Estimate your monthly earnings, after expenses, from freelancing and 1099 contracting sources.
In the business of freelancing, one of the many factors that you need to get a handle on is invoicing for the work you do. It's hard enough to get paid for your work when you have all the proper documentation in order, much harder still if you don't have a professional invoice as a means of officially billing for your freelance services.In order to help save you from this hassle, we have created a free invoice template. You can find our online invoicing tool through the tool above, and then you can follow along as we go over how you can customize it to put together your own invoicing system. Then you can spend less time chasing payments and more time growing your freelance business.
The first line item you'll see is a place to enter your business name. As a solo freelancer this may well just be your name, but if you're doing business under an assumed persona - such as a writer operating under a pen name - it may not be. Either way, however, this part of the invoice is obviously not something that's likely to change very often.Next up is a line to include your address. Reasons this may be relevant include events such as accepting mailed payments by check. Following that, the next line is for your contact information: phone number, email address, etc. Now, you might be thinking that this part doesn't seem necessary. After all, if you're doing business as a freelancer most likely your client should already have at least one method of contacting you. However, it is good practice as a matter of professional courtesy to include such information on an invoice - just in case the contact in charge of your payment has a need, for any reason, to contact you to discuss details of the payment arrangement. Said contract may not, after all, be the same person you spoke with to arrange the project. More on this later.As a side note: there is plentiful white space near this section where you may include your logo, if you have one, to raise awareness of your professional brand.
Below the label indicating its nature as an invoice, you will see a place to include the date of the invoice. If, however, you have any reason for the date on the invoice to be different, you may change it at your will.Next is the invoice number. This number likely has no relevance to your client, but it is important for your record-keeping. You'll want to make sure you keep records of all of your paid invoices, with all the details of said payments fed to a piece of accounting software, so you can keep track of your income compared against your expenses and projected taxes.After that, next up is payment terms. This is where you will indicate the due date for the payment to be delivered, whether the invoice is to be paid in multiple partial payments or a single lump sum, and so on. This is, however, another thing that is merely a reminder as a matter of professional courtesy. For both your sake and that of your clients, you will want to be sure that the terms and circumstances of payment along with the consequences of failure to deliver payment have already previously been outlined in a contract that you will have gotten your clients to sign before beginning freelance work.
The next section you will fill out is one that will, of course, have to change from client to client. This is the section on who the invoice is to be billed to. First up is the name of the client, point of contact, and/or company. Depending of the size of the operation you are working with, all of these may be the same thing. A small business owner may both be the person with which you discuss the work itself and the person responsible for delivering payment.However, this may not always be the case. In a large enough company, there is a distinct possibility that the person who approves your work and the person who approves payments are not the same. Always be as certain as possible that your invoice is addressed to the correct person so that you avoid a potentially very unpleasant headache while waiting for the invoice to find that person on its own.The next line is for the client's company address. Even though being a freelancer, you are most likely conducting your business primarily online complete with online payments, you will still want to have a record of the client's company address. The first of a series of possible uses for this information includes performing a follow-up via traditional mail on an invoice that failed to be paid after being delivered electronically.After this is a line for the client's contact information. Again, it is likely that you already have a record of this. However, it is helpful to keep a copy of that recorded information as part of the invoice so that you remember who to contact and how to do so in the event of an issue with payment. It will also help ensure that you recognize an otherwise unknown number calling you about concerns on their end.
This brief section is intended to include a short description of the project and therefore of the work performed by you, the freelancer, to indicate the justification for the invoice and expected payment. This doesn't need to be particularly detailed. It is primarily intended to be used as a way to tell multiple invoices apart when consulting records of multiple projects for the same client at a later date. You might think of it as something like an extrapolation of the memo line on a paper check.
Here we come to the meat of the invoice, the part that is most directly tied to ensuring that you receive accurate payment for services rendered. Each subsection of the invoice body has been extended out to ten different lines to accommodate complex projects with multiple services involved. However, by no means is it necessary for you to fill all of those lines if the project is simpler than that.First up is the description column, used to indicate the type of work involved in that line item in a short note. Second is the hours column, used to report the number of hours involved in the completion of each deliverable. The third is the rate column, where you will input your hourly rate as a means to calculate how much you are owed for your time.At the bottom of the total column, a subtotal will be automatically calculated and displayed based on the sum of all the line totals above it. The last step that is necessary to complete the customization of your free invoice template is to record the sales tax rate that applies to the transaction. Be sure to consult with a qualified advisor to make certain that you are applying the correct tax rate for the transaction in question. You will want to keep said legal advisor on retainer if you can afford it, as depending on the location of your business there may be other factors that need to be accounted for in an invoice. Only a qualified professional will be able to accurately advise you of your specific needs in this area.Finally, after all of these things are done and you have received the okay from whoever is responsible for knowing anything else you need to know in your area, your invoice should be just about complete. The total amount owed to you by the client will be automatically calculated from the subtotal plus tax, and prominently displayed at the very bottom of the invoice where the client won't miss it.
At your discretion, you may wish to make use of some of the extra white space below the invoice body to help make sure the client is fully informed of their payment options. Be sure to let them know if they can pay you by PayPal, credit card, or any other payment methods that may be available. With that, now you know everything you need to know to personalize your perfect freelance invoice and make sure you get paid on time.
You don't need to make an estimated tax payment🍹
The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%. The rate consists of two parts: 12.4% for social security (old-age, survivors, and disability insurance) and 2.9% for Medicare (hospital insurance).
Keeper Tax automatically finds tax deductions among your purchases. On average, people discover write-offs worth $1,249 in 90 seconds.