Invoice templates can be a huge help when you're self-employed. They make fee calculation simple, and make it easy to itemize the work you've done.
However, not all self-employed invoice templates are created equal. In fact, some of them are downright terrible. It’s essential to use quality templates and send quality invoices to your clients so you come across as professional.
Let’s go into extensive detail on how to make a high-quality self-employed invoice template (though if making a template is time-consuming for you, just use our invoice generator).
How to Create a Self-employed Invoice Template
Would you prefer an easy, hard, or super-hard way to create a self-employment invoice template? Well, we’ve got one for people on all ends of the masochistic spectrum.
Let’s start with the simple way.
Invoice Generator – The Easy (Peasy) Way To Send Invoices
It’s a cloud-based tool that automatically creates a full-fledged invoice for you. All you have to do is enter details like customer name, service description, etc., and you’re good to go.
Let’s look at why invoice generators are better than templates.
Sending an invoice through a generator is easier than sending one through a template.
Invoice generators organize all your invoices in a single dashboard. They help you access past invoices easily. You can also access all your clients through one dashboard.
Invoice generators automatically do any calculations for you, while templates often do not.
Invoice generators make it easy to send reminders to your clients from a single dashboard easy. Some invoice generators can also send automatic payment reminders. You cannot do that with plain old templates.
Generators give clients multiple options to pay (Google Pay, Credit/debit card, etc.). Templates don’t do so.
Invoice generators also help you customize invoices. In the invoice generator dashboard, you can tweak your change the color and logo of your invoice to fit your brand.
Check out our invoice generator. Also, check out our quick video tutorial below on how to create an invoice using the generator.
How to create a self employed invoice using an invoice generator
The invoice is called INVOICE in the top left. You can edit this to whatever you like. For example, you can call it a RECEIPT or BILL OF SALE.
Enter your name or company name, address, and phone number in the top right.
Enter your client’s name, address, and phone number.
The date issued is automatically populated with the date you created the invoice on. You can adjust as needed.
The due date is automatically populated 30 days (net 30) from the issue date. You can adjust as needed.
The invoice number is automatically populated. Adjust as needed. Note: you cannot use the same invoice number twice.
Enter a reference value if needed (optional).
Enter the service/product provided in the Item field.
Under Item Description, enter your service/product details.
Enter the rate (amount of the item). You will notice the Amount Due automatically updates for you.
A default quantity (Qty) of 1 is used. Adjust as needed.
Add a discount if needed as a percent or dollar amount. Note, you can add as many discounts as you want here and name them whatever you like.
Add tax. Note, you can add multiple taxes and name them whatever you want. We recommend adding your business tax number here if you have one—for example, GST (#12345678).
Add a deposit if needed as a percent or dollar amount. Note, you can add as many deposits as you want here and name them whatever you like. This is handy if you have a large job and need the client to send deposits as the work progresses.
Add a payment if you have received any. You can add multiple payments and their dates here.
You will need to create a free account to download a PDF and send invoices. An account also allows you to access the dashboard from any device.
Click on PDF to see how the final document looks like. If everything looks good, you can forward the invoice through the dashboard by clicking Send or emailing them the PDF version.
Pros of Using an Invoice Generator:
Using an Invoice generator is the fastest and easiest way to create invoices.
Invoice generators make it easy to organize clients and their profiles.
Invoice generators make calculations automatic.
Most professionals use invoice generators rather than templates.
They can send automatic payment reminders and help you avoid the hassle of manually following up.
Cons of using an Invoice Generator:
It’s not free
While you can customize invoices from generators, you can’t customize them as much as templates.
Using a Template – The Hard Way
Invoice generators are the easiest way to create invoices. Templates are the next best option.
To access self-employed templates, scroll to the top of the page to access them in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs, and other formats.
Our templates have all the formulas in place, so you just need to fill in the fields below. .
Your name or company name, address, and phone number.
Your client’'s name or company name, address, and phone number.
An invoice number so you can easily refer to the invoice.
Due date to let the client know when they need to pay the invoice.
