What is a Contractor Invoice?
A contractor invoice is a document that a contractor sends to a client to request payment for services or products.
Depending on the nature of work, contractors usually include quantity supplied along with hourly rate charges or flat-rate fees in their invoices. You should also include important billing information, payment terms, and acceptable methods of payments in your invoice.
You want to aim to keep invoices accurate, consistent, and timely—whether you’re in the building trades industry or offering technical services.
Note: If you’re ready to get started, you can use Bonsai’s editable contractor invoice template for free.
What to Include in the Contractor Invoice?
Whether you run a contractor business or are an independent contractor, you can use an invoice template to create a professional invoice in a matter of minutes.
Easily create the template of your choice and use the editable fields to personalize it as per your needs. Then, send the final invoice to clients in a flash.
Bonsai top tip: Keep your invoice straightforward, minimal, and accurate to get paid faster.
If you decide to go solo, here’s an idea of what to include in a contractor invoice.
You may find this obvious, but it’s crucial to differentiate an invoice by writing ‘invoice’ in the header. Clients work with different contractors, freelancers, and other businesses—clearly labeling your document as an invoice helps them to immediately understand what they’re looking at.
If you’re using an invoice generator or invoice templates, this should be already taken care of and you don’t have to worry about it. Add the header if you’re creating an invoice manually on google docs or microsoft word–it should only take a second.
Next comes the contact information for your business. Adding this section makes it easier for your client to identify your invoice, cross-check it with your services, and make the payment that much faster.
Don’t forget to add your contact details such as phone number and email so that the finance department knows how to reach you in case of issues or discrepancies.
Here’s an idea of what to add in the business information section:
- Company logo
- Business name
- Your name and address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Website URL (if any)
- Company identification number
Once you’ve done this once–you’re pretty much set. Your business details are unlikely to change from project to project, so you’re good to keep everything the same.
Make sure to update your business information if anything changes—like the business address or phone number.
This section involves adding accurate billing contact details of your client. This will help you streamline your accounting processes and get paid the first time around.
Consider adding key details like:
- Client name & department
- Client’s business address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Fax number (if any)
- Client’s business identification number
You can easily get this information either from your client or the billing department at the client’s company.
If you’re creating your first contractor invoice for this client, feel free to ask for the point of contact for invoicing. This person or team will always help you with the right details.
Lastly, adding the correct client details in this section showcases your professionalism, even if it’s your first time, and helps you avoid payment hold-ups.
Invoice number and date
Every invoice you send out must have a unique invoice number and a date. Both of these will help you and your client for accounting purposes. Also, you’ll find it easier to resolve disputes, and manage your invoices in case of issues with payments further down the line.
The easiest way to number your invoices is to do it sequentially. For example, #001, #002, and so on. If you’re using invoicing software or a template, you don’t have to worry since it’s already taken care of.
Companies hire independent contractors for different services, including writing, photography, painting, plumbing, and endless other reasons. Irrespective of the services you provide, it’s important to add service details along with descriptions in your invoice.
You can create a table and add an itemized list of your services for the client. Use the columns to add services, service descriptions, number of hours worked, and rate of pay.
If you don’t bill hourly and charge a flat-rate fee, you can add that instead of the number of hours and hourly rate columns. Finally, don’t forget to add the total payable amount at the end of the table.
Total amount due
At the end of the service details, add the total amount due. Consider adding applicable tax to this amount. This amount helps your client to quickly understand what’s due as on the statement date.
Bonsai top tip: Use a larger font, a different color, or bold lettering to make this amount stand out in the invoice. This will help your client to easily find the total payable amount.
Use this section to mention payment terms along with payment methods and other important payment information. Also, consider adding the late fee policy in this section.
Here's an idea of what to add:
- Payment terms: clarify the details on an expected payment.
- Payment deadline: so that the client knows the due date. Adding this date will help clients to avoid payment failure and unnecessary confusion. For example, you can add Net 30 to indicate that the payment should be processed within 30 days of the invoice date.
- Payment methods: to specify whether you will accept payment by check, debit, credit, PayPal, or ACH transfer. State your preference in this section and discuss it with the client beforehand to receive the money where you want it.
- Payment links: if you have a dedicated payment link that clients can use to make payments. Clearly highlight these links so that clients don’t miss them.
How to Write a Contractor Invoice
A contractor invoice offers a complete account of services provided and materials sold during a certain period of time, usually a month.
Creating an invoice should be easy when you use a free invoice template. But, if you are creating an independent contractor invoice from scratch, here are some tips to follow.
Add the right details
Adding the right details helps you to get paid on time. Before you send invoices, make sure that you have added all the correct details for services rendered.
Here’s what an invoice that’s accepted first time around includes:
- Company name
- Client name
- Contact info
- Invoice number
- Duration of services
- Labor costs
- Flat rate or hourly rate
- Total amount payable
- Miscellaneous charges
- Payment terms
Clients can reject your invoice if it doesn’t include the above—this delays payment and increases friction between project completion and payment. Including all the correct info first time round is a must for prompt payment.
Be professional and polite
Use every opportunity to be professional and polite when creating invoices for your small business. Consider showing professional courtesies besides providing an honest reporting of your services to the customer.
You can choose to include a personal note on the invoice—expressing your satisfaction with the recent collaboration. It’s not a must, but it’s a nice touch after a successful project.
The invoice is often the last point of contact with clients—it’s your chance to leave on a high. Providing a professional service from start to finish is key for retaining customers.
Set clear payment deadlines
Consider adding a ‘pay by’ date along with the total cost of contractor work so that your client is aware of your payment terms and preferences. This will help you set a professional tone and receive payments from customers on time.
Creating a contractor invoice is simple with Bonsai
If you’re struggling to create simple invoices for contractor work, Bonsai’s here to help. You can simply customize a blank invoice template or a commercial invoice template to create your invoice and get paid faster.
Here’s how to get started:
- Sign up for your free Bonsai account today
- Choose a template from our contractor invoice templates hub
- Edit and customize your invoice template to your services
From sending invoices to managing them throughout your customer lifecycle, you can do it all on Bonsai. Level up your business, streamline your processes, and start getting paid on time.
Bonsai’s platform enables you to track hours and automate the process of creating invoices. Furthermore, you can send automatic reminders to clients and maintain payment records as well.
It makes keeping everything in one place easy, and allows you to smoothly run your business projects from start to finish.
Contractor Invoice FAQs
What is a contractor invoice?
A contractor invoice is a document that an independent contractor raises to a company after offering goods or services or both. This invoice usually includes details of services provided, payment details, and a due date.
What should you include in a contractor invoice?
Contractor businesses usually include the following in a contractor invoice:
- Business information
- Client details
- Invoice number and date
- Service details
- Total amount due
- Payment terms
You can use an invoice template to create a contractor invoice for free on Bonsai. That way, you don’t need to worry about missing a thing on your next invoice.