Invoices are important documents that businesses send to customers to request payments for goods purchased or services delivered. Sending basic invoices is the first step toward receiving online payments, getting paid faster, and increasing your monthly revenue.
Key Takeaway - It can get stressful to create professionally designed invoices for every customer transaction. Using invoicing software for small business, like BlueCart, can help streamline and manage your invoice creation process.
Most of these online invoicing tools offer access to various ready-made invoice templates that small business owners can customize. You can also create your own custom invoice designed templates from scratch.
Before creating or using an invoice template, it is necessary you understand what is an invoice. There are various types of invoices that a business owner can send to customers depending on the project or transaction type.
The invoice template you use must correspond with the type of transaction and payment request you are sending it for. For instance, the invoice template you send for a credit and debit memo will be different from that of a consolidated invoice.
Let’s look at the different types of invoices, transactions they are used for, and free invoice template designs.
5 Types of Invoices
Here are five types of invoices for small businesses and invoice template design examples:
- Proforma Invoice
Proforma invoices are sent as preliminary estimates of sales before a transaction is finalized. Businesses send proforma invoices as written estimates to help with customs clearance and bookkeeping.
How to Use Proforma Invoice
- Review the customer’s order and calculate the total preliminary costs.
- Describe each preliminary quantity, cost, and estimate.
- Highlight the type of invoice when submitting it to your customer and explain that it is different from the final invoice.
- Ship the goods once the invoice is received and an agreement is reached.
- Send the final invoice to the customer.
Proforma Invoice Template Example
- Standard Invoice
This is the most common type of invoice sent by business owners. It has a flexible format and can be sent to request payment for different billing transactions.
How to Use Standard Invoice
- Include and describe the customer’s purchased order quantity and unit costs.
- Add the invoice number for easy recording.
- Indicate business name, address, and customer’s billing address.
- Highlight the payment methods, as well as your terms and conditions.
- Add a link to the best payment gateway to facilitate easy payment.
- Send the invoice to the customer.
- Accept payments online.
Standard Invoice Template Example
- Commercial Invoice
Business owners send commercial invoices to request payment for goods purchased by customers internationally. Commercial invoices help businesses determine the cost of customs duties for cross-country sales. Wholesale dropshipping suppliers can send commercial invoices for delivering wholesale restaurant supplies or products.
How to Use Commercial Invoice
- Include a brief description of the goods.
- Highlight the shipping information including weight and quantity of goods.
- Indicate the type of shipping package used.
- Add the total cost of goods.
- Provide information about payment methods to simplify payment.
- Send invoice to the customer.
Commercial Invoice Template Example
- Recurring Invoice
Recurring invoices are sent by businesses that offer recurring or subscription billing services to customers. For example, a baking subscription business that accepts recurring payments for sending wholesale orders can send recurring invoices to customers.
Businesses use subscription management software or recurring billing management software to automate recurring billing and invoicing processes. This will help keep track of payments and customer information.
How to Use Recurring Invoice
- Describe the goods or services, quantity, and time interval till the next payment.
- Add the cost of the goods or services.
- Include payment details.
- Send the invoice to receive payment.
Recurring Invoice Template Example
- Final Invoice
Final invoices are sent to customers when a project is completed. This invoice is usually more detailed than a pro forma invoice and contains the final payment terms. The final invoice also highlights the final agreements between the customer and the business.
How to Use Final Invoice
- Itemize and describe all goods delivered and services provided.
- Include the cost of goods and services.
- Add the invoice number and due date.
- Indicate the payment methods accepted.
- Overdue Invoice
Overdue invoices are sent to customers that failed to pay before the due date listed on the final invoice. You can send overdue invoices as soon as a customer misses the payment deadline. Some invoicing tools can send automatic reminders to customers when payments are due.
How to Use Overdue Invoice
- Add details listed in the final invoice.
- Include any late fees or interest charges.
How to Make an Invoice Template: 5 Tips
Let’s look at five tips for making an invoice template for your business:
- Branding and Customization
An invoice template is a great branding medium for your business. You can customize invoice templates to suit your branding colors and fonts. You can even add a company logo.
Most invoice designs and templates come with customizable features and you can add all your company’s information. Branding makes your invoices look more professional.
- Payment Terms
Adding your personalized payment terms and note is very important. Most free invoice templates come with placeholder sentences that can be formatted to fit your business. Include your payment details, the type of payment gateway you accept, and bank details.
- Invoice Elements
You can customize the invoice elements in the invoice template. Elements like invoice numbers, purchase orders, dates, and more, must be accurate to reconcile your bookkeeping records.
- Invoicing Tools
Using invoicing software can make the entire invoicing and billing process easy. Invoicing tools come with ready-made templates and can automatically customize invoices to suit your branding information. Invoicing tools can also keep track of your transactions.
- Integration With Other Tools
Besides tracking transactions and requesting payments for goods and services, invoices are great for keeping stock. You can integrate your invoicing software with a warehouse inventory management system or wholesale distribution management software. This will help you keep track of inventory and stay on top of accounting and bookkeeping processes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Invoice Templates
Using invoice templates eliminates the need to create invoices from scratch. With online invoice processing software and digital invoice templates, you only have to input your company information and click send.
Let’s answer some simple questions about invoice management solutions.
How Do I Make a Simple Invoice for Free?
You can make a simple invoice for free with invoice generator tools. Additionally, you can use and customize free invoice templates online. These templates are easy to use. Here are some tools to make a simple invoice for free:
- Invoice template Google docs
- Invoice template Microsoft Word
- Hubspot invoice generator
- BlueCart invoice
- Zoho invoice generator
What is an Invoice Form?
An invoice form is a document sent to request payment for goods or services that a business delivers to its customers. It is usually issued by the seller and details all the items ordered or services rendered.
What is Sales Invoice?
A sales invoice is a billing document that records the transactions of a business. Sales invoices help business owners to track and record the inventory of goods sold, payments received from customers, and unpaid invoices.
Always on Track
There are various types of invoice templates online. However, it is important to use one that suits your business needs and billing transactions.
When creating invoices, make sure each element is easy to understand. You can add notes for your customers that will explain your payment terms. The most crucial thing when using invoice templates is that you have a system that can document and track all your invoices. This will save you the stress of manual bookkeeping and auditing.