If you’ve never had to send an invoice before, you might be wondering what to include, and what to expect.
So we put together this essential guide to invoices for UK businesses, to help you get your invoice right first time.
What Does a Freelance Invoice Need to Include?
There are some things that you need to include on your template by law. These include:
- A unique identification number.
- Your company details.
- Your client’s details.
- A clear description of what you’re charging for.
- Dates – as in, when you supplied your goods or services, and the date you sent the invoice.
- Charges – with as detailed a breakdown as you can.
You can read our complete guide to invoice legal requirements here.
Freelance Invoice Template
Many home office apps, such as Word and Excel, have built-in invoice templates.
We’ve also devised a freelance invoice template, which you can download.
How Do I Invoice As A Freelancer?
First, it’s important that you agree with your clients, in advance:
- Precisely what work you’ll be undertaking.
- A fee for your services.
- A date by which you’ll fulfil your services, and a date by which your clients will pay you.
Please note: You’ll see that on our freelance invoice template we’ve specified that the invoice is to be paid on receipt. This is standard practice with invoices, but your clients might have different arrangements. For example, they might have a set day each month on which they pay all of their outstanding invoices. The important thing is that you clarify these things in advance.
If you and your clients are clear about what you expect from each other, then your invoice will simply put the things you’ve already discussed in writing. So as well as acting as an indication that it’s time for your clients to pay, it will also act as an official record of your work and your income. This will come in handy when it’s time to submit your tax return.
So how do you invoice as a freelancer? Just fill in the blanks of our freelance invoice template with your relevant details, then send the invoice to your clients – either to your established point of contact, or to their dedicated accountant. It’s perfectly fine to do this as an email attachment.
Can I Make an Invoice Without a Company?
Yes, you can invoice as a private individual. You just have to include your name and address, your client’s name and address, a description of the work, and the amount you need paying.
You’ll still have to declare this income to HMRC, though. If it’s a one-off job, then you might not have to complete a full tax return. Just give them a call and ask them for more information.
But if you’re regularly sending invoices out, then it sounds like you’re running a self-employed business. In which case, you’ll have to register as self-employed, and complete a tax return each year. You can read our guide to registering as self-employed.
VAT Invoice Requirements
If you’re registered for VAT payments, you’ll have to include slightly different information on your invoice – including your VAT registration number, and the going VAT rate.
What If My Client Refuses to Pay My Invoice?
One reason it’s important to agree on terms with your clients in advance is that it can help you avoid disputes further down the line. But sometimes clients may simply refuse to pay invoices. Or, they may go strangely quiet once you’ve sent your invoice.
Don’t worry – the law is on your side here. The government recognises that when you send an invoice, you have a right to get paid. As such, there are many routes you can take to get the money your client owes you.
We have a full guide to what to do is someone refuses to pay an invoice. Find it here.
Unpaid invoices can compromise your cashflow. That’s why it pays to get yourself insured. We offer specialist insurance policies for freelancers and contractors. With freelance insurance, if you ever have to take an unpaid invoice to court, we can cover your legal fees.
If you have any questions, or you’d like to discuss your options, you can contact the Tapoly team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call our helpline on +44(0)207 846 0108, or you can use our website chat function.