As a solopreneur, one of the first hurdles to overcome is how to go about setting out an invoice for businesses you work for. Freelancers worldwide cite invoicing and chasing payments as being the most time-consuming and frustrating part of their career.
This article will help you get it right the first time and ensure you include all the required information in your invoices. If you ever encounter issues with non-payment, you will find that including the right wording on your invoices will make it much easier for you to state your case. In this article we’ll explain exactly how to invoice a company as an individual, from invoice specifics to late payments and how best to send an invoice as an individual.
What information is required on an invoice?
Your name and address, telephone number, and email address must be clearly stated on your invoice.
The full name and address of the agency/client you are invoicing should be included on the invoice.
List details of the services or products provided, the gross amount payable, and then the final amount due. Suppose you charge an hourly rate for your services — state that rate.
Purchase Order Number or Contact Reference
If your client or agency uses Purchase Orders, state this number on your invoice to speed up the payment process. If Purchase Order is not used, clearly state the name of the person that ordered your services.
Each invoice should have its invoice number. The number can also include letters, which may help you identify clients.
Ensure to include the date the invoice was produced and the date you expect the payment to be paid. Usually, the due date will be 30 days after the invoice was raised, although terms vary between 7 and 60 days.
Include how you would like to receive the payment, either by bank transfer or cheque, and clearly state when you expect the invoice to be paid.
If you prefer to be paid with a cheque, clearly state who the cheque should be made payable to and advise your client to put down the invoice number on the back of the cheque to help you to identify who made the payment and for what purpose.
For bank transfers, state your bank account details: account name, sort code, account number, and payment reference (usually the invoice number) to enable the agency/client to forward the money to the right account.
To help protect yourself from late payments, you may quote the Commercial Debts Act for the countries you are invoicing to and from, which allows you to charge a certain amount for late payment once your stated terms are exceeded.
Sending your Invoice
You can send the invoice by fax, email, or post. Normally, your client may advise you of their preferred method of receiving your invoice. If you’re sending by email, make sure to convert the invoice to PDF file format so that the document cannot be altered.
Make sure that you send out invoices as soon as the project has been completed. This is because the project is still fresh in the client’s minds; it may mean you receiving the payment quicker.
After going through all the steps mentioned above and the payment is still late, then it’s time to keep reminding them politely. It may be a good idea to set up a payment reminder to automatically send out prompts, saving you time, and reducing stress. Do not be afraid to act if the invoice remains unpaid after several chases.