Contractor Invoicing: Best Practices for How to Send an Invoice

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ūüďĚKey Takeaways:

  • To strengthen your invoicing system, we have covered the best tips that can help you get paid faster.
  • Discover what to include in the business invoice and the channels through which you send invoices to clients in the United States.

As a business owner, you should make sure that your invoices are written professionally and in a clear, simple manner. Whenever you send an invoice to a client or come across any business communication relating to payment, always be polite with the client.

Invoices should be written in such a way that they are simple to understand and should be crystal clear. Indicate the core details in the invoice email that you are sending to the client, like the due date for the invoice, the amount owing, and the service offered.

If the invoice or the accompanying email contains vague language, it may lead to several complications, like the client getting confused, misinterpreting information, or being late in sending payment. Numerous invoice email templates are available, among which you can choose the one that fits the requirements of your company and clients as well. This will help you look professional and even get you paid on time as you will not be missing any essential information.

In this article, learn how to send an invoice professionally.

How to Send an Invoice Professionally

When you have completed an order, whether it is for a product or a service, it’s now time for you to prepare an invoice so that you can get paid as soon as possible. An effective invoicing process works to get quick payments and has several steps to perform, from creating a professional invoice to sending regular payment reminders to getting paid for your invoices.

Here is the complete process of creating a professional invoice. 

1. Start with a professional layout

A big font should be used for your business name and logo. Adding a business logo and your business type to your invoice increases your chances of getting paid three times!

Start with a professional layout

InvoiceOwl offers a range of invoice templates available in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PDF invoice formats. If you want something more efficient than this, use the free invoice generator offered by InvoiceOwl, which will issue a pre-built invoice that is already formatted so you can start using it immediately.

2. Include company and customer information

The address, phone number, and e-mail for your business should be immediately below the name of your business.

When your customers have questions or concerns, they can easily reach out to you when they need assistance. 

Ensure your online invoice reaches the right person by including the recipient’s name, address, and contact information. If their service address is different from their mailing address, you should also include it on the bill.

3. Assign a unique number, a due date, and an issue date to your invoice

Numbers, invoice issue date, and due date are the three most important numbers on an online invoice.

Assign a unique number, a due date, and an issue date to your invoice

Keeping your records organized is easier with an invoice number and issue date. In addition to tax filing, this is also important when getting recurring payments from the same client. 

If your client hasn’t paid an invoice for a long time, you’ll want to know which invoice you’re referring to when you contact them.

By stating the due date, you let your customers know when they need to pay you. A payment schedule might not be included in every business’s workflow, but getting paid as quickly as possible is a good idea. For this, you can send reminders to your client so that there are no overdue and your business cycle can run smoothly.

With InvoiceOwl, the invoice number and date of the invoice, as well as the information about your company and customer, are automatically generated each time you open the invoice. Just for once, you need to enter all the necessary vendor details while sending your first invoice, after which it will facilitate you with the option of just entering from the list.

As a business owner, one of the last things you need to worry about when making customer bills is forgetting or putting the wrong number on them.

4. The description of the goods and services provided

During the invoice period, the invoice should include information about all goods and services provided by your company. 

You must also include the purchase order number, quantity, rate per unit, and subtotal of each item sold. In the case of services, provide details about each service line item and the time spent on it.

Making your pricing transparent can make it easier for your clients to pay you on time, making your payment collection system robust.

Whenever your invoice for a fence you built includes the cost of all the boards and nails and how long it took,. Make sure you present these details separately so you and your clients are clear.

5. Total the line items for the total amount owed

You should add the subtotal to your invoice after you have priced each line item. If you use a good invoice template or invoicing software like InvoiceOwl, you’ll get these fields automatically calculated.

Divide your total amount owed by any taxes, fees, or discounts you’ve applied to the job. The number should be bolded or highlighted to stand out from the rest.

Looking to try InvoiceOwl? You can go for a free trial. 

6. Include payment terms

It is essential to include details about the taxes applicable to the sale, which vary from country to country depending on their laws, local tax rate, type of business, and other factors. 

Calculating the total tax liability at the bottom of an invoice is typical when there are multiple line items. 

It’s easier to calculate the tax on each item instead of splitting it by the tax groups the billable items fall into.

Tally up the total and highlight the total owed by the customer once the tax and discounts are accounted for.

7. Terms and conditions in explanatory notes

Invoices are typically self-explanatory, but there are times when they can be confusing. 

Terms and conditions in explanatory notes

Customers may miss discounts when you apply them to one of your products. 

You can prevent this by explaining the discount in the footnote, explaining that future invoices might show higher prices. 

Don’t forget to include payment processing fees, late fees, and penalties on overdue invoices.

Though there are lots of ways to create invoices, like PayPal invoices and square invoices, using InvoiceOwl, the leading invoice generator, gives you great features to keep your business finances organized.

Tips for Sending Invoices That Get Paid

A small business needs to create an invoice to receive payments from clients, but there are ways to send an invoice that will get you paid on time. 

Clients will be motivated to make immediate payments when an invoice and its accompanying email communicate the right message. 

