Small business owners, freelancers included, have to send invoice templates to their clients at one point or another. The method you choose to invoice is totally up to you. If you are using traditional methods, it is time to change your strategy to using invoicing software. Currently, efficient small business owners use free invoice builders and online invoice generating systems. The value of such systems makes them an affordable and great tool.
An online invoice generating system has many benefits. Unfortunately, many small business owners do not know this or have never heard about the benefits of using the same. The only way you can understand the importance of such a PDF invoice generator is by knowing its benefits to your business.
Use our invoice generator to build your invoice, specify due dates, and send your invoices directly to your client
Presenting your services as a proficient independent contractor is crucial. One excellent opportunity to do this is creating a great impression on your clients through your invoicing. It also allows you to complete your freelance assignment on a high note. Numerous invoice generators exit out there and it may be a challenge to decide which one fits into your operation.
Your desire may be to generate professionally slick looking invoices and maybe process other business transactions. There are free and premiums options available. You could go for basic looking items or one with options to edit as you go along.
Below are some of the general classifications of PDF invoice generators for you to pick from:
Crunch has a range of simple and sleek invoice generators. Their design covers the specific needs of freelancers, small business owners, and contractors in mind. These generators give you various additional advantages that include options for calculating Value Added Tax and editing with Google Drive and Excel.
These free invoice builder service types will simply give you an invoice that has features you require. This service will not attempt to sell you any other services as other free generators want to do. It allows you to create and then post a professional looking PDF-based invoice over the internet.
In addition, it automatically does your taxation and totals calculations for you. It is simple and free. According to this site, you will encounter no adverts and the service provider will not entice you to upgrade to paid-up services. This can be rather refreshing once you have gone through other generators.
This is a one hundred percent free invoice generator service type. No online registration is required of you to access this service as a freelancer. You will not require an account to generate and operate invoices for your clients.
This kind of service also allows you to upload your own company logo and choose from a big palette of color schemes and item types. Should you happen to have international clients, this service allows you to generate invoices with your preferred currency.
This generator has numerous options to choose from for anyone uncomfortable with invoicing. It allows payment tracking, gives automatic notices on late payments, and enables credit card transactions. It works with sixteen languages and forty-seven currencies, according to this site.
The following are 15 benefits of online invoice generators that will help you understand why they are important to your business:
In a business, you are likely to look for ways and means to cut costs. For a business to thrive, you will need to ensure all costs are reduced if you are to make a profit. All freelancers need to send a freelance invoice template to their clients at one point or another. Using old fashioned methods such as paper invoices may be costly. Costs associated with postage stamps, envelopes, and invoice sheets can be reduced when you use an online invoice generator. All you need is an internet connection and a computer. With a few clicks, you can generate an invoice and send it to your client.
As a freelancer, you know how important it is to save time. If you are handling more than one client, you need to maximize the use of your time. Sometimes you may find yourself needing to spend more than eight hours a day to work on your projects especially if you're in a web design business. With this in mind, creating an invoice that will take some of your time and may affect your turnaround times on projects. Knowing how to make an invoice online using a free invoice builder will ensure you do not lose precious time creating an invoice. A good invoice builder will create your invoice in less than five minutes. All you need to do is fill in the necessary information and let the PDF invoice generator do its work. Traditional methods of creating an invoice will have some time setback.
Having your finances in order is crucial for your freelance business. If you use normal invoicing methods, you may have trouble organizing your invoices. At the same time, you may fail to remember the invoices that have been paid and those that may be outstanding. Lack of organization leads to loss of revenue due to unpaid invoices.
An online invoice generator can help you avoid being disorganized. They have a section where you are able to manage your invoices. For example, if you sent an invoice seven days ago, you can have the PDF invoice generator remind you to contact the client and ask for your payment. This kind of organization saves you money and time. Additionally, you can have an idea of how much money you have been making for a particular period.
Freelancers always use a software on their computer to keep their records. This can be in the form of a spreadsheet or accounting software. The problem with using such a method is you are unable to access the information when you are on the move. For instance, you may get an email from a client who wants to pay you, but they do not have an invoice. Since it may be on your computer, you may not be able to provide this information on an on-demand basis.
