What is a Blank Invoice?
A blank invoice is a template that you fill out and send to your freelance clients. It’s a functional document that covers the services provided, the cost per service and your payment details so that clients can compensate you for your work quickly and effortlessly.
A blank invoice template is designed to simplify the billing process. It’s especially useful for new freelancers who may be unsure of the details they need to put in an invoice or how to structure one effectively. All you have to do is fill in the blank spaces for professional looking invoices that create a great impression with your client.
Note: Sign up now to get your free blank invoice template that will walk you through the invoicing process so that you can successfully bill your clients and get paid faster.
What to Include in your Blank Invoice Template
There is some information classed as absolutely essential when you’re completing a blank invoice form. Failing to fill out your blank invoice accurately can lead to client confusion, distrust, and more back-and-forth than what is necessary.
No matter what your industry is, your client would appreciate a streamlined service from start to finish. Delivering this is more likely to lead to an ongoing working relationship rather than a one-off collaboration.
1. Invoice Number
An invoice number is required purely for referencing purposes. Say, for example, you need to chase an invoice for being a week late. You’d have to contact the finance department of your client’s company (or the client individually) and quote the invoice number so they can find the invoice you’re talking about more efficiently.
Your invoice number can technically be anything you want. However, we recommend sticking to a chronological system to make sense of your books when it comes to tax season. Alternatively, you can opt for the date so it will always be a unique number, making payments easier to track and manage.
This part of the blank invoice template is for entering your business and contact information. The following details are legally required worldwide, whether you’re based in the US or Antarctica.
- Business Name: Sole traders must supply their full name and their business name. Limited companies have to provide their registered name as well as their company registration number.
- Business Address: You must include an address for the delivery of any legal documentation.
- Phone Number and Email Address: You should write down at least one contact method so that your client knows how to get in touch with you about the money they owe.
Keep in mind that you’re three times more likely to get paid by adding your business logo to this section too. Put it at the top of your document in a prime location for instant recognition whenever your client opens your invoice.
Just like you have to supply your business information, all blank invoice templates will have a section for your client’s company information. Make sure you enter their:
- Business name
- Company address
- Phone number
- Email address
Remember if you don’t know any of these company details, it’s okay to ask before sending through the invoice. Don’t leave any information missing or you will risk coming across as careless or incompetent.
Input the date that you’re issuing the invoice in addition to the date that the total payment is due.
The invoice due date tells the client when you expect to be paid according to the payment terms you agreed upon before you completed the project. It also helps you to determine whether the client is late with their payment and when to follow up.
5. Line Items
Line items refer to the list of services for which you are billing the client. It could be one or several items depending on the amount of work you’ve performed and need to be paid for.
Each line should cover the service, description of work carried out, rate, quantity and total in a table format. For example, it could look something like this if you charge fixed-price fees:
Alternatively, a line item in your table may look like the following if you charge an hourly rate for 30 hours per week:
Be as detailed as possible with your service descriptions to refresh your client’s memory when it comes to the work that you originally agreed upon. Try not to leave them second-guessing or with questions that they may need answering before they can proceed with payment.
Tax is an important section of a blank invoice template. In the US, 45 states have sales tax, which is percentage-based.
Make sure you enter the sales tax percentage or figure for your state. Failure to do this could get you into trouble with the tax authorities.
7. Grand Total
Any blank invoice template will have a field where you can enter the grand total. This is the sum of each line total plus any relevant sales tax.
Many small businesses choose to put the grand total of their invoice in bold or a larger font so that it’s more prominent. This helps your client to extract the amount without difficulty so they can proceed to pay you immediately.
Somewhere on a blank invoice template, usually along the bottom, there is a notes section. This is where you can list any payment terms and conditions that you have already discussed with your client, along with your chosen payment method.
For instance, it could say something along these lines:
“Please submit payment within 30 days and send the total to this PayPal email address: [PayPal email address].”
Among small businesses, it’s quite common to make the notes section more personal. A “thank you for your business” goes a long way and is a positive way to finish off your invoice.
How to Write a Blank Invoice
Although using a blank invoice template as a freelancer certainly makes running your business more straightforward, you need to write a blank invoice correctly to get paid promptly.
Agree on the Project Terms
Make sure you and your client are on the same page before you even begin your work for them. Hopefully, you will have both signed a Statement of Work contract (SoW) that laid out the project milestones, timeline, rate, and payment terms.
If so, you’ll be able to refer back to this document when filling out your blank invoice.
Ask for the Client’s Contact Details
The chances are, you have the client’s email address and not their company address, or vice versa.
Gather all the necessary details you need as early on in the project as possible to transform your invoice template into an actual invoice without any issues or delays.
Fill Out the Information
Once you have everything you need for the blank invoice template, all you have to do is type in the information. This may sound tedious, but it’s actually speedier than having to build the structure yourself.
Be sure to double-check your invoice for any spelling errors or incorrect figures before sending it off. A lack of attention to detail may affect your chances of obtaining ongoing work from that particular client.
Editing a Blank Invoice is Simple with Bonsai
Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Google Docs are all popular tools for creating invoices. That said, one of the best things about using Bonsai’s free invoice templates with customizable fields is that there’s not much thinking involved. (And yes, we said “free”!)
We’ve essentially done all the hard work for you so you can input the information, simply download your invoice and send it in a matter of minutes. The sooner you prepare and deliver the invoice, the earlier you will be paid.
Sloppy invoice formatting can come across as unprofessional and affect the image you’re trying to build with your client. But you don’t have to worry about this with Bonsai invoicing — our intuitive free templates display the information clearly and concisely so it can be easily digested by the client.
Not to mention, Boosted allows you to automate unlimited invoices, remind your client for payment and issue late fees for the utmost convenience.
Blank Invoice FAQs
Do I have to fill out a blank invoice template from scratch every time I need to invoice a client?
Using an invoice template is a great learning aid for requesting payment from clients, but you don’t have to create an invoice from square one every time. Having a master template for each client means that you only have to tweak the project details, payment rate and totals for your next invoice.
What happens if my blank invoice template has a mistake on it?
Once an invoice has been submitted, you’re unable to change it. Recreating an invoice and sending through a new version to your client can compromise your integrity and credibility as a business owner.
If you notice a small mistake after sending the invoice, it’s fine to flag this up to your client. They may ask you to edit and resend it or make the payment anyway.
If the grand total is higher than the total amount you originally agreed upon with the client, you should send it with an explanation. Otherwise, they may start doubting your professionalism and sincerity.
Getting clients is a tough task. Do whatever you can to retain them, including making the billing process as swift and as stress-free as possible.