How to Make an Invoice for Free: 7 Simple Steps to Get Paid Faster

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Learn how to create an invoice effectively that will help you get paid faster. Follow the steps one by one and discover the secrets to streamlining your billing process.

Getting paid timely is significant for maintaining the financial health of your business. However, timely payment is directly linked to a simple, easy-to-understand, and professional-looking invoice.

According to reports, 61% of payment delays occur due to compliance and administrative issues, such as incorrect invoices or receiving invoices too late. So, it is essential to create a detailed invoice that reflects all the hard work you have done and then request payment.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make an invoice that not only streamlines your payment process but also enhances your professional image.

How to Make an Invoice

How to make an invoice

1. Create an invoice header, including your business information:

Your business name and logo are the first things customers come in contact with. The business logo should also be included in the invoice header, making your brand clearly memorable to your clients.

When you include each and every detail related to your business, such as the company name, business address, contact information, and email address, it becomes easy for your clients to reach out to you. Also, in your invoice layout, you can play with font colors and style to keep it simple and easily readable.

Create an invoice header

2. Add your client details:

The next important step is to add the client’s contact details. Ensure that you are reaching out to the correct person to receive the invoice. Make sure you enter all the available information you have about the client. It should specifically include the client’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Do not hesitate to reach out to the client in case if you want some additional information about them. You should also note that when you are contacting a new client, it should always be advisable to verify the person beforehand sending an invoice.

Add your client details

3. Enter the unique invoice number, invoice date, and invoice due date:

Tagging each invoice with a unique invoice number is essential. Invoice numbers should be assigned so that you can keep a record of all the transactions you undergo. Also, it is very convenient to find any random invoice in the future. The invoice numbering system should be such that it works for you and stays consistent to avoid any confusion.

The next important thing to add is the invoice issue date and the payment due date. Your clients should be very well informed about when the invoice was issued and how many days are left to get it paid.

Enter the unique invoice number

4. Add a line item with a description of the services rendered and the total money owed:

Adding line items for all the goods sold or services rendered should be precisely included in an invoice. You need to be completely transparent about what you have provided so that you can be fairly charged.

Along with the detailed list of goods/services rendered, make sure to include the number of labor hours spent, materials used, or other units you’re charging for. Whenever you write a line item, your only intent should be to let your clients know what they are paying for.

Here is an example of how a detailed line item should be:

“When you have rendered electrical services, do not simply write ‘electrical work’. Instead, write a proper description of the services you delivered. For instance, the installation of recessed lighting, upgrading outdated electrical panels, or replacing electrical outlets and switches.”

Add a line item with  description

5. List applicable taxes or discounts and get the total money owed:

The tax you levy on your clients, as well as the discounts or late fees charged/offered to them, should be clearly visible to the clients. Tax percentage may differ depending on the region you are living in or the type of work you do. You can even delete this row if you are not charging the tax on any of your products or services.

After charging the respective items mentioned above, the total money receivable from the client will be auto-calculated. Your subtotal should be the summarized amount of goods/services sold, applicable taxes, as well as discounts or late fees offered. This is the total amount your client owes to you.

List applicable taxes or discounts

6. Specify your payment terms and payment options:

Specifying the payment instructions conclusively means how you will collect payment from your customers. This section includes:

  • The total amount due
  • Any applicable sales tax
  • The payment due date
  • Late payment fees
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Service warranties
  • Preferred payment method

Other than this, a list of accepted payment methods should also be mentioned so that clients can conveniently choose the one that suits them best. This may include paying through debit, credit card, cash, check, bank transfer, or other online payment methods like PayPal and Stripe.

Specify your payment terms

7. Additional note:

Here in this additional note section, you can include anything. It can be either some significant matter that you want your clients to focus upon or simply a thanking gesture. Expressing gratitude to your clients can help you a long way in fostering positive and enduring relationships. Including a heartfelt thank note at the end of your invoice not only adds a personal touch but also leaves a lasting impression.

