How to create an invoice?

Creating an invoice is a straightforward process that involves including essential  information about a transaction. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create an invoice:

  • Header Information

Start by creating a header for your invoice. Include the word "INVOICE" prominently at the top to indicate the purpose of the document.
Add your business name, logo (if applicable), and contact information, including your name, address, phone number, and email.

  • Invoice number and date

Assign a unique invoice number to help you keep track of your invoices. This number should be sequential, making it easy to reference in the future.
Include the date the invoice is issued. This is usually the date when you send the invoice to the customer.

  • Customer Information

Provide your customer's details, including their name, company name (if applicable), billing address, phone number, and email address.

  • Payment Due Date

Make sure to specify the payment due date to inform the customer about the deadline for making the payment. This helps ensure timely payment and sets clear expectations.

  • Itemised List of Products/Services

Create a table with columns for the item description, quantity, unit price, and total price for each product or service provided. Clearly list each item along with its relevant details.
Calculate the total amount for all the items and include it in the invoice.

  • Total amount, taxes, and additional charges

If its applicable, include any taxes, such as sales tax or VAT, based on your location and the customer's location. Add any additional charges, such as shipping costs or discounts, to provide a comprehensive view of the total amount owed.

  • Payment Terms and Method

Mention the accepted payment methods (e.g. credit card, bank transfer, PayPal) and any specific payment instructions.
If you offer different payment options (e.g., net 30, net 60), clarify the terms to avoid confusion.

  • Terms and Conditions

Include any relevant terms and conditions, such as refund policies, late payment penalties, or warranty information.
Using an invoice template can help to streamline the process and help maintain consistency in your invoicing procedures.


How to write an invoice

Create professional invoices in minutes

Fully customisable for your businesses' brand

Automatic calculations for totals and VAT

Template available in Google Sheets format

Which kind of invoice should I use?

There are different types of invoice which you could use for different reasons. Here are some common types of invoice: 

  1. A standard invoice is the most basic type of invoice used for typical business transactions. It includes details such as the seller's and buyer's information, a list of products or services provided, quantities, prices, taxes, and the total amount due.
  2. A proforma invoice is a preliminary invoice sent to the buyer before the actual goods or services are delivered. It provides a detailed breakdown of costs, allowing the buyer to review the charges before finalising the transaction.
  3. A commercial invoice is used in international trade to document the value of the goods being shipped. It includes details such as the exporter and importer's information, a description of the goods, their value, and any applicable taxes or duties.
  4. A timesheet invoice is common for businesses that charge clients based on the hours worked or services provided. It includes a detailed timesheet with hours worked, rates, and the total amount owed.

The way you write an invoice can depend on your business. Here are some examples of the invoice you should make based on your type of business.

How to write an invoice?

Creating an invoice for freelance work

As a freelancer, how you bill for your time will impact how you write an invoice. For example, depending on whether you bill per hour, or for a project, you may have to specify the time spent on a project. Outline how you charge when you fill in your freelance work invoice template.

Limited company invoice requirements

To create an invoice for a limited company, ensure that you include:  Your full company name, as it appears on your incorporation certificate  The full names of the company directors  If your limited company is VAT registered, you must issue a VAT invoice.

Creating a builder invoice template

To create a builder invoice, include in the template the work completed, the time it took, materials and products used throughout the project and any other costs or services. 

Creating an invoice for contract work

As a contractor, you could be working in different industries that have different norms for paying an invoice. For example, some industries may pay partly at the beginning of a project, other industries might pay at the end. To create an invoice for contract work, ensure that you specify all the payment terms in the invoice. You should also keep track of all hours worked from the beginning to the end of the contracted project. Specify your hours working  in the contract work invoice template to ensure there is no disagreement with your customers.

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invoice template frequently asked questions

For a VAT invoice, you need to include the usual details in an invoice, as well as: 

  • The rate of VAT for the goods and services provided 

  • The total amount of VAT chargeable

  • The VAT registration number of the supplier. 

Find out more about VAT invoice requirements.

To issue a UK invoice, you’ll need to include the following requirements: 

  • A unique identification number for the invoice 
  • Your company name, address and contact information
  • The name and address of the customer you’re invoicing
  • A description of what the invoice is charging for 
  • A date you provided the goods or services 
  • The date you issued the invoice 
  • The total amount you are charging for and owed 

You can find out more about HMRC invoice requirements.

Payment terms on an invoice refer to the conditions the customer needs to meet.
These can include: the date they need to pay the invoice for, any discount for early repayment and any additional charges for late payment.