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Need help with an Invoice Template?
What Is an Invoice?
An invoice, also known as a sales invoice, is a document that businesses or business owners issue to customers to request payment for goods or services. A good invoice template should include a space to display a clear total and specify the length of time that the customer has to pay for the invoice.
Difference Between an Invoice and Bill
The word "invoice" is usually used in business environments to refer to the payment request they send their customers. When the customer receives that invoice, they often refer to it as a bill that is owed. These two terms are commonly used interchangeably since both refer to itemized statements that a seller gives a buyer.
Most Popular Types of Invoices
There are several different types of invoices that a business can send:
- Standard invoice: A standard invoice is the most common type and includes all of the basic information, including the contact information for the business and buyer, the invoice number, the date the invoice was sent, an itemized list of purchases that the seller made, and a clear total for the price of all goods and services.
- Recurring invoice : This type of invoice is sent each month on a recurring basis. It often contains a fixed price for the goods and services that the buyer is regularly using. Examples of this type of invoice include cell phone business, rental properties, or business software.
- Shipping invoice : A shipping invoice includes the cost and quantity being shipped for each item. It also includes the cost of shipping fees and taxes and a subtotal for those charges along with the cost of the goods. Like all invoices, a shipping invoice includes the contact information for the buyer and seller, an invoice date, and the number for the invoice.
- Commercial invoice: This type of invoice is used when goods are being sent across international borders. It has all of the elements that you would see in the standard invoice, as well as other information necessary for customs, such as the country where the products were manufactured, what the items are for, the Harmonized System codes if the seller knows them, the total weight of the goods, the number of packages, and the reason they're being exported.
- Pro-forma invoice: This type of invoice is different than the others in that it's not actually a request for payment, but instead an estimation or quote for what the seller believes a product or service will cost. Sending a pro-forma invoice is often a first step for negotiating a payment agreement. However, it's not actually a true invoice since no payment is requested.
How to Send an Invoice
There are a couple of different options that companies have when sending an invoice to customers, including:
- Electronically: When customers send invoices electronically, they can either send it through a website or via email. Many companies use accounting software that allows the business to quickly generate an invoice and send it directly to the customer's email address. This is often the preferred method for sending invoices, as it delivers them to customers in real time. This method of sending invoices often allows customers to pay the invoices electronically as well.
- Postal service: This is a slower method of sending an invoice, although some businesses still use it to accommodate the preferences of their customers. It's important to keep in mind the time it will take for the invoice to reach customers and the time it will take for the invoice to get back to you when you're putting a due date on it.
What Is an Invoice Template?
An invoice template is a document layout that makes it easy to replace default information with specific details for your company. It also provides the necessary fields that make it easy to fill in itemized information about the goods and services, including the price, quantity, shipping, and taxes.
Benefits of Using an Invoice Template
Using an invoice template is beneficial because it does the following:
- Gives you the ability to save time by having a basic invoice that is already customized with your business information
- Ensures you don't overlook information that should be included or updated on every invoice
- Creates a standard, branded look that you can use for every invoice, making them instantly recognizable by customers
- Shows a level of professionalism and emphasizes that the document is a record that should be kept
- Makes it easy to calculate the subtotal and the grand total for goods or services rendered
- Allows you to easily add messages promoting other products and services or thanking customers for their support
What Goes on an Invoice?
While invoices can be customized with additional information added, there are several sections that should always be included in the invoice:
- Title: Every invoice should be clearly marked with the word "invoice" so it's immediately apparent to the recipient what the document is.
- Invoice number: This number is unique to every invoice and should change sequentially for each one you send.
- Date: This is the date that the invoice was created on. This is what the business and customer will refer to when they track the date that the payment is due.
- Contact information: The invoice should always include the name and address for both the invoice and the client. Though an address may not be necessary in every case, particularly in invoice and payments are sent and received electronically, it can be good for your business to have this information for record-keeping purposes.
- Contact names: The invoice should include the names for contacts within the business that's selling the goods or services and the contact name for the business or individual making the purchase.
- Description of goods and services: There should be a description of the service of goods that the customer is buying.
- Quantity and price: There should be a price per unit listed, as well as the total number of services or goods that are being sold.
- Subtotal: The invoice should clearly state the subtotal for the goods and services before taxes are added.
- Total: There should be a total amount owed to the business, which will be a number that's usually listed at the bottom or under the taxes and shipping costs.
What Is an Invoice Number?
An invoice number is a unique number that's assigned to each new invoice created. These numbers are used to keep track of the invoices you send and are usually recorded in the business's bookkeeping system. The invoice number should be assigned in sequential order.
Invoice Templates to Download
Here is a list of templates you can download for yourself:
- Marketing business
- Consulting business
- Legal firm
- Professional business
- Freelance business
- Simple service invoice
- Small business sales
- Service invoice
- Service invoice (simple lines design)
- Invoice that calculates total
- Pet-sitting invoice
- Invoice (timeless design)
- Travel service invoice
- Special order pricing
- Sales invoice (green gradient design)
- Basic invoice with unit price
- Service invoice (blue gradient design)
- Sales invoice (arc design)
Invoice templates are professionally formatted, printer-friendly, and fully customizable. That makes it easy for businesses to update them quickly and get them out to customers in a timely manner. Invoice templates can also be designed specifically for your company, allowing you to highlight your company's branding, including its own personal headers, footers, colors, and logo.
