Invoice Example Reference Guide for Small Business Owners
It’s no secret that sales are the lifeblood of your business. This is true whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Unless customers are already paying for your goods or services, your brand is just a dream on paper.
Yet, before that big day comes and you make your first sale, you need to know what an invoice example is and be prepared with an invoicing process that works. Rather than starting from scratch, it helps to have an invoice example to reference.
Today, we’re taking a look at a few common templates to follow as you set up your system.
Read on to learn the data to include and the steps to follow!
What is an Invoice Statement?
In short, an invoice statement is the most important part of your overall sales process.
It is a written billing statement that helps you keep track of critical account information pertaining to every sale. It also establishes an obligation for the purchaser to pay for the goods or services rendered.
Next, let’s take a look at a few templates to create when you’re ready to start invoicing your own clients.
General Invoice Example
Your invoice can be as complicated or basic as you need it to be. While your templates will vary depending on your specific business, every invoice should include a few key pieces of information, including:
- The date that the invoice was created
- The names and addresses of the customer
- The name and address of the supplier
- The names of the customer and supplier Points of Contact
- Descriptions of the items purchased
- The quantity and the price of the items purchased
- Agreed-upon dates and terms of payment (e.g. Net 30)
Below, we’ll share a few invoice examples for different business types. Most of the time, the above information should be included in any invoice, with the industry-specific changes made as required.
What if you’re a freelance worker sending an invoice to a client for work you’ve delivered? If this is the case, you’ll still need to include all of the general information listed above. In addition, you’ll also need to add other key details about the project.
Begin by itemizing your work by your preferred method (usually per project or per hour). Then, list any additional fees you incurred throughout the work. For instance, a web designer might have to pay for image licensing or special fonts.
For many freelancers, that will cover all of the charges to include. If it’s common for clients to tip in your industry, you can add a tip line at the bottom of your project description.
Still working on the project? Make sure to include information on when the final deliverable will be ready, along with the payment due date.
Contractor Invoice Example
From a tax perspective, a freelancer and a contractor are normally classified the same. However, the two workers do operate a little differently.
While a freelancer can work for multiple clients at the same time, a contractor is normally committed to one client for a set duration. If you’re a contractor, you’ll also need to break out the specifics of your project.
On the invoice, make sure to itemize all of the projects and individual tasks that you’ve agreed to complete. In addition, list any resources you had to purchase to complete the work, including:
Another element that sets freelancers and contractors apart is the inclusion of sales tax. As contract work is normally taxed, remember to calculate sales tax into your invoice.
Are you at the helm of a wholesale business? An invoice example may include clothing wholesalers who sell to retailers or food suppliers who deliver to restaurants.
Wholesalers have an invoice that looks a little different than most.
As these transactions are normally larger and worth more, you’ll need to make sure every detail is catered to your business. A few of the most important lines to include are:
- The standard price you charge for your products
- The wholesale discount you’re sharing with the customer (percentage)
- The customer’s final wholesale price
Conflicted about showing the discount? Don’t be.
A recent study showed that 75% of customers expect discounts from companies, and are willing to be more loyal to those that offer them. Showing your customers that you’re cutting them a break can be an ideal incentive to encourage repeat, long-term business.
While most invoice templates are designed to list all of the details about your project, there are certain times when those lines aren’t necessary. This especially applies to lump-sum projects.
With these, you’ll only charge your customer one price, though there are multiple project elements included. For example, you might charge $50 for a three-week custom meal plan. As expected, this invoice will be simple!
In your itemized section, list the details of your lump-sum package. If your business is set up to accept tax, you can add a tax line. However, keep in mind that most lump-sum invoices have tax rolled up into the single line item.
Professional Services Invoice Example
Rather than physical goods, do you sell professional services? For instance, you might be a photographer, stylist, designer, or any other industry expert.
While you might not need to include the costs of goods on your invoice, you will need to provide your hourly rate. If you incurred any chargeable travel expenses, list those too.
This might apply if you traveled to a destination wedding to take bridal portraits, for instance. In addition, list the date that the services will be provided. If you’ve already performed the work, list the date when the service was rendered.
Reference This Invoice Example Guide for Small Business Owners
You’re on your way toward establishing your company as both legitimate and profitable! Yet, before you can start building your bottom line, you need to know how to appropriately charge your clients.
This invoice example list is ideal to keep nearby and reference when you’re ready to establish your process. With the right document in place, you’re ready to start making money!
Need a little more guidance as you set up your new company? We offer a range of business services and business loans that are designed to meet any need.
Want to take your invoicing system to the next level? We can help you set up a credit card processing solution to help you accept more kinds of payments!