What is a Translation Invoice?
A translation invoice is a document that freelance professional translators use to bill a client for any translation services they have provided. It tells a client what they are being billed for, the total amount due, and when and how to make a payment.
Who Should Use a Translation Invoice?
Anyone who provides English translation services to clients in exchange for payment should use a translation invoice.
Bonsai’s translation invoice can be used for any English-speaking clients who hired you to translate written or verbal communications from:
- Or any other language
While you can use Bonsai’s translation invoice for non-English speaking clients, the invoice is only available in English. It’s best practice to bill your client in the language they are most comfortable with and that they conduct business in.
READ MORE: What is an invoice?
When to Use a Translation Invoice
As a freelance translator or independent contractor, you should use a translation invoice any time you provide English translation services to a client.
For example, use a translation invoice after:
- You translate print or digital content from another language to English
- You act as a professional interpreter between an English speaking client and someone who speaks another language
- You translate audio content from one language to English, such as a video or vocal recording
What to Include in a Translation Invoice
In order to get paid on time and in full for your translation services, each of your invoices needs to include these basic elements:
1. Contact details
Contact details, like your name, email address, and phone number, help the client to find your information quickly and easily if they happen to have any questions or concerns about your invoice.
And including the customer’s details, like their business name, address, and phone number acts as a way for you to record your bill, making it easy to locate and refer back to in the future.
2. Description of services
Every professional invoice needs to provide a description of the services a client is expected to pay for. A simple line for each service will do.
Next to each one, include its associated cost, whether you bill hourly or on a retainer basis.
3. Payment details
Perhaps the most important part of your translation invoice is where you describe payment information, including:
- The total amount a client owes, including relevant taxes, fees, discounts, and deposits
- The payment due date
- How payment can be made (via credit card, cash, check, online payments, etc.)
- Payment terms, such as late fees or interest charges for missed payments
Highlighting these details makes them easier for accountants, bookkeepers, and decision-makers to find, meaning they get approved and paid faster.
4. Invoice specifics
Professional invoices don’t just make things easier for your clients, they also help you to keep your files organized and easy to find.
To benefit your billing process the most, each of the invoices you send to translation clients needs to include:
- A unique invoice number
- An invoice issuance date
Use Bonsai’s invoicing software to automatically generate detailed invoices specific to each job and client to save time and get paid immediately.
Why Should I Use a Translation Invoice?
As a professional translator, using invoices can provide you and your clients with a variety of benefits. Use professional invoices to:
1. Add to your professionalism
Organized and well-designed invoices give your freelance translation business a professional edge. Providing clear, detailed invoices to your clients adds to your legitimacy and helps you to stand out against the competition.
2. Avoid missed payments
Often, clients don’t miss payments because they are trying to take advantage of you. Instead, they miss them because they forget or because your payment instructions were unclear or complicated.
A detailed invoice that includes the total amount a client owes, relevant due dates, accepted payment methods, and other important information helps you to avoid misunderstandings that result in late payments.
By taking a few minutes out of your day at the end of a job to fill out a translation invoice template, you can save yourself a significant amount of time spent chasing after nonpayments and adjusting your budget.
3. Bill your clients
Professional invoices are the best way to formally bill a client for your translation services. Instead of relying on a verbal agreement, or sending a casual email or text message requesting a lump sum, invoices provide your clients with a precise and detailed bill for the services they received.
This format is hard to ignore and acts as a reliable method of communicating payment information compared to texts messages or phone calls.
Plus, if you ever end up in a dispute, a professional and detailed invoice is a great record that you can refer back to that proves when, how, and why a client was billed.
4. Save time
Don’t make your translation invoices from scratch. Instead, used Bonsai’s translation invoice templates to save valuable time by filling in the blanks, like the services you provided and how much you charged for each one.
This way, you ensure you have all the relevant information without having to add it by hand each time you’re ready to bill a client.
How to Make a Translation Invoice
The best way to make a translation invoice is by using a translation invoice template. With Bonsai, not only can you create a translation invoice, but you can also:
- Customize it to include your logo and brand colors
- Automatically generate an invoice number
- Calculate the total amount due, including fees
- Set and adjust payment terms
- Include multiple types of rates, like hourly
- Bill for additional expenses, like meals or transportation
- Digitally send invoices directly to your clients
Plus, you can even use Bonsai Invoicing to facilitate online payments, which means your clients can pay you directly from your invoices.
To make your own translation invoice with Bonsai, sign up for a free account today and get paid faster.
Translation Invoice FAQs
Still have questions? Take a look at these FAQs for more information about translation invoices.
How to send invoices
The best way to send invoices professional and detailed invoices to your clients is via email. Either save your invoice as a PDF and send it as an attachment or link to an uneditable web version of your invoice.
Other methods include sending an invoice via text message or snail mail, however, these methods are not recommended. It can be difficult to prove either were received, and there’s a higher chance of both being missed or lost.
When to send invoices
Ideally, an invoice including all the details required for a client to make payment should be sent within 24-48 hours of a job being finished.
If you have an ongoing contract with a client, you may choose to bill biweekly or monthly, depending on your billing cycle. Your payment due date will be based on when you bill a client.
For example, the date will change according to whether you expect payment immediately or within 7, 14, or 30 days of sending your invoice.
The sooner you bill, the sooner you will get paid.
Who to send invoices to
Who you send your invoice to depends on how each client runs their business. For example, you may send it to the client directly, or to someone on their accounting team.
Make sure to ask who to send invoices to and how to send them at the beginning of a client relationship. This will help you to get paid on time since it prevents your invoices from getting lost or being passed around until they eventually end up in the right hands.
- Invoices: Not looking for a translation invoice template? Take a look at the other invoice templates we offer, including modeling, software development, writing, and more.
- Contracts: Need to outline your relationship with a client in a contract? No problem. Bonsai has just what you need. Browse our contract templates to find one that works for you.
- Quotes: Have a client who requested a quote? Let us help. Find the template you need to professionally quote a client in a few clicks.
Examples of Translation invoice templates