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How to Create an Invoice (step by step guide)

Posted by Fruitbowl.io | Aug 22, 2020

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So, you've successfully managed to sign your first client and now it's time to send them an invoice so that you can get paid for your services. But how do you go about creating and sending an invoice? What details do I have to include? How should it look? 

Don't worry, we're going to show you exactly how to create an invoice that looks professional and contains everything necessary for your clients to pay you.

What to include on an invoice

In order for your client to pay you, you need sufficient information on the invoice regarding your company, the goods or services that you're charging for and the full amount that is owed. Here, we'll go through in detail everything that should be present:

1. The Invoice Number

This is an id that is unique to your invoice that usually looks something like this: #INVOICE1001. The main point of having this number is that it makes it easy to identify and sort through your invoices in the future. It's also so that your client knows exactly which invoice you might be referring to in case you have to contact them about it in the future. Also, if you're using invoice software, it is usually auto-generated, which is helpful.

The invoice number is usually at the top of the document so that it's easy to see. 

Pro Tip:  Clearly mark the word "INVOICE" at the top of your invoice as it is more likely that your client will pay it on time since the subject of the document is shown from the start.

2. Company Information

This means information about you as a business as well as your client. 

This includes:

  • Your compnay name
  • Your name 
  • Your email
  • Client's company name
  • Client's name,
  • Client's email

You also may want to put your business address & the clients business address on the invoice, although if all of your communication is digital, this is not always necessary.

3. Invoice Dates

  1. The due date of the invoice (when will you expect payment from your client?)
    • As the invoice due date is very important information, you want to place it in the header or near the top of the document so that it stands out to your client. This date is also something that they'll be looking for so you want to make it easy for them to find by placing it near the top.

2.  (Optional) The date that you supplied the goods or services to the client. 

  • If you've already delivered your goods or services to the client, you want to outline the date that this happened. 
  • Or, if you delivered services over a continuous period e.g you consulted for 5 days, you want to include the time period. For example (23/05/2020 - 28/05/2020). The best place to mention this is in the description or memo section of the invoice.


4. Description of Goods and/or Services Provided

Now we're getting to the meat of the invoice! This is the section where you outline exactly what you're invoicing for. 

It's a good idea to include each item that you're charging for as well as their respective quantities and prices. This will give your client complete clarity when it comes to understanding what they're going to paying for when they settle this invoice. 

Pro Tip: Arrange this section in a table like below so that it's easy to understand each item, in a very organized way. You want to make paying this invoice as seamless as possible for your client!

invoice table


5. Total Amount Owed

After you've tallied up the totals of each product or service, you need to display it near to the bottom of the invoice, after the table of products & services. This will be the subtotal. You should also add on any tax such as VAT to the subtotal and calculate the grand total that is owed for this specific invoice.  

If your business is VAT registered then it's also recommended that you include your VAT Number on the invoice as well.

Sometimes you may have agreed a discount with your client. In this case, also add the discount into this section and adjust the grand total to reflect the saving.

6. Payment Terms

This is one of the most important pieces on information that will be on the invoice and so you want to make it as clear as possible to the client regarding payment. 

Traditionally, you would put your account number and sort code on the invoice so that the client can pay directly into your bank account.

A more efficient way of mentioning payment terms is to actually let your client pay directly on the invoice. What this is instead, is a hosted invoice page that lets your client settle the invoice right there and then using their bank card. This is far quicker for your client which means that there's a higher chance your invoice will get paid on time, if not early!

Create your own hosted invoice in 3 steps with Fruitbowl.io

How To Personalize An Invoice

Now that you know what to include on your invoice, let's take a quick look at what you can do to brand your invoice so they become recognisable to both current and future clients.

1. Logo

Your logo is one of the most unique attributes of your business! Therefore, it needs to be present on all your invoices. An easy way to do this is to paste your logo into the header of your invoice, just above your company name. 

This way your branding stays consistent and all of your invoices will be easily recognised by your clients. 

2. Invoice Memo

With every invoice you send, it's advised you include a short message that expresses your thanks towards the client. The usual invoice memo's go something like this: "We appreciate your custom" although if you intend on building and nurturing a long term relationship with your client, you could write something a little more personable. 

Some examples we like are:

  • "Thank you for letting us work on 'X' with you guys, we had an awesome time"
  • "We had a blast working with 'Client Name' and welcome any future projects "

These are just a few examples you could incorporate into some of your upcoming invoices and see how they fair. 

Hopefully now you've got a clear idea of what information you need to include when creating an invoice.  

Invoice Software

If you want to create an invoice with everything mentioned in this article, that looks professional and is easy to use, you can do so with Fruitbowl.io