Create an invoice! Just started your own business and not sure how to create your first invoice? Then you’ve come to the right place. This free tutorial covers everything you need to know. Simply open Excel, then follow the steps below. If you’re in a hurry you can also download our free, ready-made template instead.
There are three key dates you need to include on your invoice, all in the top right corner. The first is when your invoice was created. It may seem obvious, but it can differ from when you provided your goods or services (a.k.a. the supply date). The third one is the due date for your invoice, which is typically 30 days after it was created.
2. Contact Details
You need to add your own contact details, which are best placed in the footer of your invoice. These include your name, address, phone number and email. If you’re a limited company, include your company number. (If you’re registered under one name but trade under a different one, include both.)
Your client’s details go in the top left corner. If you provide your services through an agency, it’s common practice to enter the agency as the client.
Here’s an example (taken from our invoicing software):
3. Legal Requirements
There’s a bit more information you need to add to your invoice to ensure you’re legally compliant. Ensure that each and every invoice has a unique number, and try to stick to sequential numbering. Don’t throw away any spoiled or unused invoices in this sequence, just in case the tax man asks for them!
A lot of companies start their invoicing sequence with a number higher than 1. Why not start with 1250 instead 0001. You don’t want your client to know if they’re the first invoice you’ve ever sent out!
HMRC has certain guidelines you need stick to when it comes to VAT and record keeping. First off, if you’re VAT registered, include this number on each and every invoice. Also show the price of every item before, and after, VAT. This includes the unit price excluding VAT, the applicable VAT rate, and the gross amount due.
Here’s another example:
When calculating totals you need to specify the total amount of VAT, and the overall total for the invoice. Even if you’re not VAT registered, try to include as much information as possible. It’s good bookkeeping practice.
4. Payment Details
Specify when and how you’d like the invoice to be paid, and include all relevant information (eg. your bank name, account number and sort code). A good place for this is the footer, next to your contact details.
Adding a reference number for the payment will make it easier to track in your bank account (you can use invoice number for this). If the customer has given you a purchase order (PO) number, include this too.
Something that is often overlooked when it comes to invoicing is the exposure and advertising potential it brings. This invoice represents your business brand, so make sure it reflects what you want it to say about your business.
Add your logo and choose an appropriate tone for your product descriptions and thank you messages.
And there you go – ready to invoice!! These five points cover all the essentials of what you need to include in your invoices. But if you’ve got any other questions please fill in the box below. We’d love to hear from you.
Zervant’s invoicing software.
The easiest way to create and send invoices!
Our invoicing software is quicker and easier than making your own invoices or using Excel templates. It’s also free.