With an online generator, you will be able to access your invoices from any location in the world. If a client request for an invoice, all you need to do is access your records using the internet. This means you will avoid unnecessary delays and inconveniences associated with going back to your home or office to access the invoice.
Running a freelance business is not easy. When you are starting up, you will have very few clients. This means you can be able to monitor their payments and the invoices you need to send to them. However, if you are good at what you do, your business is likely to expand. More photography clients mean more photography invoice templates to manage, for example.
Working and managing invoices is not an easy task. The more clients you have, the higher the risk of forgetting to send an invoice. The good thing about online freelance invoice generator and a free invoice builder is a reminder. Let’s say you had a client who was to pay you after 14 days. During this period, there is a high probability of you forgetting to ask for payment. Reminders are a feature of most, if not all, online invoice generators. The reminder will ensure you get your payments when they are due.
You will come across many types of clients as a freelancer. Some are honest while others will take advantage of your laxity. There is a “read receipt” feature you will come across in the majority of online invoice generators. This feature tells you when the client has received and read the invoice. If a client claims they did not get it, you will have proof to show when they got it and when they read it. In case of disputes that result in litigation, the read receipt feature can be used as evidence in court.
Writing an invoice, especially when you are tired may lead to some errors. You may end up overcharging or undercharging the client. If your freelancing business has grown and you have many clients, you may end up invoicing one client for a project you did for another client. This confusion wastes a lot of time and may portray you as an amateur and won't help you secure a retainer agreement from your clients.
To avoid errors, you will need to use an online freelance invoice generator. It will deal with issues such as invalid numbers or missing information. These generators have an auto-fill feature, which is used to fill in information that you use regularly. When you key in the name of a client, it will auto-fill all the mandatory information. All you need to do is maybe change two or three areas and you are done.
When your freelancing business grows, you may end up dealing with clients from different countries. These clients may be using a different currency than what you are used to. If this is the case, you may have a hard time converting the rates to suit their currency. Additionally, you may have problems changing the currency name. An online invoice generator accepts all major currencies. This makes your invoicing process simple irrespective of the location of the client.
Language is another issue with creating an invoice. For example, you may be in the United States and are dealing with a client in Germany. Such a client may need you to send them an invoice in their language. If you do not know their language, you will spend a lot of time trying to translate the contents of the invoice to their language. With an online freelance invoice generator, all you need is to fill in the details of the invoice and click on the translate button. The PDF invoice generator will change the language to suit your preferences.
The good thing about online invoicing generators is the ability to customize your invoice to suit your needs. You can use the templates offered to find one that works well for your freelance business. Alternatively, you may decide to create a unique one using the custom template option. Either way, the invoice creation process will be simple and quick. You will not need to solicit the services of a logo designer or similar freelancers - just use a free invoice builder.
Security is a major issue when it comes to money related scenarios. You will need to have an invoice system that is secure. Manual invoicing in your office or home may seem secure. However, the risk of loss is higher than you can imagine. With an invoice generator, you are guaranteed of secured SSL communication between you and your clients. Additionally, all the data is stored on secured web servers. This means you can access the data even if you lose your computer or your data is corrupted.
Reports of your business are important if you are to know how your business is going. These will also help you know the highs and lows of your business. Such information can allow you to plan accordingly and will ensure you get an invoicing system that will give you an overview of all your invoices since you began using the system. This information can help you know when you can spend, when you need to save, and when you will need to be careful when spending money. The information will also ensure you do not run your business on too much credit. It is one of the main benefits of using an online freelance invoice generator.
We all know the need to reduce our carbon footprint. Using online resources drastically reduces your carbon footprint. When you use traditional invoice methods, you increase your carbon footprint. This is a result of the use of pens, papers, ink, stamps, and envelopes. The best way to reduce this footprint is by using an online platform.
An online freelance invoice generator will ensure you reduce your carbon footprint. Since the system is on the internet, it will help you reduce the effects use of traditional materials have on the environment. If you are a green person, you will find this to be one of the ways you can help save the environment.
