A Guide to Invoicing for Freelancers

Image of Susan Wittan
Susan Wittan

Listen up Freelancers and Independent Contractors! You want to get paid? Well, the first step is to create an invoice. Hmm, what should this look like you ask?

Here are the essential tips you need to know in order to create a stellar invoice and be paid promptly:

1. Keep Track

Do not rely on your memory to create your invoice. Chances are you will forget to charge for some part of your labor or outside purchase or you might inadvertently overcharge for your hours because you don’t remember exactly how long you worked on a given day. Keep track!

2. Call It What It Is

Place the word “Invoice” at the top of your bill. This immediately lets us know your purpose.

3. Use Unique Reference Numbers

Create and assign a unique reference number. This allows for easy bookkeeping for both the freelancer’s and the employer’s accounts. When you don’t have a unique number, two invoices for the same amount in the same week could be confused for one job. (See the problem?)

4. Include ALL Information

Make sure your invoice includes: date of the invoice, date(s) and description of the work, the number of hours and hourly rate or the day rate, and the purchase order number (if there is one). Separate any equipment charges, sales tax or any expenses incurred. Add all items to create a final total.

5. Be Consistent

Fill out a W-9 and be sure that the name is the same as on your invoice. Whether it is a company name or your personal one, they MUST MATCH. This is the single most prevalent, preventable problem!

6. Triple Check Your Mailing Address

Display this name prominently along with your present address, email address and phone number. Your correct mailing address is essential if you want to receive your check and your contact information is important in case there is a discrepancy on your invoice.

7. Keep Us Informed

Alert us to any moves. Note “New Address” on your invoice. Use CAPS, highlighting, or some other way to make sure we see the change.

8. Include Your Hiring Manager's Information

Include the name and contact information of your hiring manager.

If you follow these simple steps, you will be sure to be paid promptly

TeamPeople is a media staffing company. We work with clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to government agencies to recruit, hire and manage creative and technical media production and AV talent. We combine extensive industry expertise with a passion for what we do to deliver best-in-class solutions for our diverse clients.

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