You’ve set up a business and gained customers patronizing your products. And now you have to send them invoices to get paid. How do you make an invoice?

In this guide, we will walk you through how to make an invoice and what information you should include in it. 

What Is An Invoice?

An invoice is a document that states the products or services you have rendered and the total amount the client has to pay you. An invoice is not always necessary, more so if your client pays the full amount upon purchase. 

You should not confuse an invoice with a receipt. An invoice is a bill with descriptions of the items you’re charging, while a receipt is payment proof, which you must issue to a purchaser after they pay the full amount. 

How to Make an Invoice

Follow the steps below to make an invoice from scratch. Take note, each step is critical, so you don’t miss any important information that your client will need.

Create a header with your company information

Write down your business information at the top of your invoice. It should include your business name. If your a limited liability company, make sure to use your registered business name. If you’re a freelancer, this can just be your full legal name. 

Then, add your business address (for registered companies, use your office’s address, and for freelancers, this might just be your home address). Further, add your phone number and email address, so your client can easily contact you in case they have queries regarding your invoice.

Add your client’s contact details.

Next, add your client’s contact information, starting with their name, phone number, then email address. Ensure you enter the correct contact person to receive your invoice. It’s best to verify to whom the invoice should be addressed, especially if you’re sending a new invoice to a new client. 

You want these details to be accurate to avoid mistakes or misunderstandings, which can often lead to delayed payments and disputes. 

Adding your client’s information to the invoice will also help them recognize that the invoice is intended for them. 

Enter invoice information

Every invoice you make must have a unique invoice number. Invoice numbers will help you easily identify and track your invoices, more so if you send multiple invoices every week. 

Invoice numbers should never duplicate. Otherwise, you might lose track of them, or worse, send them to the wrong person. When adding an invoice number, we highly suggest using a numbering system that works best for you. Then, stay consistent to avoid confusion. 

The best way to start with Invoice 0001 at your first invoice. And from there, you can just count up. You will also want to include the invoice date—this is when you created the invoice. 

Adding an invoice date can help you track your invoices. And it’s also easier to charge late fees (or award early payors) when the invoice date is clearly stated in the invoice. 

If you’re charging interest or fees for late payments, make sure you state this to your client before accepting orders or projects. If a contract exists, ensure the payment terms and conditions are stated clearly. 

State your payment terms

It’s critical that your invoice specifies when and how you expect your customers to pay you. We suggest marking your invoice with an invoice due date. It’s common among freelancers and contractors to use a 30-day billing cycle. Some use a 14-day billing cycle. For example, if you issue an invoice on November 1st, the payment due is 14 or 30 days later, which is November 15th or December 1st. 

State what payment options you accept (i.e., PayPal, credit card, wire transfer, Bitcoin, etc.) We suggest having several payment options available to make payment easier for your clients. Besides that, having several payment channels give clients fewer reasons to delay payment!

If you charge late fees, ensure you outline the terms on your invoice clearly. It’s always best to discuss your payment terms with a client before they first sign on to avoid disputes and misunderstandings in the future. 

Late fees will encourage your clients to pay on time, but some customers are not fond of penalty systems. A good alternative would be to reward early payments with exclusive discounts. Some companies give at least a 1% discount on early payments. If you do this, make sure to calculate its cost (you don’t want to jeopardize your profit!) 

Add an itemized list of goods and services

Your invoice should be transparent and include an itemized list of the services or products you rendered for the invoice period. The list should be organized and easy to understand. It’s best to present them as a table with columns that include the following information:

  • Products or services provided (with short descriptions)
  • Date
  • Quantity or billable hours
  • Rate 
  • Sub-total

Your invoice must also include the taxes you charge your clients. Remember, the tax rate depends on your location and type of business. So make sure to check your local state to know how much tax you should charge your customers. 

If applicable, consider adding notes to your invoice

While it may not be necessary, you might want to consider adding notes to your invoice. It could be a friendly thank you note for your client. Not only is it good for your business, but it’s also a common courtesy to thank your clients. Plus, it can help you get paid faster. 

Writing An Invoice in the Proper Format

Invoices vary in design and format, but whatever your design is, it must contain the essential information:

  • Your business information. It should be at the top of your invoice and placed as a header. The word Invoice must also be stated clearly. 
  • Below your business information is your client’s billing details. 
  • Beside your client’s information should be your invoice number and invoice date. This is also where you should place the invoice due date. 
  • The total payable amount should be in bold and easily distinguishable, so your client can quickly see how much they need to pay. 
  • Add an itemized list of goods and services you rendered along with a short description, cost, number of units or hours, and subtotal amount. 
  • If you offer discounts, it should be placed under the subtotal. 
  • Taxes and fees must also be included. 

Free Invoice Templates For You

If making invoices sounds too complicated for you, you can use our free invoice templates instead. Check out our gallery of invoice templates that you can use for free. You can open them via Google Docs or download them and open them using a word processor program. 

Our free invoice templates are available in various formats. Plus, they’re all highly customizable, which means you can mark them with your company logo and change the color scheme to match your brand. 

Check out our free invoice templates:

Hassle-Free Invoicing with Spark Invoice Maker

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading and formatting invoice templates, Spark Invoice Maker is here to save your day. Spark Invoice Maker is a mobile application that lets you generate invoices effortlessly—yes, there’s no need for you to open your computer and puzzle over a word processing app. 

When you use Spark Invoice Maker, all you need to do is enter your business information, your client’s billing details, an itemized list of goods and services provided, their prices, and applicable taxes. You can customize the header with your business information and logo. 

You can add notes and insert images to your Spark invoice. Also, Spark does the math for you, ensuring that your invoice is error-free and reliable. 

After entering these details, Spark Invoice will automatically generate a well-formatted, professional invoice that you can send to your client instantly from the app. You can send your invoice via email, text, and other messaging platforms. 

Spark does not only let you generate invoices but estimates too. This means you can immediately provide potential clients with quotations. And should they continue using the services of your company, you can easily convert your estimate into an invoice, so you don’t have to create a new invoice and enter the same information. 

Spark really does boast a lot of great features. To learn more about Spark Invoice Maker, read our comprehensive guide, How to Create an Invoice with Spark. 

Download Spark Invoice Maker Now!

Streamline your billing processes and impress your clients with your professional, beautiful invoices using Spark Invoice Maker. There’s a lot of ways to scale your business, and you can start by modernizing your invoices. Try Spark Invoice Maker now and experience the convenience of digitalizing your invoices. Generate and send invoices within seconds and get paid faster! Spark Invoice Maker is a free-to-download mobile app available on Apple Appstore and Google Playstore.