Additional note

Ways to Make a Professional Invoice to Get Paid Promptly

You are now well aware of the facts of how to make an invoice. The next thing that you should focus on is ways to make a professional invoice that covers all the things mentioned above. Here are two major significant and cost-effective approaches to generating an invoice. Have a look:

Here are some of the significant and cost-effective approaches to generating an invoice. Have a look:

  • Integrate invoicing software: Adopting invoicing software like InvoiceOwl, into your business can help you streamline your entire invoicing process. All the hassles of tedious and time-consuming manual invoicing processes can be eliminated with the modern way of invoicing. Here’s why it can prove a reward to your current invoicing operations.
    • 1. Customized invoices can be made and modified to match your own business requirements.
    • 2. Real-time tracking of the invoices is maintained until payment is received.
    • 3. Once payment is received, free receipts can be made with the online receipt maker tool.
    • 4. No more misplacements of the client data. Maintain all your client data in one place.
    • 5. No more time wastage, simply authorize your documents in just a click by digitally signing them.
    • 6. Get a comprehensive view of your invoicing operations through detailed invoicing report generation.
    • 7. Manage up to 5 different businesses/companies under one InvoiceOwl account.
    • 8. Simplify and automate yoru bookkeeping by syncing your QuickBooks Online account with InvoiceOwl.

    There are multiple other advantages apart from what is listed above, that you can receive once switch to online invoicing software. Before giving a thought to purchase, you can test the software by yourself. Simple sign-up for the 3-day FREE trial period and you will observe the smooth invoicing operations by yourself.

  • Use free invoice templates: Create invoices using the customizable invoice templates. You can download the free invoice template by InvoiceOwl, modify it in your own way, and then send it to your client via e-mail. Free templates are available in different file formats and different colors so that you can conveniently choose the one that best suits your brand. These templates can benefit you in below below-mentioned ways:
    • 1. Create custom invoices by adopting personalization
    • 2. Reliable and consistent invoice design
    • 3. No paper cost involved
    • 4. Cloud-based storage, so no fear of missing invoices
    • 5. Long-term record keeping of the invoices
    • 6. Easily downloadable
  • Try InvoiceOwl’s Online Invoice Generator and Save Valuable Working Hours Focusing on What Truly Important!

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is an invoice?

    An invoice is a formal statement issued by the vendor or seller of goods/services to the buyer. It contains all the details of the goods sold or services rendered, along with the charges due for the payment. It also includes the accepted payment method, and any other instructions, terms, or conditions. They are basically the documents requesting payment from customers.

  2. What should be included in an invoice?

    Here is a list of the things that should be included in an invoice for prompt payments:

    • Your company details
    • Client address, contact info, and mailing address
    • Invoice title
    • Invoice number
    • Invoice date and invoice due date
    • Description of services rendered
    • Subtotal for each service (including quantities used, unit price, or hourly rates)
    • Total amount due for the payment (including sales tax, fees, and discounts)
    • Necessary payment terms and accepted payment methods
    • Additional note

  3. How can I create a professional invoice?

    There are multiple ways of creating professional invoices. For example, you can use an online free invoice generator and customizable invoice templates. Along with this, integrating efficient invoicing software into your business is also a good option.

  4. What is an invoice template, and how do I use one?

    An invoice template is a pre-designed format for generating invoices, especially for small business owners who are new to invoice creation.

    You can fill in the relevant information, such as your business details, customer information, and itemized charges, to quickly generate an invoice. These templates are available in multiple color options and different file formats. For instance, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.

  5. Can I send invoices electronically or via email?

    Yes, sending electronic invoices via email is a common and efficient practice. Many businesses prefer this method because it’s faster and more eco-friendly than traditional paper invoices.


After this comprehensive guide on making an efficient invoice, it has been very much easier for you to generate an accurate invoice. Remember, an organized and professional invoice not only streamlines your financial transactions but also builds trust with your clients, potentially leading to repeat business and referrals.

There are multiple ways to create a professional-looking invoice. It’s up to you, whether you still invest your essential working hours in creating invoices manually or opt for a digital method of generating invoices.

This modern approach not only helps you get paid faster but also ensures that your entire invoicing process gets streamlined. To start with, you can sign up for the 3-day free trial period offered by InvoiceOwl, an estimating and invoicing software, and see the change by yourself.

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