Looking professional (especially when it comes to invoicing) can be key to the an aspiring freelancer’s success. Many people think the freelance lifestyle is all about sandals and napping but in actuality putting across a professional image is vitally important for retaining clients. Nobody is going to recommission the guy who sent his invoice on the back of a napkin.
To that end, we’ve put together some simple, free invoice templates to help you stay cool when it comes time to collect your hard-earned cash. They’re designed for minimal hassle – edit the address information and fill out the Rate, Quantity and VAT % columns – the rest will complete automatically. Don’t forget to turn off grid lines before exporting to PDF or printing!
Here’s a quick guide to what the various elements mean.
Invoice Number. You can either have invoice numbers per client (i.e. each invoice you issue to a specific client is sequential), global invoice numbers (each invoice you issue is numbered sequentially, regardless of client), or a hybrid – for example your third client’s second invoice could be 003/0002 (Client Number / Invoice Number). Pick a system and stick with it – once you’ve issued lots of invoices it’ll be a huge hassle to change.
PO Number. This stands for Purchase Order Number, essentially meaning “Your reference”. If you are dealing with a big company they may give you a Purchase Order number, so fill it in here to help tie your invoice to the entry on their system.
Reference. Another method of tying this invoice to the corresponding payment on your client’s system. Often it is your company name, unless otherwise specified by your client.
Tax Date. Enter today’s date (or the date the work was completed) – this helps the client’s accountant pin down when the invoice was raised, and so what tax rates to apply to it (for instance if the invoice is sent after a VAT rate change, but the work was completed before the change).
Terms. This is the period within which the client must pay the invoice. Commonly 28 days (four weeks) or one calendar month. You can set your own terms with your client – for example it may be acceptable to set terms of two weeks for a small item.
Payment Due By. The date the invoice must be settled, obviously!
Download your template
The invoice templates come in a few different flavours – Sole Trader, VAT Registered Sole Trader, Limited Company, and VAT Registered Limited Company. Choose the template which applies to you and either download in Excel format, or open in Google Drive, then select “File -> Make a copy” (note: the copy of the template you open in Google Drive won’t be editable – you have to make your own copy before editing!
|Sole Trader||Limited Company|
If you’re looking for a slightly more automated invoicing process, check out our parent company Crunch!