Management of your client information and billing information needs to be stellar. Most freelancers who have trouble finding their client information experience this because they have multiple applications for storing this kind of information. You may find it hard to track down a particular client. This may mean you will waste a lot of time trying to find the details of a particular client. You can only be comfortable when you use an free invoice builder to keep such information.
Billing information is another problem for freelancers. If you have more than five clients, it will be quite a challenge to keep all their billing information in your head. Using a paper system is risky due to loss of documents and other risks. The best way to keep this information safe is by using a central application to store this data.
There is nothing as important as data backup for any business. The same case applies to your invoices. As a freelancer, you will want to avoid the nightmare associated with losing data. Having a platform that can automatically backup your data will be a plus for you. The good thing about any online freelance invoice generator is a backup feature. This feature ensures all your invoicing data is backed up automatically.
Should you experience any power outages, data corruption of any kind, or burglary, you will find your data saved in the cloud. This means you will not need to spend time and other resources looking for your data. This is important as it will ensure you do not lose any of the invoices you had created.
All freelancers want to look professional in every way they can. This means they will need to do everything in their power to ensure they portray this image. By using an online freelance invoice generator, you will show your current and potential clients you are up to date with technology. Freelancers mostly use online tools. An online invoice generator shows you are up to date with modern methods of doing business. As a result, it gives your clients additional confidence in your skills.
An online invoice is a web-based invoice template you can customize and send to clients. Some online invoices offer payment integrations, so your customers can pay using a credit card, PayPal, and other methods.
While online invoices are web-based, most platforms allow you and your clients to download a PDF invoice and print it for record-keeping.
Most online invoice makers will offer several fields and sections for you to customize. Here are some of the essential elements of any invoice.
Every new invoice must have a unique number for record-keeping purposes. While there are no rules for invoice numbers, we do recommend some best practices:
Every invoice must include your business info and contact details. If you're invoicing as a freelancer, include your name as it appears on your personal tax identification number with your local government. Your business name and contact details should include:
Your client's details will include the same company information we outlined above, but there may be a couple of additions or acceptions:
An invoice template will usually have two dates:
If the invoice is COD (cash on delivery), then make your invoice and due dates the same.
An invoice description of goods and services provided usually includes three to five columns:
The subtotal section of an invoice usually includes space for three components:
The discounts and taxes section must also indicate the percentage used for calculation so your client, accountant, and tax auditors can verify your figures.
The total due is the final invoice figure that your client must pay. You calculate the invoice total as follows:
Total due = (subtotal - discounts) + VAT/TAX
An invoice's payment terms include your preferred payment methods, payment links, and payment details for bank transfers. These terms might also stipulate agreed milestones—for example, a 50% deposit to start the job and the balance on completion.
If your payment methods incur transaction charges, you can instruct clients to add an extra amount to compensate—for example, "Please include an extra 2.5% for credit card payments."
Here are some tips and best practices to write professional invoices for your clients and get paid on time.
To avoid surprises and disputes, always send a quotation and get your client to sign off before starting a new job or task. You can then reference this quotation on your as a reminder.
Use clear descriptions to explain invoice line items, so your client knows exactly what they're paying. For example, "web development" is vague. "Web development for ACME mobile application" is more helpful. Using clear descriptions can also help you get paid faster because clients don't have to ask for additional explanations.
Avoid embarrassing mistakes by always proofreading your invoices for spelling and calculation errors. Also, double-check your quotations to ensure you're invoicing the correct quantities and amounts.
Keep track of your quotations, invoices, and payments in a spreadsheet, with links to copies, so they're easy to find.
Use Bonsai's free invoice generator to create an unlimited number of professional invoices for your clients. Or, upgrade from Bonsai's free plan to one of our affordable paid plans to take advantage of premium features, like:
Bonsai is more than an online invoice generator! Create a Bonsai account to take advantage of our free invoice maker and other templates to create, send, and store all of your digital paperwork in one place.
Bonsai offers free invoice templates for you to customize and send to clients. Choose from 70+ templates for a range of industries, including freelancers, contractors, small businesses, and more.
Yes! With Bonsai's paid plans, you can choose from various invoice payment options, including credit card, ACH, PayPal, and more.
