How to Ask for a Deposit Professionally – Email Samples

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Want to keep your clients involved for a long time and have sufficient money to cover business expenditures? Read on to learn how to ask for a deposit politely and professionally.

Asking for a deposit upfront is a great strategy followed in many industries, and you should do it too.  

Here’s why:

  • Help boost your working capital
  • Keep your customers invested in the project and not abandon it midway
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your business expenses

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However, asking for payment upfront before a job begins can feel challenging and stressful, especially if you’ve never done this before.

Therefore, to help you get started, we have detailed a guide on how to ask for a deposit upfront with email samples.

Let’s dive in!

📝Key Takeaways:

  • Asking for upfront payment from your clients will help you support your business by covering your overheads and covering the material costs of projects.
  • Asking for a deposit is beneficial because when a reasonable client pays the deposit willingly, it offers you financial security and helps you filter out unreliable clients.

Why Should You Ask for Upfront Deposit?

Asking for a payment upfront from a new or existing client has many advantages. Here are the following:

1. To improve cash flow

how to ask for a deposit nicely

Asking for an upfront payment from existing or new clients is one of the best strategies to improve your cash flow and can help foster consistent working capital. 

When you ask for an upfront payment before a job starts, it ensures you have good cash flow and can cover your expenses before the job is done. This strategy is especially advantageous when it comes to long-term projects or larger projects that experience delays. 

When you have sufficient funds, you can plan a budget, clear your pending bills, and even cover unexpected costs, like repairs.

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2. To get funds for materials

Generally, service providers must cover the cost of materials and other supplies associated with each job, such as the cost of lawn care equipment or cleaning and servicing tools. 

As a result, requesting an upfront payment is a great way to avoid paying for such costs by emptying your wallet before a job is completed. This prevents your cash flow from being strained by client-specific expenses.

3. For financial security

how to ask for a deposit politely example

Unpaid invoices can be a real pain in the neck if you are a small business owner. In addition to worrying about paying your expenses, you also need to come up with a strategy for getting paid from any customers who continue to avoid clearing their overdue invoices.

Therefore, asking for a deposit upfront ensures that the client is involved in the project from start to finish. Clients who have already paid for a portion of a job are less likely to miss future payments.

4. Get screen off clients

If a client isn’t paying upfront for services upon request, it only suggests that you might struggle to collect unpaid bills down the road. This is why filtering out such clients early on and rejecting them is easier than trying to figure out how to fire them later.

Asking for a deposit is always reasonable when it comes to troublesome clients. You might feel uncomfortable rejecting a new project when a client is unwilling to pay the upfront deposit. However, you’ll end up saving yourself from financial stress and won’t waste time running after them to collect bills post payment deadline.

Now that you understand why asking for upfront payment is important, let’s learn the polite way to ask for money from new and existing clients.

How to Ask for a Deposit Politely [Samples]

1. Define how much and why you need

When it comes to learning how to ask for a deposit in a contract, be precise about how much you need for an upfront fee and why. 

First, you need to determine the price of your services. Then according to the calculated price, figure out how much upfront payment you can ask for. Next, mention these figures in the project contract and stand firm. 

No matter how much deposit you ask for, be prepared to explain why you need that fixed amount so that your customers can understand the whole deal without any discrepancies.

2. Decide what happens if the project gets canceled

Remember that your projects won’t always go as planned. However, if your client abandons the project in the middle, you’ll want to protect your company. And, of course, you should be reimbursed for the amount of effort you put into the job since you earned it.

Therefore, include a clause in the upfront payment terms of the contract stating that any funds received are non-refundable if the project is dropped midway for any reason. This clause in the contract is absolutely essential since it will help you avoid wasting time and resources only to have the client cancel the project and refuse to pay you.

3. An upfront payment is required to begin the project

Another way to get paid upfront is to inform clients that a 25% upfront deposit is required to begin the project. You can offer them a 12-month credit card installment facility for them to pay off the 25%. 

This is a win-win for both parties because it ensures that you get your upfront deposit amount, and your customer won’t have to feel financially stressed at the same time.

