How to Invoice as a Freelancer? [Tips & Tricks]

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Do you want to send invoices professionally but don’t want to start from scratch every time? Creating an invoice overwhelms almost every freelancer across the world. So relax! You are not alone. And hence, we are here with a complete guide on how to invoice as a freelancer.

After reading this blog, you will be able to create a professional-looking invoice by picking the right invoice type and with all the important elements needed in an invoice for a freelancer.

As a bonus, we will provide you with a freelancer invoice perfect for making invoices in just a matter of a few minutes.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

What is a Freelance Invoice?

A freelance invoice is a document used to request payment for provided services. It conveys and explains the final amount to be paid. With exclusive invoices designed for freelancers, such as invoices for writers, web developers, accountants, musicians, and a photography invoice template, the freelance service provider effortlessly gets paid faster.

Since a freelance business is different from large-scale business contracts, a standard invoice would not suit to bill your clients for the freelance projects.

So, let’s discuss what are the important elements a freelance invoice must-have.

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Importance of Invoices for Freelancers

As mentioned earlier, freelancers create invoices to request payments from their clients for the provided services.

Thus, invoices are crucial for freelancers. They play multiple direct and indirect roles in running a freelance business smoothly. So, let’s discuss a few reasons that make invoices important for freelancers.

Invoices help freelancers

  • get paid on time
  • eliminate any confusion regarding the payment
  • protect themselves and clients against lawsuits
  • record revenue
  • file taxes during the tax time
  • audit the records in the future

These were just a few points that show the importance of the invoices. We can go on and on but it needs an entire blog of its own moreover, we think you have got the idea already. 

So, what is it that makes invoices so important?

The information on it.

The information on an invoice has a lot of value and without some of the information, you can not call it an invoice.

Wondering what those things are?

Let’s talk about that in the next section.

What are the Important Elements of Freelance Invoice?

Without the following elements, a freelance invoice is incomplete. So pay attention and we have put a few tips and tricks to get paid faster in between too.

Important elements of freelance invoice

  • Branding

    Invoices are a great opportunity for brand awareness. Unlike huge businesses, many freelancers can not afford to advertise their brands on paid platforms. Thus, freelance businesses should make invoices an integral part of the brand.

    Add your brand logo, freelance business name, contact details, use watermarks, and color it in your brand colors. Branding impacts a lasting impression on clients.

  • Client Information

    Client information is crucial to include in a freelance invoice. It helps in sorting and managing the invoices. It comes in handy to track the payment status. If you have included the client information, it helps you create reports on business done with a particular client.

    Without mentioning the client information, it gets hard to know the client information if the payment is due. And at the end of the month, you may have to process a lot of invoices. Thus, to make things easier for you, it is wise to add client information, such as business name, and contact details.

  • Invoice Number

    The invoice number is one of the most crucial elements of the invoice. It helps you manage and organize all the invoices easily. It also helps to keep a count on the invoices and sales figures.

    There are multiple ways to allot the invoice number. You can simply number them in the numerical series, or you can mix up some alphabets dignifying the type of the freelance service, or you may number them the ‘invoice date’-wise.

    Speaking of the invoice date, it takes us to the next crucial element of the freelance invoice.

  • Invoice Date

    Invoice date plays a much bigger role than just showing the date of invoice. It helps you decide if this invoice is to be counted when calculating the annual tax. It also helps you count the due date by which the client must pay the amount.

    Moreover, the invoice date has major significance in a legal dispute. Actually, if you have not mentioned the invoice date, you can not sue any business for not paying your fees.

  • Total Amount Breakdown

    The total amount payable is the most important thing in the invoice. It is the fundamental thing for which the invoice has been created.

    And, not only the final amount, but you should break it down and explain how you reached the digits. Mention every freelance service or material used, rates, quantity, and cost individually. Also, mention the applied sales tax and discounts.

    So it goes both ways. After mentioning all the details, you should not leave it for the clients to calculate the net amount or mention only the final amount without justifying it.

  • Multiple Payment Options

    If you want to get paid quickly, you must accept multiple payment options. In this new age of technology, your freelance business should take full advantage of multiple payment methods and accept credit cards, debit cards, Stripe, PayPal, online payments, and other offline payments.

    Allowing the client to pay via their preferred payment method boosts client satisfaction and you end up getting paid faster. Other than that, modern technology handles all the tough tasks, such as managing different currencies, and tax calculation. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for your clients and your business too.

  • Payment Terms

    The ‘payment terms’ is one of the elements that many freelancers often forget to include. Payment terms consist of the payment methods you accept, the due date, your account number, and the late fee. It also includes refund conditions.

    Other than saving your business from a lawsuit, it gives your invoice a professional look.

    Now, you have to choose the type of freelance invoice depending on the type of freelance service you provide.

What are the Invoice Types for Freelancers?

Broadly, freelance invoices are classified into three types. These are based on the type of service you provide and the charging pattern you follow.

Types of freelance invoices

So, let’s talk about all the three major types of freelance invoices, and pick the perfect invoice for your business.

  1. Invoice Based on the Service Provided

    Many freelancers charge clients a lump sum amount for the particular service provided. This is a common practice for freelance workers, such as accountants, tutors, and photographers.

    For such business deals, you need to issue a quotation first and then the final invoice at the time of completion of the service. It may include the charges for materials used too.

  2. Invoice Based on the Time Taken

    Freelance web developers, graphic designers, video editors, counselors, and similar business owners like to be paid for the time taken for the compilation of the freelance work. They may charge an hourly rate.

