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What to include in your Australian small business invoice template

4-minute read

Looking for a smart Australian invoice template for your business? We’ve compiled some tips to help you send professional-looking invoices to your customers.

Key take-outs
  • Find a template or design your own
  • Include the correct information on every invoice
  • Make it easy for your customers to pay

It pays to look professional

You’ve done a superb job, your customer is delighted, but then you present them with a hastily handwritten invoice tainted with the residue of your clean up. Does this sound familiar?


Now imagine finishing up your job, spending a couple of minutes on your smartphone, and seconds later having a professional-looking invoice email arrive in your customer’s inbox.


This is the smart way to finish a project and leaves a great impression for the next time your services are needed.


You’ll find plenty of invoice templates online. Or, you could design your own using the Australian Tax Office voluntary standards, which explain what has to be included. 

What needs to be on my invoice template?

The Australian Government Business website provides the latest information regarding what to include on invoice templates and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website features examples of tax invoices.


If you choose to design your own invoice template, you may wish to use the below as a guide to the elements to feature. 


1. A unique identifier

Usually this would be an invoice number that rises sequentially with each invoice you send out. 


2. The date of the invoice

That is, the date of issue – which is not necessarily the date on which products or services were supplied.


3. Your information:

  • Business name – if you are a sole trader or freelancer you can use your personal name
  • Business address
  • Contact details
At the top you’ll need the word ‘Invoice’ – or the words ‘Tax invoice’ if you are registered for and charging GST 1.  
4. Your customer’s information

It is not compulsory to include the business name and address of your customer for invoices of less than $1,000 (including GST), but it makes sense to do so – and including the name of an individual may help get the invoice addressed quicker.


For tax invoices for sales of $1000 or more (including GST) you must include the buyer’s identity or ABN3.


5. Details of the goods/services bought:


If you are designing your own invoice template, you need to accommodate a brief list of the items sold and/or services provided including quantities and prices – along with the goods and services tax (GST) amount payable (if applicable). The GST amount for each item has to be displayed separately, or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, you can use a statement such as ‘Total price includes GST’.


For a non-tax invoice, include the statement ‘No GST has been charged’ or show the GST amount as zero3.


6. Payment due date and how to pay


To assist in you getting paid promptly, your invoice template should include these two important pieces of information.

How can I help make it easier to get paid?

If you’re creating your own invoice template, make sure you include the payment methods you accept (i.e. your business bank account details and/or how customers can pay via credit card). When deciding on the payment methods to offer, it’s worth remembering that making it easy for your customers to pay may encourage faster payments.


Somewhere on your template, ask your customer to include the invoice number as a reference, so that it’s simple to reconcile their payment against your invoice. 


Read more

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Waiting around to get paid? Here are some steps you could take to ensure your invoices get paid on time. 

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The information in this article (including any related to tax) is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account and does not constitute tax advice. Taxation considerations are general and based on certain taxation laws and regulations  as at 03.03. 2020  and may be subject to change. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions.