Download and customize freelancer invoice templates

PayPal Editorial Staff

PayPal Editorial Staff

January 15, 2023

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If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably responsible for much more than the services you provide clients. From administrative tasks and monthly billing to meetings and business development, freelancers are exposed to all aspects of running an operation. And that includes sending and managing invoices to get paid.

If you need a better way to bill clients, our freelancer invoice can help. This professional-looking template can be customized to fit your business, allowing you to save your company’s logo and contact information, plus customize the overall design with graphics and colors.

Create your freelance invoice using PayPal’s invoice generator

Start by downloading a sample freelancer invoice template in Word, or by generating one using our invoice template tool. Then customize your freelancer invoice following the instructions below.

Please note the downloadable Microsoft Word invoice template doesn’t include the built-in online invoicing features of PayPal Invoicing, and the invoice design may not be formatted correctly if you export it to Excel.

How to customize a freelance invoice

To customize your freelancer invoice template, upload your freelancer logo and enter your details. At a minimum, your template should include basic information about your freelance business as well as the details of the service you’re providing to your client.

  1. Your contact information

    Every freelance invoice should include your name and/or your freelance business name, as well as your phone number, email address, and company website (if applicable).

  2. Your client information

    You don’t want to accidentally bill the wrong person, so make sure your client information is clearly indicated. Aim to include at least an email address and phone number. The client’s physical mailing address is a bonus.

  3. Indicate the invoice #

    There are numerous ways you can assign an invoice number. If you're using a Microsoft Excel sheet as a ledger, you may find that the simplest is chronological—use the next number in the numerical series. But that may not be intuitive and can quickly become a mouthful. (You don’t want your clients, or your team, to refer to invoice #492485720934.) You can work around this by breaking your invoice number into multiple parts, like using a unique client number with a variable project number. So, customer number 45 hires you for another project—the tenth one this year—you could list that on the service invoice as #45-0010.

  4. Add the invoice date

    This should be the day you sent the bill, not the day you created it. Make sure your invoice date, payment terms, and due date line up: If your payment terms are 30 days, then the due date should be exactly 30 days from your invoice date. And, use this date format to solve for international differences: Month (spelled out), date, year. (Example: December 28, 2022)

  5. Preview your freelance invoice

    Review your invoice before you send it off. Make sure to proofread it and ensure all information is correct.

  6. Send it to your client

    If you’re emailing your invoice, make sure to include a clear, descriptive, and accurate subject line. If you’re using PayPal Invoicing, you can simply click ‘Send’ to have PayPal send your invoice or you can select “Share link myself” to share the invoice link in your own email, text, or chat message.

  7. Get ready to get paid

    With PayPal Invoicing, your clients will automatically have the option to pay using their preferred payment method.

    Invoicing tip: PayPal Invoicing can get businesses paid fast. In a recent study, 79% of PayPal invoices are paid within one day of sending the invoice1.

What should an invoice include?

In addition to the information above, freelancer invoices should include a thorough service details section.

Here are a few suggestions on what you may want to include:

  • Service date: This is the date you performed the service.
  • Payment due date: This is the date the payment is due.
  • Service description: Describe what service you performed. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you may want to say something like “Created a new logo design for project A – 3.5 hours.” When you fully explain what you’re billing for, you may help avoid client follow-ups later.
  • Payment billing rate: Indicate whether you’re billing by hour, quantity, or flat rate.
  • Notes: Though this is not required, some freelancers choose to add a personal note to the bottom of their invoice, such as “Thanks for working collaborating with us!” or “We look forward to the next project!”
  • Payment terms: Include payment terms here and conditions, including how you handle late or early payments. If you’re sending your sample invoice to an international client or vendor, clarify which currency you’re invoicing in and add any local or industry-related requirements for your sample invoice.

Invoicing tip: With PayPal Invoicing, we’ll automatically help you calculate the due date. And if you’re sending internationally, we’ll automatically display the correct date in the proper format for your customer.

When to send a freelance invoice?

Knowing when to send an invoice as a freelancer depends on the service you’re providing and the project you’re working on, as well as the agreed-upon billing terms with your client (such as hourly or project fee). For instance, if you contribute five monthly social media graphics to a client, you may want to use a recurring flat-rate invoice sent on the first of every month. On the other hand, if you’re billing for a one-time infographic project that is based on hours billed, you may want to send your invoice immediately after the work is completed. Find out about recurring invoices.

Make sure to use an invoice tracker to keep tabs on what you’ve billed for, what’s been paid, and what is still outstanding.

Freelance billing by occupation

Depending on the field you’re in, there are many different ways you can bill your clients. Most industries follow a general set of standards:

  • Freelancers in all fields can default to billing by agreed-upon project rates after the completion of work.
  • Per word, per graphic, and per article are generally used for creative professionals.
  • Per-hour or time tracking can also work for all types of consultants. However, if you decide to time track, make sure to set expectations with your client. In other words, what is the most time you can spend on a project without exceeding their budget?
Which freelance services is PayPal invoicing suitable for?

Our freelancer invoice template can work for professionals in a range of industries, including:

  • Writers, editors, and proofreaders
  • Marketing consultants
  • Transcribers
  • Tutors
  • Graphic designers
  • Legal consultants
  • Accountants or bookkeepers
  • Management consultants
  • Notaries
  • Actors or voice actors
  • Web designers
  • Photographers
  • Interior designers
  • Videographers

Note: Some industries may require mentioning specific terms and conditions on your template, so be sure to check the special requirements for your freelancing business.

If you don’t see your specialty listed here, it doesn’t mean this invoice template can’t work for you. In fact, this template allows complete customization, so if you’re billing for any type of product or service, you can modify this invoice template to your needs.

Download your freelancer invoice and watch the video below. To access more features, sign up for a PayPal Business account.

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