    These invoices may include the timesheet for individual service provided to justify the final amount.

  3. Invoice Based on the Work Done

    The freelance businesses which get paid for the total work done may not find either of the above types of invoices suitable for them. Thus, they have to use the specific type of invoice that lets them bill clients on the amount of work done.

    For example, professionals, such as writers charge on the word count, the wall-painters charge on the area painted, and a taxi driver may charge on the distance traveled.

    So, now you know which type of invoice is the best for your freelance business. And it’s time to create a customized invoice for your freelance business.

How to Write an Invoice for a Freelance Business?

Creating an invoice is almost similar for everly business but not the same.

So, let’s know how to invoice as a freelancer for the most effectiveness.

  • Don’t hesitate to invoice clients

First of all, requesting payment for your hard work is your right, and nothing is more professional than issuing an invoice. Sending invoices as a freelancer is also a part of your brand building.

Moreover, the client is also expecting your invoice as it makes accounting easy for them too.

  • Send invoices the earliest

You need to send an invoice as soon as it is due to make them the most effective. Most of the delays in payment happen due to late invoicing and you don’t want that, right?

Once the invoice is late, the client has to put in more effort in recalling the details of the business they had with you and it just takes longer to get your invoice clear.

  • Prepare a freelance invoice checklist

Have you ever sent an email but forgot to attach the invoice file with it? 

It is very common yet not so impressive.

Mistakes like this can be easily eliminated by preparing a specific checklist for sending a freelancer invoice. Check everything before sending an invoice to the client so that you have a proper workflow and don’t end up making mistakes on the invoice.

  • Leave a thank you note

A thank you note shows your gratitude towards the customer for having business with you. This makes you professional and also helps in customer satisfaction. This makes the customer more likely to choose your services for future projects as well.

  • Accept easy payment methods

If you want to get paid as soon as possible, you need to make payment easy for the clients. They will appreciate it and will pay you promptly. So, accept payment methods like online payments.

  • Always include applicable taxes

Not including applicable taxes is an offense and can attract lawsuits against your business. Thus, know what federal and local taxes are applicable to your services, and do not forget to mention them in the invoices.

How to send your invoice to the client with InvoiceOwl

If you have created an invoice manually, you must be well aware of the struggles and time the invoicing process takes.

But to take all the fuss out, the freelance invoice software — InvoiceOwl assists you to create an invoice on the go. You will not even need a computer system to generate one. All you have to do is open the InvoiceOwl app on your smartphone and get going.

Creating an invoice with the InvoiceOwl is way easier than the conventional method. And once you have designed a unique template, creating an invoice out of that template is just like filling out a form.

You must be excited to know how to write an invoice for freelance work using InvoiceOwl. So, follow the below-mentioned steps and you will get a personalized invoice before you know it.

Step1: Select the free invoice template from the InvoiceOwl template library

Step2: Your business name, logo, and contact information will already be on it

Step3: Mention the invoice date

Step4: Select the client to automatically fill in all the client information (for example, client name, phone number, and email address)

Step5: Select the items (the services and goods sold) and feed the quantity. InvoiceOwl will automatically fill the predefined description, rates, and total.

Step6: Mention the applied tax and discounts (if any) under the gross amount and it will automatically calculate the total.

Step7: State all the payment terms and conditions, such as due date, refund conditions, accepted payment methods, and further details of the payment process

Step8: Print the invoice or you may send invoices via email too

Done! You have your own invoice with you.

Wasn’t that simple?

Furthermore, the InvoicingOwl is not just for creating invoices, it simplifies the entire invoicing process.

Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How to invoice freelance services?

      Majorly you can invoice freelance services based on the service provided. You can invoice based on the:

      • Time taken
      • Work-done
      • Service Packages
      • These are the most professional ways to invoice a freelance service.

    2. Can I issue an invoice as a freelancer?

      Yes, you can! All professional services are chargeable and you can invoice as a freelancer to ensure you get paid. And an invoice is the most efficient tool to request payment.

    3. How do I write my first freelance invoice?

      It might take a lot of trial to write the perfect first invoice. And it takes a lot of time and money to go through those trials. So, to make things simpler, follow the below steps:

      • Download the InvoiceOwl freelance invoice template
      • Customize it to suit your brand
      • Add line items with descriptions
      • Calculate tax, discounts, and the total amount
      • Send it to the client then & there

    4. Can I invoice as an individual?

      Yes, if you are self-employed, you are the sole proprietor. This means you can invoice as an individual to run your business.

    5. What should be included in a freelance invoice?

      If you want to create professional-looking invoices for your freelance business, make sure you include the following things in every freelance invoice of yours.

      • Your business branding
      • Client information (for example name, phone number, email address)
      • Invoice date
      • Invoice number
      • Line item (services provided) with a detailed description
      • Rate, quantity, and cost of each item
      • Discounts and tax details
      • Payable amount
      • Due date and payment terms

Create Professional Invoices for Freelance Work

InvoiceOwl helps you to create professional invoices that get paid promptly.


We have discussed every aspect of creating invoices as a freelancer. Right from the definition to sending invoices. We have discussed the entire invoicing process in detail. So, we hope you are ready to create one of yours right now.

But remember, finding the perfect freelance invoice template is an iterative process that takes a lot of trial and error. So, if you want to eliminate the trial & error and want to be paid quickly, download the InvoiceOwl appThe complete invoicing solution and create a perfect invoice in the first go.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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