The following tips will help you communicate with your clients about invoices:

1. Promptly send invoices

After you complete the work you’re billing for, you should create and send your invoices.¬†

In addition to getting paid sooner, you’ll also be able to write invoices immediately following your work.¬†

Having your invoices ready as quickly as possible will help you remember all the details and prevent mistakes, which can frustrate or anger clients.

2. Always be polite

Whenever you write an invoice or come across any business communication, be polite. Communicating politely helps you build stronger relationships with clients, making you more likely to get repeat business.

3. Always be concise

Whenever you write an invoice, be concise and straight to the point. Provide clients with all the essential business information they need to pay you by your terms: state the amount due and the date payment is due.

Clients may be confused by fancy terms used in invoices. 

Rather than “payment due on receipt” on invoices, which is vague, specify the due date, such as “December 21, 2021.”

4. Easy payment options

Invoice payments should be made accessible for your customers so that you can provide a better experience for them. You will be able to get paid sooner. 

Easy payment options

It is important to include clear language in your invoice so that your clients can understand what payment methods they can use to settle their invoices. 

If you accept checks, ensure that you include wording that covers all the necessary details, such as “Please make checks payable to my small business and mail them to this address.”

As a way of making sure that your customers can find your payment page easily, make sure that you provide them with a link to your online payment page at the bottom of your invoice. 

5. Provide multiple payment options

If you want to get paid faster, make it easy for your customers to pay off their bills by offering multiple payment methods.

Only accepting cash and debit cards or credit cards can lead to a loss of sales and payment security.

An example would be to use ACH payments. Payments made through ACH are cheaper than those made through credit cards, so your business will save money. Security is one of their most enormous benefits, and recurring payments can be set up easily.

SMS or Text2Pay payments, on the other hand, give customers one of the quickest and easiest ways to pay you.

From the examples discussed above, it is obvious that there are many ways in which large and small businesses can increase the speed at which they receive payments by accepting more payment options to increase their cash flow. 

Consider your business needs and your customer’s shopping habits when deciding which payment types to accept.

What to Include in an Invoice

As much as invoices can differ, a few common elements should be included in almost every invoice, regardless of its type. For your invoice to be paid, you must include these items to ensure that you have the necessary information on your invoice.

As a guide, here is what you should include on every invoice:

  • The invoice number
  • Contact information and business name with company logo
  • Your contact information and the name of the recipient
  • Describe your services (optional itemized list)
  • Included in the total price are any applicable additional fees
  • Dates of critical events (e.g., date of services rendered, invoice date, and due date)
  • Terms and conditions for payments

To make creating invoices easier in the future, you will probably want to create your own invoice template. When you’re unsure where to start, it is recommended to try InvoiceOwl. It is invoicing software that offers simple and easy-to-use invoice creation software that enables you to generate professional invoices to send to clients and get paid immediately.

Why Remember What to and What Not to Include in Invoice?

InvoiceOwl is here to help you create professional invoices in just a few seconds. Start creating invoices NOW!

Channels to Send an Invoice

Invoices can be sent to customers in a variety of ways:

  • Email: The method of sending an invoice via email to the customers is quick and accurate in comparison to other channels. There are certain things to keep in mind before sending an email and to maintain accuracy. Examples of this would be confirming the email address once it is sent, entering the recipient’s name correctly, and checking whether the body of the email has all the necessary details to prompt payment. With InvoiceOwl, you can create an invoice and send a sample invoice to your customers to avail of the flexibility it provides.
  • By physical mail (post): Customers without email addresses can receive mail at their postal address. This model has several downsides, such as its slowness and lack of security.
  • Through invoicing software: Integrating an efficient and automated web-based tool like InvoiceOwl can do wonders for your ongoing invoicing processes. Be it creating professional invoices, sending them to clients, tracking payments, or generating receipts on the arrival of payments, everything is centralized.¬†¬†
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How should an invoice be sent?

    You can send invoices via email or by mail. Email is the most common method of sending invoices; invoices can be sent to customers at different times. An invoice can be given when delivering a product or after making a sale.

  2. How can I send an invoice through email?

    The process of writing an email that includes an invoice is straightforward. For your convenience, here are a few essential tips:

    • Make sure to attach the invoice
    • In the subject line, have all the necessary information
    • Consider using invoice templates for your invoices
    • In your invoice, make sure the client has all the information they need

  3. How do I make an invoice?

    An invoice can be created in a few steps:

    • Make your invoice stand out
    • Make your header professional¬†
    • Incorporate invoice information
    • Don’t forget to include dates
    • Delivered goods and services description¬†
    • Highlight the total amount owed and include tax details
    • Specify payment terms and payment method
    • Ensure that the terms and conditions are explained in the notes


It is not as difficult as you might think to create a professional invoice. If the creation of an invoice is done right, it will leave a good impression on the clients. 

Don’t be in a hurry while creating invoices, as even a single mistake can lead to disputes, late payments, and a lack of professionalism.

These tips will help you write an invoice that improves customer relationships and makes collecting payments easier.

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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