You can even add client-targeted messages to your invoices, thanking your customers for their business, suggesting additional services or products that they may be interested in purchasing, or adding other relevant information.
Ultimately, an invoice template provides a professional, easy way for you to request payments from your customers. If you need help creating an invoice template for your own business, contact Contracts Counsel today. Our vetted lawyers work in over 30 industries and are happy to help you create an invoice template that's customized for your own business.
Meet some of our Invoice Template Lawyers
Terry Brennan is an experienced corporate, intellectual property and emerging company transactions attorney who has been a partner at two national Wall Street law firms and a trusted corporate counsel. He focuses on providing practical, cost-efficient and creative legal advice to entrepreneurs, established enterprises and investors for business, corporate finance, intellectual property and technology transactions. As a partner at prominent law firms, Terry's work centered around financing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities transactions, outsourcing and structuring of business entities to protect, license, finance and commercialize technology, manufacturing, digital media, intellectual property, entertainment and financial assets. As the General Counsel of IBAX Healthcare Systems, Terry was responsible for all legal and related business matters including health information systems licensing agreements, merger and acquisitions, product development and regulatory issues, contract administration, and litigation. Terry is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of the law review. He is active in a number of economic development, entrepreneurial accelerators, veterans and civic organizations in Florida and New York.
I'm a Washington-licensed lawyer specializing in trademark practice and with an extensive trademark education and academic background. I currently work with domestic and international businesses seeking trademark protection in the U.S. by conducting trademark searches, providing legal advice, submitting USPTO applications, and preparing responses to office actions. I'm passionate about trademark law and always looking forward to helping small and medium businesses promote their value by having a registered federal trademark. If you have questions or concerns about trademark/copyright/IP licensing and require legal advice, feel free to contact me so we can have a first chat.
Mr. Pomeranz serves as the principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, a boutique law firm representing clients across myriad industries and verticals. Before founding the firm, Mr. Pomeranz served as Senior Vice President, Legal & Compliance and General Counsel of Mortgage Connect, LP in 2017. Mr. Pomeranz also served as Counsel, Transactions for Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) beginning in 2013, and was based in the company’s C-Suite in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Mr. Pomeranz began his career with Mainline Information Systems, Inc. as an in-house attorney.
I have 10 years experience providing general counsel, in the form practical and timely legal advice, under strict deadlines to individuals and various business unit stakeholders, balancing commercial needs with legal concerns at large corporations and start-ups. I am skilled at reviewing, analyzing, drafting and negotiating commercial and government contracts globally for the procurement and sale of services and goods. I also help clients ensure compliance with regulations (including data privacy), laws and contractual obligations and protect, enforce and exploit intellectual property rights and support in the development of IP strategy. I am a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) licensed by the IAPP - International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Over 15 year experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts both as in-house counsel and in law firms, including my own law firm.
Rinky S. Parwani began her career practicing law in Beverly Hills, California handling high profile complex litigation and entertainment law matters. Later, her practice turned transactional to Lake Tahoe, California with a focus on business startups, trademarks, real estate resort development and government law. After leaving California, she also served as in-house counsel for a major lending corporation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa as well as a Senior Vice President of Compliance for a fortune 500 mortgage operation in Dallas, Texas prior to opening Parwani Law, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. She has represented various sophisticated individual, government and corporate clients and counseled in a variety of litigation and corporate matters throughout her career. Ms. Parwani also has prior experience with state and federal consumer lending laws for unsecured credit cards, revolving credit, secured loans, retail credit, sales finance and mortgage loans. She also has served as a special magistrate and legal counsel for numerous Florida County Value Adjustment Boards. Her practice varies significantly from unique federal and state litigation cases to transactional matters. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Parwani worked in private accounting for several years prior to law school. Her background includes a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate from Iowa (currently the license is inactive) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation (currently the designation is inactive). Ms. Parwani or the firm is currently a member of the following organizations: Hillsborough County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Ms. Parwani is a frequent volunteer for Fox Channel 13 Tampa Bay Ask-A-Lawyer. She has published an article entitled "Advising Your Client in Foreclosure" in the Stetson Law Review, Volume 41, No. 3, Spring 2012 Foreclosure Symposium Edition. She is a frequent continuing legal education speaker and has also taught bankruptcy seminars for the American Bar Association and Amstar Litigation. She was commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel. In addition, she teaches Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law and Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct faculty instructor at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus in the paralegal studies program.
Possesses extensive experience in the areas of civil and transactional law, as well as commercial litigation and have been in practice since 1998. I addition I have done numerous blue sky and SEC exempt stock sales, mergers, conversions from corporations to limited liability company, and asset purchases. I have worked in commercial litigation, corporate and transactional law, intellectual property and bankruptcy. In recent years I have expanded my practice to include family law, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.