Don't be afraid to remind clients about an overdue invoice. We recommend sending a gentle reminder one day before to prevent outstanding payments. Send another reminder the first day the invoice is unpaid, and follow up with a phone call if they don't reply within a couple of days.
Businesses usually charge overdue invoices per day, based on current interest rates. You calculate unpaid invoices as follows:
Make your client happy with excellent service delivery but do not spoil a good impression with shoddy invoicing. Any of the above PDF invoice generator forms will enhance your moneymaking transactions.
An electronic signature (or —as the cool kids are calling it— e-signature) is a way legal way to give or attain consent on electronic documents. Essentially, it performs the same function as an inked signature and an electronically signed document bears the same weight as a regular pen-and-paper one. They are often used as part of a contract template.
Moreover, it can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any circumstance, as long as they are legally binding in the country it's signed.
There are different ways to sign electronic documents, including with a mouse-click or by drawing a signature on a document using a mouse. Using a mouse to try and replicate a signature isn't an easy task (especially for those of us who aren't artistically gifted), but —thankfully— touch screens have made this much easier over the years.
An electronic signature is defined by The ESIGN Act, as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Simply put, electronic signatures are in fact legally binding and recognized as a viable technology and an overall approach.
From e-commerce to the automation of complex business processes, to succeed in today's competitive world - business leaders must embrace and leverage all things digital. One of those things is electronic signatures and whether or not they are a legal signature. Business professionals across industries are putting away their pens and leveraging the numerous advantages of electronic signatures. Perhaps it's about time you did too.
Another question often asked is around verbal agreements. Are verbal contracts legally binding?
The terms "electronic signature" and "digital signature" are often used interchangeably. However, doing so isn't entirely correct. So what's the difference?
Basically, "e-signature" is a broad category that encompasses various types of signatures (we'll look at those later on!). Digital signatures are one of those categories but refer to a specific technological implementation of e-signatures.
Digital signatures are typically authorized by certification authorities, whereas electronic signatures are often associated with a contract where the signer has the intention to sign. Moreover, a digital signature is comprised of unique features, a fingerprint for example, that secure a particular document. The main differences are in purpose, geographical use, legal and cultural acceptance, and technical implementation.
Large enterprises, small-medium businesses (SMBs), and freelancers can use e-sign software to streamline their business operations. An electronic signature can be used to formally sign a contract, document, or another type of electronic form.
Many businesses and freelancers have adopted services for electronic signing into their tech stack. Some of the situations e-signatures are frequently used include:
- Sales and marketing: An electronic signature allows businesses to close deals faster while saving valuable time spent on admin tasks.
- Hiring and onboarding: Without the paper trail slowing things down, candidates and employees can fill out and sign and electronic forms and job contracts in seconds.
- Legal circumstances: Legal processes can move along swiftly with e-signature software. Share NDAs and liability forms which recipients can fill out and sign in minutes.
Freelancers, in particular, can benefit from the security and peace of mind that e-signed documents can provide. When the freelancer and the client have placed an electronic signature on a document it becomes legally binding. This means that if the client doesn't uphold their end of the deal, there can be legal consequences. Hell hath no fury like an unpaid freelancer.
You're wondering how a tap of a button can have the same validity as handwritten consent, right? Lucky for you, this is exactly the question we'll answer in the next section.
ESIGN Act legislation ensures that electronic signatures are legally binding in every state where federal law applies. Outside of the US, they're legally binding in 30 European countries and most other countries around the world.
Most American states where federal law does not apply have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which establishes a legal framework for the use of the electronic signature, and states like Illinois and New York have installed their own laws to attest to their validity.
In New York State, for instance, the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ESRA act) guarantees electronic signature validity state-wide. This means that all businesses are bound by this regulation and must accept e-signatures.
There are some key factors that affect the legal effect of an electronic signature. Let's take a closer look at what requirements need to be accounted for to ensure an electronic signature is legally binding.
The identity of the person signing the document must be verifiable. There are numerous ways to verify the identity of the signer using digital technology, including via SMS, email, or electronic ID. Obviously, the stricter the identity control, the better the security.