4. Request a direct deposit upfront via email

When you ask for a deposit from your client, it is standard procedure to send an invoice. This shows clients how much the total cost of the project is and how much they must pay in advance.

However, you cannot simply send an invoice without any context. Instead, include an email outlining the initial deposit amount, due date, and payment method.

But what would you do if they didn’t respond to your first email?

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Here are a few email samples to help you get started with it and learn what to do next:

Invoice email template

4.1. Invoice email template

Hello [name of the client],

Thank you for contacting us for our services; the staff at [your company’s name] is excited to work with you!

Please find the attachment of the invoice [invoice number] for [job description] in this email. The total project cost is [$0.00], with an upfront deposit of [$0.00] due by [due date].

Payment can be made using [payment method] and [payment instructions]. We’ll get in touch with you to arrange a start date for the project once you’ve made the deposit payment.

If you’ve any doubts or queries, please reach out to us at [email address] or [phone number].


[Your name]

[your company’s name]

Follow up email along with invoice template

4.2. Follow up email along with invoice template

Hello [name of the client],

I hope you are doing well. This is a gentle reminder that the attached invoice [invoice number] for [job description] is due in [time frame] on [due date].

Here are my contact details [phone number, email] if you have any further doubts or concerns.

Thank you!

[Your name]

[your company’s name]

Past-due invoice email template

4.3. Past-due invoice email template

Hello [name of the client],

Please find the attached invoice for the [job description] provided on [project commencement date], which was due on [due date] in this email.

Please note that according to the terms of the contract, a late fee of [amount] will be added due to delay, and the total amount owed is now [amount].

Payments are acceptable at [web portal link] or via [mode of payment]. If you prefer, you may mail a check made out to [your name or your company’s name] to [company address].

Please let me know when we can expect the due payment and if there are any further questions or concerns.

Thank you!

[Your name]

[your company’s name]

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When to Ask for Upfront Payments

You don’t have to request a deposit from every client for every project. Instead, use these standards to ensure that you’re requesting deposits at the appropriate times.

1. Ask for a deposit before the project begins

Deposits are generally requested and received prior to the start of a project. Consider it an upfront payment to assist you in covering the project-related expenses. 

Unless it’s specified in your payment terms of the contract and the client is made aware in advance, asking for payment midway through a job is a terrible practice.

2. Request a deposit from new clients

Many business owners only ask for deposits from new clients. It makes no sense to request a deposit from an existing client unless you’re starting work on a new job with them that will cost a fortune or take a long time to finish.

3. Abide by state law

There are various restrictions on the types of deposits that business owners can demand from customers in each U.S. state. Verify your state’s prerequisites or ask your bookkeeper before deciding on a fixed amount or portion to ensure you’re abiding by the law.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How much should a deposit fee be?

    The amount you charge for a deposit is determined by a number of variables, including the cost of the project and job site. 

    However, there are a few standard, easy methods used by small business owners to determine job deposits:

    • 20-50% of a job’s total cost
    • 50% of any project worth more than $1000
    • $250 as a standard payment which is non-refundable
    • 100% of the material costs

  2. How are overdue bills to be handled?

    To handle overdue bills, send a follow-up invoice email to your client, reminding them of the original terms of your project contract. If your emails go unaddressed, you can safely resort to phone calls to get ahold of your customer.

    If you continue to have issues, as a last resort, you can seek assistance from a third-party service provider such as a collection agency that can assist you in recovering outstanding payments.

Use InvoiceOwl to Send Error-Less Invoices with Ease!

As we’ve discussed earlier, you can send invoice emails to clients to obtain your deposits before the job starts. 

However, preparing multiple invoices for your client can be time-consuming and challenging when there are several details to take care of.

Here comes InvoiceOwl-an online invoicing software!

With InvoiceOwl, you can create customized and professional invoices without errors in minutes. You can send them to your clients any time from anywhere.

InvoiceOwl also lets you track these invoices and helps you get paid faster. 

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Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.