How to invoice as a freelancer is one of the most common – and one of the most important – questions every new freelance copywriter asks.

And rightly so. It’s probably the most important piece of copy you will ever write as a copywriter! It’s not difficult though and here are some tips and guidelines.

Do it straight away

The most important thing to remember with invoicing is to do it immediately. Many creative-types like doing the work, but live in fear of administration and will do anything to avoid paperwork. But if you bang out an invoice straightaway, while the job you’ve just finished is fresh in your mind, it will be a lot easier than a week later when you have a hundred other things to distract you. Plus, it’s going to take them a long time to pay you, so the sooner you invoice the better.

What to put on your invoice?

Different countries have different rules, but here are some standard items your invoice will have to have:

– Style – make sure it looks good and designed in the same way as your website and business card.

– Date of invoice

– Date(s) you worked

– Your tax code

– Client, agency or agent’s* tax code (*The Collective’s is NL235850512B01)

– Your address

– Client, agency or agent’s address

– Client, agency or agent’s job number for each job

– Description of the work done on each day

– Invoice amount

– Sales tax (VAT, BTW, etc.) if you’re invoicing inside your own country. If you’re invoicing a company abroad it’s not included.

– Gross amount

– Your bank details (including BIC and IBAN for Europeans. You can get these from your bank or find them on your bank statement)

– All your invoices must be numbered according to your own system

– State your payment terms. 14 days is normal. It usually takes longer though.

– Keep this as a template for future use so next time it’s even quicker

How to send invoices?

It depends on your customer. Ask them. Some like them emailed, other prefer email. If you email make sure they acknowledge receipt. There’s nothing worse than waiting a few months to get paid once you’ve invoiced, only to be told they haven’t received it, so you have to wait another few months. Print out a physical copy for yourself even if you email it. You will need it for your admin.

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