The next requirement is that the parameters of the transaction as hand must be communicated clearly, and the signer must have unequivocally intended to sign the document electronically. In other words, they must know exactly what they're signing.
The content of the contract is particularly important at this stage, as what is legally binding is exactly what was stated in the signed version. If a contract is altered before it is signed, the new wording is now a new contract offer. What's more, if there is more than one person involved in signing the document it's only signed and lawfully binding once all parties have signed.
You'll need evidence that the electronic signature was intentionally submitted, along with proof of consent from all parties to do business electronically.
If you're using an online electronic form or contract builder, you can secure this information with built-in electronic records. A consent clause that requires the signatory to "click to accept" before they officially e-sign a document.
This one relates to what you do once the document has been electronically signed. In the same way that invoices, tax returns, and other important documents must be kept intact - so too must any electronically signed document. A record of the document must be kept by both parties, and it mustn't be tampered with. Any slight change in the document can affect its integrity and result in it losing its legally binding status if upheld in a court of law.
The best way to verify an e-signature is to ensure you have adopted the use of software like the Qualified Signature Creation Device. This allows the document to be encrypted and safe for use even after signing.
Another way to make sure an e-signature is verified is by checking that they pass federal law and regulation such as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act)
As it's easy to forget things online, auto-reminders are vital for e-signatures. If you're a freelancer, Bonsai software can help you stay on top of things with client auto-reminders. So, if they're not acting as quickly as they should, we'll give them a nudge in the right direction and flick you a notification when they've completed the document.
Are e-signatures the right alternative for your business? Let's examine some of the benefits that signing documents electronically can have for your business or organization.
Time is money in today's fast-paced world.
Electronically signed documents can save time lost during the process of coordinating signatures and prevent contract delays. With electronic signatures, it takes an average of 37 minutes to obtain signed documents, as opposed to traditional methods which take on average 5 days. Imagine all the things you could do with that extra 4 days, 23 hours, and 23 minutes!
Negotiations, approving updates, making amendments - all of this takes up valuable time. Moreover, sending a paper contract via postal mail or fax can take days, even weeks, depending on where they're being sent. This, combined with the back and forth interactions prior to the contract finalization can add a substantial amount of time to the approval timeline.
Using e-signature software to create and sign a contract results in an 80% reduction in turnaround time as information is available to all parties immediately. Check out our article on how to sign a contract online to learn more.
Organizations that have successfully migrated to electronic signatures have reported between 55%–78.62% in total cost savings. Creating and signing an electronic document saves money on paper, shipping, packaging materials, and administration costs.
Although these costs might not seem significant at first considering how quickly business transactions add up - shifting towards electronic signatures can yield serious cost savings.
With electronic signatures, important documents and contracts can be signed regardless of geographic location. As long as both parties have an internet connection, they can access, review, and sign contracts on the go.
With freelance and remote work on the rise in today's globalized business world, location flexibility is more important than ever. Bonsai's freelance contract software enables freelancers to create professional contracts with a selection of contract templates, sign with an e-signature, and send them to clients.
In addition to the administration hours, turnover time, and material costs saved when documents are signed electronically, using e-signature software can boost the efficiency and productivity of both parties involved.
A study found that adopting the use of electronic signatures led to an 85% improvement in productivity. By taking away the time spent on copying, faxing, organizing, and transporting documents, employees will have more time to spend on more valuable tasks that require their expertise.
Streamlining contact management can contribute to higher workplace efficiency, reduce time spent on back-end tasks, and improve employee morale - all leading to a more productive workplace. Learn more about how to insert signature in Word and how to digitally sign a PDF.
Take paper documents, administrative tasks, and the sending back and forth of documents out of` the equation and e-signatures offer a much lower risk of human error. In fact, among financial institutions, signing documents with an electronic signature reduces the likelihood of scanning errors by 92% and prevents files from disappearing by 66%. An e-signed document or contract is saved in file format, so they can't mysteriously disappear in the office or get accidentally mistaken for trash.
Alongside the risk of human error is the added security an electronic signature provides when executed with contract management software. With robust user verification, contract management software enables businesses and freelancers to ensure documents are only shared with those they need to be shared with.