- Your company name and contacts
The invoice must have your business name, phone number, address, logo, email address, and website. If you are part of a larger company, you should give specific contact details for the customer who should be contacted in case of any queries.
- Your client’s address and name
Do not forget to put your client’s name on the invoice. Yes. This seems almost obvious since you send the invoice to them, but you will be surprised how often people forget.
This is a formal document that can be presented in a court of law, and as such, the client’s name must clearly appear on the invoice.
You should create a reference number to quickly identify the correct invoice in case you have a query. It really isn’t a complicated process, and you could base the invoice numbers on anything that is sequential. We shall discuss invoice numbers later on.
But whichever numbering system you choose to use, just ensure that you make each invoice unique because if you happen to create two with identical numbering, you could end up with too much confusion.
This is extremely important. The invoicing date establishes the day you sent the invoice, and the payment terms, such as – pay within 30 days, the counting starts from the date on the invoice.
You can also include the date you did or delivered the work on the invoice, but the invoice date is more important in getting paid.
The question is, how quickly do you want to be paid? Well, this is what the due date stands for. The most common number of days is 30 days, although it can vary depending on the type of work, the client’s expectations, and your needs.
This must be included on the invoice and make it very clear.
Let’s just say that this is the most important part of the invoicing process, and it makes sense because the whole reason you write an invoice is to be paid, and hence, you must include the amount you wish to be paid.
This is prominent on the invoice
- Work details and any other charges
So, other than the total amount you are owed, you must also include the exact details of the work you did and the amount you are charging the customer for each component.
Additionally, if there are extra charges, please include them as well, so you can give your customer the complete picture of how much they owe you.
Tax details will vary depending on the different parts of the business and the world. Therefore, we cannot tell you the specifics of this, and if you need to charge something like a sales tax, you must include it and your Tax ID number.
Now, if you charge shipping costs, then this shouldn’t be forgotten as well. Ensure to include it in the invoice, so you won’t have to send another invoice to correct the one you sent.
This deals with how you would like to be paid. You must specify this very clearly. Please include this information for the client, so they know what you expect.
For example, you could tell them that you wish to be paid through PayPal, of which you should send your PayPal ID, even if the customer already has it, or you want to be paid through the bank, and in this case, send the bank account details, regardless of whether they have them or not.
Be sure to offer at least one option that is accepted widely. Or you could provide more than one option ensuring that they do not have any excuse for not paying.
This is not a must, but it is a good idea. Include some additional conditions and terms on the invoice, which provides a way of encouraging the customer to pay you early.
For example, you could offer a discount for anyone that pays within ten days of receiving the invoice or 20 days before the due date.