Creating an invoice is fairly simple, and in general, most invoices look the same, as they have reached an industry standard. Below are some helpful tips on how to format an invoice in order to make sure your invoice looks professional and follows the unspoken rules in order to get paid properly and on time.

Address and contact information

To begin, you will have a standard header at the top of the invoice. The header information will be in larger font, and should be easy to read. The name of your company should be at the top of the header, or you can use your own name if you work as a freelancer. Below that, you should include all of your contact information including street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address. If you have a logo, you can put that to the left or the right of this information.

Brown’s Books

1234 Brooksville Street

New York City, NY 21258


Customer information

Below the header information, put the client’s contact information on the left side of the invoice. This information should include the name of the person handling the account, the street address, city, state, zip code, email address, and phone number. On the same line, but on the left side of the invoice, you should include the unique invoice number and the date the invoice was issued.

Clark Kent

5678 Superman Drive Invoice #0006

Smallville, CA 90210 Issued: August 18, 2016

245. 678. 1234

List of services

Below this information will be the detail, itemized list of services completed and products purchased. Each service or product should have its own line, and it should also have the date it was completed or purchased, the hours it took to complete or the quantity of items, and the amount due for that line item.

August 1, 2016 – Chapter One of “Blanche Memoir” edited – 2 hours – $25 x 2 = $50.00

August 3, 2016 – Chapter Two of “Banche Memoir” edited – 3 hours – $25 x 3 = $75.00

August 5, 2016 – Table of Contents created for Memoir     – 1 hour   – $25 x 1 = $25.00

Subtotal: $150.00

Taxes and totals

Next, you will include a line item for any fees, taxes, credits, or any discounts that will affect the final total. Add up all of the totals to create and list a complete, final total amount owed.

Taxes – $0.00

Fees – Late fee from July invoice – $5.00

Prior client credit – $10.00

Total amount owed: $145.00

Next, you should include any fine print as to when the payment is due, and if there are any policies on late payments and fees. Some freelancers like to include a line at the bottom of the invoice where they can sign and date the document, but that is up to you.

Invoice design

The look of the invoice should match the look and feel of your brand. Use the same fonts and colors that are in other collateral for your business, including business cards or your website. If you don’t have any other business collateral, choose a simple, professional font that is easy to read. Use dark font, preferably black, on a light background, usually white. Do not use bright colors, or any colors that will make it difficult for your client to read the invoice.

Once you have created your first invoice, you should use it as a template to keep all of your invoices looking the same and consistent. Having an invoice template will also save you time and keep the process easy to maintain.

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Sample Invoice Format

Now that you have taken a good look at proper invoice format, take a look at a sample invoice format.

Generic Invoice

Take a look at a generic invoice to learn the industry standard for business invoicing.

Invoice Email template

Learn more on how to setup an invoice email template