When your business is working with freelance talent, there are a lot of elements to consider. One of the most complex areas of hiring freelancers is payments, from getting all your workers paid accurately and on time, to collecting all the right information.
For a comprehensive Freelance Management System (FMS), check out Fiverr Enterprise – one solution that supports sourcing, hiring, managing and paying all freelancers through a single pane of glass.
To understand what a freelance invoice template is, and what other options your business has – keep reading!
What Is Freelance Invoicing?
For employees on the monthly payroll – invoicing is not something you need to consider. Employees are paid according to the payroll schedule of the business, usually a salary that is the same each month, with set deviations to account for parental leave, extra vacation days, or bonus payments.
For freelancers, the process is totally different. Freelancers will create their own invoices which they send to your business when they have completed a project or a specific milestone. In some cases, freelancers may ask for 50% or more upfront, creating a need for more than one invoice per project. These invoices may come as a one off document, or at a monthly cadence, and the amounts may vary dramatically depending on how much work they have completed for the company. In short, a freelancer invoice is the way that freelancers ask for the money they are owed.
Key Elements of a Freelance Invoice Template
If you want to create a specific freelance invoice template, and send this to your freelancers so that they all send a standardized invoice every time they request a payment, there are certain elements that should be on the list. Each business varies in their needs, but to start with, make sure to include:
- Freelancer’s Contact Information: How will you reach out to the freelancer if you have any questions about the invoice? Leave a space for a phone number as well as an email address. As well as contact details, make sure to ask for the freelancer’s taxpayer identification number, which you’ll need when filing season rolls around.
- Client’s Contact Information: Add your own contact information, for example who the freelancer contact is for this specific project or department, so that if any internal queries open up about budget or management, the right person can be contacted. This also helps invoices get approved more efficiently.
- Invoice Number and Date: Each invoice should be unique, and an invoice number helps make this happen. Internal searches for specific invoices are much simpler when each invoice has a unique number attached. The date is also critical, to ensure payments are honored on time, and to keep tax documentation accurate at the end of the year.
- Description of Services Rendered: What did the freelancer do for your business? It’s sloppy to just have “Marketing work” or “Ad hoc dev tasks”. Instead, link all work to a specific request, with a name that is meaningful outside of just the freelancer and manager.
- Itemized List of Charges: The same is true for the amount of money being requested. If the invoice has a $1,000 charge for “miscellaneous design work”, this is hard to track over time, or compare with other freelancer projects and output. Each service or task should have a charge next to it, per word, per hour, or per milestone.
- Total Amount Due: Make sure your freelancer has a place to mark the amount they are asking for, in total. This may be converted to their local currency, which can add complexity to your payment process if you’re only used to paying freelancers and employees locally or in your own currency. If there are any issues, speak to the freelancer ahead of time.
- Payment Terms and Due Date: How would the freelancer like to be paid, and by when? Your business may expect to pay NET +60, but most freelancers expect to be paid within 14 or 30 days. Some freelancers expect to be paid a deposit on a project, or immediately upon receipt of work. Again, communication is your friend!
- Accepted Payment Methods: There are so many ways to pay freelancers today, from bank transfers and checks, to third-party payment processors, apps like PayPal or Venmo, or intermediaries like Bill.com. What payment methods do you offer? Add these to the template so that freelancers can request the one that suits their needs.
- Additional Notes or Terms: Here’s where you can add anything you think the freelancer needs to know ahead of sending their invoice. If there’s something unusual about your payment process, or a specific email or platform you need them to use – this is a great place to add that small print.
Creating and Designing a Freelance Invoice
If you want to create your own freelance invoice to send to workers, you could use many template tools that can be found on the web. These are quick and easy to use, and offer customization options so that you can get it just right.
Another option is to ask freelancers to use online invoice generators so that all invoices are the same each time. The only downside here is that freelancers may have their own processes in place, and not want to use a specific tool just for one client.
Of course, you can customize templates to fit specific needs, for example changing the currency and payment methods offered depending on which country freelancers are from, or adapting the terms and conditions to suit the regulations and expectations of each role.
Examples of Freelance Invoice Templates
One way to sidestep freelance invoice template complexity is to onboard a Freelance Management System (FMS) like Fiverr Enterprise, giving freelancers the flexibility to upload any invoice they choose. Through an intuitive dashboard, freelancers can track workload, request payments, and upload the invoice of their choice, simply entering the total amount owed, and a unique invoice number. Your company pays Fiverr Enterprise one monthly payment, managers approve their specific milestones, and Fiverr Enterprise pays freelancers in 190 countries and 80 currencies within 2 weeks.
Instead of forcing freelancers into a specific freelance invoice template, Fiverr Enterprise offers the best of both worlds. Freelancers can be flexible about how they request payments and how they handle their own business processes – and your business gets a standardized, consistent way to manage payments each month.
Interested in seeing how it works for yourself? Schedule 30 minutes with one of our workforce and payment experts, and we’ll walk you through it.