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How to invoice as a freelancer in the UK?

Freelancing isn't as easy as it seems to be. Although you get to be your boss, you must know that there are a lot of complications that you will need to face. As a small business owner or freelancer, you will need to manage all the tasks independently.

As a freelancer, you need to maintain the payment cycle and cash flow details. Therefore, you must properly prepare the invoice. To ensure that you are considered a reliable and professional freelancer, you need to prepare the invoice accordingly.

How to invoice as a freelancer in the UK?

What should the invoice contain?

Just because you're a freelancer doesn't mean your business is less significant. Therefore, you must create an invoice accordingly. Working as a freelancer in the UK requires you to prepare the invoice professionally.

If you do not prepare your invoice correctly, many clients may not even pay you on time. Therefore, be extra careful when you are preparing your invoice. Given below are all the details that a freelancer invoice must contain:

1. Your name and address

Even when the client knows who you are, it is always good to include your name and address in the invoice. Often you may come across some fussy clients who may refuse to make the payment.

In such a situation, the best thing to do is to put your name at the top of the invoice. It allows the customers to identify who you are. Therefore, they can easily make the payment without any problems.

While it may seem absurd why you should include your address, it is advisable to do so. What if you are receiving payment through the mail? This way, address can be an important point of contact.

2. Invoice number and date

These are the most important elements in an invoice. You should never miss out on the invoice number and date. Invoice numbers help get an idea of earnings that will be eligible for tax. Furthermore, the invoice number makes it easier to do accounting.

If you have been working with a client for a long time, you should make it a point to provide the invoice number sequentially. As far as the invoice date is concerned, you should make it a note to understand when you raise the invoice to the client.

Keeping track of invoice dates makes it easier for the clients to access all your information. Furthermore, when referring to the invoices later, you can distinguish between them depending on the date.

3. Payment method

Considering the availability of numerous payment methods, it is always advisable that freelancers are clear about it. Usually, freelancers prefer taking payments via PayPal.

However, when you prepare your invoice, you must specify the mode you would like to accept the payment. This plays a vital role in promising smooth invoicing. As a result, you can work towards understanding how you can be paid.

4. Bank Details

If you do not want to accept payment via PayPal, you can provide your bank details. You should always give the bank details so that the clients can verify and work on them.

You do not want to make any mistakes. After all, it is not the client's responsibility to cross-verify everything and provides you with the details. You need to ensure that you're providing every detail accurately to receive the payment accordingly.

5. Breakdown of services and their payment

When you raise an invoice for your client, you should provide a complete breakdown of the services and their payment. This is one of the most critical parts of invoicing.

You can refer to a different online template to understand how to include the services and payments. It is often advisable to mention them side-by-side to maintain consistency and accuracy.

6. Total amount due

The most important part of an invoice is to mention the total amount due. When you prepare an invoice, you already mention a cost breakdown. However, you should also mention the total amount that the client owes you.

When you mention the total amount that is due, it becomes easier for the client to make payment. Furthermore, they will also be considering a well-made invoice as a priority and will provide the payment to you on time.

7. Payment terms

After mentioning all these details, you must also mention the payment terms you and your client agreed to. When you prepare an invoice, you should note proper invoice terms. The invoice terms refer to rules that the clients will need to follow while paying for the services.

One of the most important elements of a payment term sheet is the due date. In this section, you should mention the preferred mode of payment and when the payment will be made. Usually, an extended period of the due date is 30 days.

If you have not informed the client about the payment terms to the client, it is advisable to consult them. Apart from these, you can also include extra details such as interest fee, conditions for early payment, the currency you want to be paid and more.

8. VAT number

Every freelancer needs to include their VAT number. Some services may have low VAT, whereas others may have exemptions. Nonetheless, if you need to file for VAT returns, you need to ensure that you enter the VAT number accurately.

How should the invoice be raised?

Freelancers must ensure to maintain a black and white format for the invoice. All the terms, conditions and amounts mentioned in the invoice should be consulted with the client. The failure to do so can often lead to payment being cancelled. Freelancers can mail the respective invoices to the clients.

Emailing the invoice will help freelancers maintain a virtual record. Nonetheless, both parties must raise and sign the invoice to prevent any mishaps during payment details.

Working as a freelancer in the UK isn't easy. However, you do get the option to work with big companies and acquire huge clients. When you get this opportunity, you should make it a point to prepare everything accurately. Therefore, invoicing accurately can help to be paid in time.

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