How To Write An Invoice For Freelance Work
Freelancing is an emerging industry, as many companies realize that outsourcing saves money, but outsourcing to freelancers saves even more. The 2010s became the decade of freelancers and as more money was involved in the field that is yet to grow and mature, so did the interest of different countries into new sources of money to be taxed. While an average freelancer is no expert in finance and taxation, practice proves that ignorance can cost more than a month’s wage for those who are self-employed.
How to write an invoice for freelance work? – becomes a question asked more often than not. An invoice is a form of the official statement of earnings for a specific job that has been done and is as far from your regular contract or a paycheck. As such, the law sees an invoice as a form of communication between you and the taxing bodies in your country and should follow a more or less specific form that ensures all the relevant details are there.
How to form a clear invoice
Making, writing, or raising an invoice are all the terms you may hear. In a sea of (mis)information, let us sift through those and see what we can make out. Read on to find out all about the required invoice information:
- Name and Logo (optional),
- Contact Details,
- Client’s details,
- Invoice Date,
- Invoice Number,
- List of Services charged for,
- The Amount Charged per Unit of Work,
- Tax Rate (if applicable),
- Total Amount due,
- Payment Details, and
- Signature (optional, in some cases, a digital signature applies).
Obligatory parts of an invoice for a freelancer
All invoices must clearly state that they are an ‘invoice.’ Always check with your local authorities, the municipality office, or a bookkeeper for a more detailed explanation. Paying for an hour to consult a professional can save you thousands of dollars in fines further down the road.
Name and Logo
Every invoice should contain the name of the freelancer who did the work and who is getting paid. The invoice should also contain your agency’s name if you have one, as well as the logo. You should also sign your invoices if you keep them in printed form.
Your invoice should contain your contact details as well. The 2020 standard is the email, although it can also contain your phone number in some cases. Ensure that the email stated on the invoice and the phone number are registered if you have registered an agency, and make sure that they are correct. The contact details of the client should be present as well.
The client’s name, address (if available), and contact details, are all of paramount importance. They signal to the IRS that they can verify your invoice on both sides of communication – you and your client being at the opposing poles of the transaction. This is simply a good practice in doing any business, having clear paperwork that you can rely on at times of need. Being able to quickly and efficiently retrieve client data can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Dating your invoices is an important thing as well. The invoice date should follow the standard format of MONTH / DAY / YEAR. However, if you work with clients from elsewhere, such as Europe or Australia, be careful not to confuse them:
- 2/3/2021 – the third of February 2021 in the USA, but:
- 2/3/2021 – the second of March 2021 in Europe and the majority of the world.
You can avoid the ambiguity by using the first three letters of the name of the month instead of the number, so:
3rd MAR 2021 – this would be a more appropriate and international standard.
Every invoice should be numbered in the following format: THE NUMBER OF THE INVOICE IN THE CURRENT YEAR / YEAR. So, the first invoice you write in 2021 should be numbered as 1/2021; the second should be: 2/2021, the forty-seventh: 47/2021, etc.
List Of Services Charged For
This list can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Maybe you work for a writing service and have done one more service that makes your client come back for more. In that case, you can list Social Media Marketing Services (usually charged by the hour), or online research (either by volume or by the hour). You can group your services under these headings or be more specific, adding details about Milestones and individual segments of work.
The Amount Charged Per Unit Of Work
Besides this, you can also write the quantity (1, 2, 5, …) and the price per item. You can also charge per page, word, 100 words, or even 1000 words to standardize your practice. In this case, the quantity should state 2.5 for 250 words or 134.6 for 13,460 words. Be as specific as you can with these.
Always bear in mind that the tax rate comes ON TOP of your service charge. You should never include it because this would mean you are getting paid less for your work. Always charge your worth.
Total Amount Due
Total Amount Due is the sum of all the services you have provided to your client. This amount is the amount that you expect your client to pay and the amount you will present to your local authorities.
Nothing to be scared of when speaking about payments, as this can be as simple as the number of your bank account number you want to be paid to, as well as your PayPal account. Since PayPal is a recognized means of payment in the USA, you should have no issues entering these details in an invoice in a legal way.
Simply type in your email and let the clients use it for money transfers. In some cases, you can even leave several options, if you have several ways to get paid. This gives your clients comfort and can even save them some money, as they will choose the option with the lowest fees.
Nicole Garrison is a part-time contributor to TrustMyPaper. A busy, aspiring person, she works on her skills pretty much daily. She hopes to establish her own writing agency one day and understands that managing skills are a must to do so.