How To: Invoice and Get Paid On Time
Whether you’re doing extra work as a side hustle or committing to the freelance lifestyle full time, invoicing is vital to ensure you get paid. And while it might seem easy on first glance, if you’re working with several companies at a time, tracking who you’re invoicing and when you should be paid can easily get lost in the process of the work you’ve been commissioned to do. To avoid the ‘I forgot to invoice’ panic, FMR has created an invoice template, an infographic explaining its key components and a do’s and don’ts of everything related to the process.
DO keep your invoice simple. It should be no longer than a page and only include the essential information – everything on our invoice template is classed as essential information.
DON’T send your invoice late. If you’re invoicing for a one-off project, send the invoice with the completed project. If you’re invoicing on a monthly basis, set a date in your calendar (e.g. last working day of the month) and always send it on that day. If you’re invoicing too late then the client may be confused as to what they’re paying for, and this can hold up the process.
DO include a due date. Add a clause onto your invoice stating how long the client has to pay it before you charge them a late fee – a common timeframe is within 30 days.
DON’T be afraid to chase up on unpaid invoices. Paying invoices can often get pushed to the back of the to-do pile whatever the size of the company, a polite email chasing about payment is a common thing to do and will often push your invoice to the top of the pile.
DO send another invoice with a late fee added if your client hasn’t paid within the timeframe stated. If you’ve chased and had no response on when they’re paying, send them another email stating that if they don’t pay within X amount of days (don’t leave it longer than five days, especially if you’ve been waiting a while) you’ll charge them for late payment interest and compensation. Due to the Late Payments Act, you’re entitled to claim late payment interest and compensation for debt recovery costs, even if your invoice doesn’t state it. Use Pay On Time to help you calculate the interest rates.
DON’T forget to keep all your invoices organised, separating what’s been paid and what hasn’t. This will be important when tax season comes around.
Download an invoice template here.