear description of the painting you are charging for. If it was an onsite job, clearly describe each service performed as well as how much you charged for each. Including an explicit summary statement in your invoice will make matters clear to your client and reduce your chances of running into problems. Additionally, be sure to add the date you started and completed the project as well as the date the invoice was issued.
In this section, list the payment due date and channels for sending payments. Also include any other relevant payment terms the client should be aware of, including late payment fees. If there are additional VAT or sales tax due, explicitly state what they are.
Paper or Electronic Invoices
For many years, most artists presented hand-written invoices to their clients. However, with the rise of technology, electronic invoices are now the norm. That said, artists can still decide to send paper instead of electronic invoices when they deliver a painting or finish an onsite project.
Electronic invoices are easier to create and can be sent faster than hand-written invoices. Luckily, online invoice generators like Invoice Ninja can help artists track the invoices sent out to customers and receive payments faster.
Using Invoice Ninja will allow you to spend more time doing things that earn you money, while we handle your invoices. You can even use this tool to generate an art commission invoice template!
Things to Know When Creating an Invoice
The following three simple tips will help you create a better invoice:
Understand the Client’s Needs
The best artists are also communication experts. Before starting a job and sending an invoice, you need to understand what your client wants from the job. Meeting with your clients before accepting the work will help you note any relevant preferences to incorporate into the invoice.
Offer a Quote for the Job
After meeting with the client, offer a quote or bid in writing. Based on the information you have, draft a quote that is specific enough to prevent future misunderstandings. It may be a good idea to include a provision in the price for subsequent revisions once work has started because jobs can occasionally run into surprises.
Promptly Send Invoices
When you are done with a job, promptly present an invoice (or send an electronic invoice) to the client. If you prefer paper invoices, you can hand them to the client as you are leaving the job site.
However, online invoices are better as they give you the freedom to make adjustments on the go. When the need arises, you can follow up with the client to ensure that there is no confusion about payment.
Accurate details are necessary when creating an invoice. Manually creating invoices can be tedious, which is why it is a good idea to use Invoice Ninja to streamline your invoicing process and save you time. Keep track of invoices and payments, and work with customizable templates so that you don’t need to write a printing invoice every time you have a job!