Advice - General / Getting your money / An invoice - defined

An invoice is your formal announcement to your client that they owe you money.

Invoices may be sent along with delivered work, or at some other point agreed with the client.

Remember that any invoice must include at least:

  • its date - when the money became due;
  • a brief description of the work, or rather the licence to use work, the freelance is invoicing for;
  • the amount due;
  • the freelance's address;
  • and any other information which the client says they require to make payment, such as "BACS" data (see "BACS to basics" linked below) or an order number (see here).

It certainly does no harm to give it the headline "Invoice".

Freelances may choose to give each of their invoices a unique number - an "invoice number", oddly enough - if these help them track who owes what, but these are not compulsory.

See our example invoice (Word document). Remember to change all the example details in red!

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Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.