Twelve items to includes on invoices you send to your clients.
Your Full Business Name: Put your whole business name (i.e. Apple Computers Inc.) on the invoice. This is really important, as it communicates to your client that your business is a separate legal entity. It is also important to ensure that if there is a dispute, it is with your separate business (and not you personally).
Customer’s Full Business Name: Same reason as 1 above. You want to ensure that you indicate you are doing business with the separate business legal entity.
Branding: Your invoice is an extension of your brand. Consistent logo, colours, fonts and wording are all important.
Your Business Details: Phone, Address, Email, Website, Twitter, etc. are all important to include on the Invoice.
GST/HST Information: Include your CRA Business Number on all invoices. Also, indicate the amount of taxes paid or that the total includes all applicable taxes.
Date: Simple but important. You’ll need the date for your taxes and so will your customer.
Invoice Number: This will assist with your bookkeeping and will be an easy identifier if your customer has a question about a particular invoice.
Brief Description of Goods: Description, quantity, and price. The CRA requires a description of goods for tax purposes. You’ll also want to include it in case your matter turns into a dispute, as the details will be an important part of your lawsuit (if it goes that far). Remember: if you’re upfront and clear on your invoice, you’ll receive less follow up calls or emails from your customers asking for further details.
Price: Ensure the price is right, with any applicable discounts, special offers or other items you may have promised.
Messaging: Be polite and personalize your invoice by indicating to your customer how much you liked working with them. This improves repeat business, can lead to getting paid quicker and is an opportunity to include details on upcoming promotions.
Payment Information: Include the various methods your customer can pay you. The easier you make it, the quicker you’ll get paid.
Payment Terms: Include dates and penalties of not paying on time. This is especially important if your matter turns into a lawsuit as you may be able to collect on the accrued interest. For example:
Please send payment within 30 days of receiving this invoice. There will be a 1.5% interest charge per month on late invoices.