Congratulations! You’ve set up your business; got the word out, won yourself a customer or two – now you’re ready to send out your first invoice. Where do you start?
1. Get an invoice template
If you want to design your own invoice, the Australian Tax Office voluntary standards give a good guide on where to start.
2. Put the right details on the invoice
The invoice represents your business, so you want it to be as professional as possible. Not only should you have your business logo, there are other important details you need to include:
- Your information
- Business name – if you are a sole trader or freelancer you can use your personal name
- Business address
- Contact details
- If GST registered your invoice should include the words ‘tax invoice’ and you need to include the GST amount for each item along with some extra details. If you’re not registered for GST, you don’t show these words and your invoice should show that no GST was charged on the purchase. www.business.gov.au has useful information on invoice types.
- Your customer’s information
- Make sure you have the correct customer name, contact details and address
- Details of the goods/services bought
- List the products you sold, their prices and how many were sold. Or, if you were providing a service, include a description of the work you did and the fees involved so your customer is clear. If there is a reference number make sure that is in also.
3. Make it easy to get paid
Specify the reference you want your customers to include on their payment to you, for example, this might be their invoice number. Make sure you include the payment methods you accept (i.e. your business bank account1 details and how customers can pay via credit card). Also, mention on the invoice your payment terms and due date.
Things you should know
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