Running a successful law firm requires a lot of energy and a steady mindset. You invest a lot of your time to stay on top of files, analyzing cases, and be in constant communication with clients and you may not have a lot of time left for other administrative tasks. But there's one important aspect of your business that, while it may seem time-consuming and daunting, you must not treat as a last-minute task; Invoicing.
When it's time to request payment for your hard work, you want to send invoices that reflect your professionalism and cover all the necessary elements to get you paid promptly. If you don't want to spend hours behind a desk writing and proofreading invoices for each client, it's time to create your own law firm invoice template. But what information should be covered?
Let's go over the elements to include in your law firm invoice template so you can bill clients regularly, consistently and professionally.
Note: Want to get paid faster? Use Bonsai's invoicing software to automatically create and send your law firm invoices, send reminders, apply late fees and provide more payment options to your clients. Save time and encourage prompt payments with Bonsai!
Essential Elements of a Legal Invoice Template
When creating your legal invoice template, you want to ensure all the details of the legal services provided are easy-to-understand for your client. At the same time, all information regarding your law practice must be in place for your internal record-keeping. For an effective and functional invoice template, include the following essential elements.
Law Firm Information
Start your legal invoice template by adding your business information such as law firm name, phone number, street address, email address and website. If you offer any specialized services such as commercial litigation, immigration, personal injury, real estate etc., add a few lines to mention it in this section.
For more professional invoices, add your business logo, firm's associates or partners (along with their professional designations), or any industry-related imagery that will help you stand out and be recognizable for your clients.
Next, add a section for your client's information, starting with their full name (or corporation name), phone number, billing address, and email address if you are sending the invoice via email. You may also add the case number on file for more clarity. If you are providing services to a government client or a big company, always make sure to also address the invoice to the specific person in charge of the accounts payable department.
Invoice Number and Date
Make sure to assign a unique invoice number to all of your invoices as this will help you keep your accounting records well organized and avoid payment delays given that most big clients will only accept numbered invoices. Additionally, include the date when the invoice is sent out, which will help you determine the payment due date and apply late fees accordingly.
Legal Services Provided
Your law firm invoice template must have enough space for an itemized list of all the legal services provided. Include a short description of each item, going from initial consultations, meetings, hearings, court time etc., along with the flat service rate. If you charge per hour, it's a great idea to attach a timesheet to your invoices to provide your client with more details, specifying the amount of billable hours spent on each project, the rate per hour and the total cost.
Your legal services may also include administrative costs or extra expenses, which you should list separately in this section along with a unit price and total cost of each. These can be the cost of having a business lunch with a client, photocopy charges, long distance calls etc. Always include a receipt as proof of the charges.
The totals section of your law firm invoice template must have separate lines for you to list the total cost of services before taxes (subtotal), then add the applicable taxes, and specify the final amount due. This is also the ideal section to include any discounts you may provide for corporate clients, first-time consultations, financial aid, etc. To do it properly, subtract the discounted amount from the subtotal before you factor in the sales taxes, providing a brief explanation of the discount.
It's important to make the payment section of your law firm invoice template as clear and detailed as possible. You want to provide your clients with all accepted payment methods such as credit/debit cards, ACH transfer, cash, or online payments like PayPal or Stripe. Don't forget to add the corresponding account numbers, account holder's name, mailing address for checks, and even payment links. The easier it is for your client to pay, the faster you will get your money.
Use this section to disclose your payment terms such as the invoice issue date, due date, penalties for late payments, partial payment options, and any arrangements you may offer. You can also mention any incentives for early payments.
If you have extra space at the end of your law firm invoice template, you can include a section to leave a personal note or a message to thank your clients for their business. This can be a simple generic message, or if you have the time, you may personalize it. This type of appreciation messages can help you strengthen your relationship with clients, convey a professional but thoughtful image, and it may even lead to valuable referrals or more business from the same client.
Use Our Free Attorney Invoice Template
You already put a lot of effort into making sure your law firm runs smoothly and all cases are handled professionally. You may not have extra time to waste on creating your own legal invoice template. Luckily, you can easily create and send professional invoices by simply using Bonsai's free invoice template specially designed for law firms. Send unlimited invoices at the push of a button.
With just a few tweaks you can fully personalize our invoice templates to fit your legal business needs. Once you have adjusted your free invoice template to your liking, simply save it in your preferred file format and use it for all your clients, ensuring consistency and professionalism in your invoicing process.
Need more help? Bonsai also offers you a complete accounting software to help you manage your business finances with income reports, profit and expenses tracking, tax estimates and more. You can also connect your business checking account to seamlessly receive payments and categorize your expenses. Come on board, we have you covered!