A reference number (if applicable).
The name of the service/product provided.
A description of the provided.
The cost and quantities of the service/product provided.
The quantity of each item.
The item cost multiplied by the quantity.
The total amount of all items
Any taxes (if applicable).
Any discounts (if applicable).
Any deposits (if applicable).
Any payments (if applicable).
The amount due.
In terms enter how to pay, how late payments are handled, and anything else of an official nature.
In the notes section, you can say things like, "Thanks for your business."
Click ‘Save’ and then send it!
Pros of Using A Template
More customizable than an invoice generator.
It’s better than creating a template from scratch.
Cons Of Using A Template
Using a template is not the most professional way to charge your clients.
It’s harder to organize templates.
Templates can’t send automatic payment reminders.
Creating an Invoice from scratch – The Hardest way
This method is only for those who love building things from scratch. You can use a Google Doc, Word, or an Excel Sheet to create an invoice from the beginning. Or you can skip that altogether and send your invoice through a text message or email.
These methods aren’t very professional however, so try avoid using them if possible.
What To Include In Your Self Employed Invoice Template
Sender's information: your name or company name, address, and phone number.
Client’s information: your client's name or company name, address, and phone number.
Invoice number: An invoice number so you can easily refer to the invoice.
Date sent: the date you sent the invoice.
Due date: a due date to let the client know when they need to pay the invoice.
Reference number: a reference number if applicable.
Item name: the name of the service provided
Item description: a description of the service provided.
Item cost: the cost and quantities of the service/product provided.
Quantity: the number of each product/service.
Line total: the item cost multiplied by the quantity.
Subtotal: the total amount of all items.
Tax: any taxes (if applicable).
Discounts: Any discounts (if applicable).
Total: the subtotal, minus discounts, plus taxes.
Deposits: any deposits (if applicable).
Payments: any payments (if applicable).
Amount due: Total, minus deposits, minus payments.
Terms: for official language like how to pay, how late payments are handled, and anything else of an official nature.
Notes. You can say things like, "Thanks for your business."
Formatting and Style Tips
While creating the template, make sure the format looks presentable and professional. Use print preview to get an idea of how the client will see your invoice. Make sure you enter all the calculations and details correctly. Style your template by changing the page color, logo, font, and other designs of your choice.
Once you’re done creating the invoice, save it for future use, and send it to the client!
Pros of Creating An Invoice From Scratch
This method gives you full control over invoice customizability – more so than any other method.
It’s free of cost.
Cons of Creating An Invoice From Scratch
All calculations need to be performed manually.
Makes it hard to stay organized.
Why are Invoices Necessary for Self-Employed People?
Here are the reasons it’s important to send an invoice if you’re self-employed
It helps track your finances: Being self-employed is hard – you don’t really have an accountant to take care of all the finances like you would in a corporate setting. So use invoices to keep track of your finances.
For legal reasons: In some countries, it may be a legal necessity for you to invoice your clients. Invoices are indispensable in such cases.
They make the client obligated to pay you: Sending an invoice makes the client more likely to pay you than sending an email asking for a payment.
It looks professional: Sending an invoice makes you look experienced and professional and builds your brand image.
Breaks cost down: An invoice is critical if your product or service needs a cost breakdown of different items.
When to Send An Invoice?
You can send the Invoice at different times depending on the service you offer.
For example, if your service requires you to be paid upfront to support costs, then it's essential your client pays you ASAP to avoid delays in delivery. In such cases, send your invoice before you start the work.
If your business requires you to send an invoice after project completion, then send one as soon you’re done with it — delays in payment cause unnecessary tension, and it's best to get such things out of the way.
If your service is a recurring one, then set up auto-payment reminders (can be done only through invoice generators like ours). Sit back and let the payments come to you without having to follow up manually.
Create Self-employed Invoice Templates Easily
Creating a self-employed invoice using a simple invoice template can actually be complicated, prone to errors, and come off as unprofessional!
It doesn't have to be. Use an invoice generator or a pre-made invoice template to save yourself time, look professional, and get paid fast.