An invoice is a legal document given to a buyer through a seller of goods or services or both to collect payment. An invoice can be very helpful to serve as a legal record if it contains all the necessary details in it like the name of the clients, a list of the items the client is buying, the address, terms, and conditions of the seller, etc.
If you are a novice in invoices, then here are the essential elements of an invoice that you should add while creating your next invoice.
Why do you need an invoice?
But before that, here’s why you need an invoice:
✅ To Keep Things Professional:
No matter whether you are having business with a stranger or someone you know very well, it is important that you have to demonstrate to the client that your business is not a scam, but a proficient one. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, creating and sending out an invoice to your clients, helps you stand out from your competitors and builds trust among your clients.
An invoice is a part of the customer journey and should never be ignored. Therefore, it is so important that you don’t skip this even if you are a small business. Moreover, this process of invoicing can be automated to make it smooth and easy for both you and the customer.
✅ To Legally Protect Your Business:
An invoice is a non-negotiable instrument that can save you from any event of a dispute. It’s similar to a piece of agreement between you and your clients that has the potential to save you from fraudulent lawsuits.
✅ To Maintain A Record:
One big advantage of sending out invoices to your clients is to maintain a legal record of your sales for tax purposes. This will also allow you to analyze what products/services were sold and to whom for future reference.
✅ Track Your Payments:
When you send out an invoice mentioning the due date for payment and the penalty for late payments, it helps both you and your client to send and receive payments on time most of the time. It can also help you identify where exactly that you are standing financially and thus bringing room for improvements and more successful marketing strategies for your brand.
✅ To File Your Taxes Easily:
As discussed earlier, keeping a record of all your invoices helps you maintain your sales made over a year and saves a lot of time while filing taxes for your business.
✅ To Showcase Your Brand:
A personalized invoice would be a great option to carry out email marketing while also establishing your brand while also receiving payments on time. It is not just a tool to send and receive payments but also helps you portray the personality of your company through it. So make sure you add as many customization as possible to give it a personal touch.
11 Essential Elements of An Invoice:
The word INVOICE:
As much as we know how important an invoice is, it is also important to let your client know that what you are sending out is an invoice and not just another piece of document. That’s why it is essential to address the invoice document as INVOICE before anything else!
1. Invoice Number:
Giving invoices their number is the same as naming your kids. It is important so that you can differentiate which invoice is sent out to whom. It may also come in handy during a time of dispute or just for general references in the future.
If you use an online invoice generator, it will generate invoice numbers automatically for you. But in case you are manually generating your invoice, here’s how you can do it:
- Create invoices with unique identification numbers or patterns.
- Use a specific format for each client.
- A chronological number of your invoices.
For example you can either create invoices like #001. 002. 003 etc or #A001, B001, and C001 for every client separately.
2. Date of Invoice:
This is very important because if your payment states that the payment should be done within 30, 60, or 90 days from the date of receiving the invoice, your client should be aware of the date of receiving the invoice. So, always state the date when the invoice is sent.
3. Business Logo:
We all know how important a logo is when it comes to branding your business. By attaching your business logo invoice, you create a look of professionalism as you establish your brand. With online invoice generators like Invoice temple, it is so easy for you to add your logo as well as incorporate your brand colors and fonts to your invoice to create a unique and outstanding invoice that can also get you paid on time.
4. Your Contact Details:
This is essential because this is what makes it easy for your clients to contact you if they have any doubts or queries that they want to ask you so you can eliminate delays in the payment. This includes:
- Your business name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Website &
- Physical address if you have an office
5. Client’s Contact Details:
Similarly, it is important to add the contact details of the client for further reference. It should include:
- client’s name and title
- Their email address
- Phone number
- Physical address
- And other details if you have anything to add more
6. List of Goods/ Services Offered:
A very common mistake that people do often is not itemizing their goods and services. A vague representation of your offer leads the client to get confused and thus delay payments. So, always make sure that you itemize your goods/services.
For example, if you are a freelancer who provides social media management services to your clients, mention exactly what comes under management instead of vaguely saying that you manage their socials. Say your service includes engagement, curating content, and generating leads for your client, instead of mentioning it as social media management in general, you can list the actual work that goes behind it. This way the client will know where and why the investment for your service is. Thus, rest assured that the payment will be done on time.
7. The Price:
For every business the system by which you choose a price for your goods/services differs. Some businesses charge based on an hourly rate, some based on projects, and some businesses especially if it's a product-based one, would charge on the quantity of each product multiplied by its price. Mention it in your invoice. It gives the client a better idea of where all their investment is going.
8. Tax and Discounts if any:
Have you ever noticed that whenever you check out the pricing of any good say a chocolate is a biscuit packet, there’s always a thing written inside brackets: INCLUSIVE OF ALL TAXES which means the price you pay for that particular product also includes the tax that you are paying to buy it.
Similarly, it is always a good idea to mention the prices both inclusive and exclusive of taxes so that your client/customer can differentiate between the actual cost of your goods/ services and the amount they are paying as tax to the government.
Also, if you have any early bird offers or discounts going on, please mention that in the invoice so the client can know how much amount is deduced and how much they’ll be saving by making the payment on time.
9. Total and Due Date:
And before you finish up with the price, in the end, mention the actual amount they have to pay after applying tax, discounts, and offers to your goods or services so it will be quick and easy for the client to refer and make the payment.
10. Payment Options:
Another technique that makes it easy and quick for the client to pay is providing them with multiple payment options. If you are wondering if it will be hard to manage payments from different sources, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Invoice-making software like Invoice Temple with an inbuilt multiple payment channel option to receive your payments and transfer them to your business account. Can it be way more simplified? What are you waiting for? Check out Invoice Temple now!
11. Terms & Conditions:
And finally mention the terms and conditions for making the payment such as the due date for the payment, the penalty for late payments, etc.
Also, did you know that including a simple yet personalized thank you note at the end of the invoice can double the chance of getting paid ASAP? That’s when your client gets to connect with your brand on a more emotional level. That’s the power of a thoughtful thank you!
And there you go! You’ve got all the essential elements to include in an invoice. Once you are all set with these basic elements, make sure you present your invoice in a more pleasing and professional format.
If you are using software like Invoice Temple, you get the liberty of choosing from a wide range of invoice templates to choose from. We bet these inbuilt templates are surely time savers and best for creating lasting impressions in your clients.
Invoice Temple is an online invoice generator that can create invoices for free! Sign up now!