An invoice is a simple document that formally requests payment from your client, allows for better record-keeping both for you and your client, and provides payment instructions to the client. In my opinion, an invoice is the second-most important document you should be using as a cartoonist/illustrator (after a contract, of course). However, it’s obvious that as artists, we’re not necessarily the most adept at business practices, so I decided to lend a helping hand and show you what an effective invoice looks like (and provide you with a sample).
What to Include in Your Invoice
- A unique invoice number for personal record-keeping.
- Formal request for payment from the client.
- List of items or services and their individual costs.
- Total cost.
- Instructions and deadline for payment.
- Your contact information.
Every invoice should have a unique number on it (“invoice number”). This will help you tell them apart from other invoices, especially with repeat clients. It’s also much better for record-keeping than using the client’s name/company and date.
How to Send an Invoice
You can send invoices to your clients any way you wish; e-mail, fax, mail, whatever. As long as they reach them.
Invoices are Not Agreements
An invoice is not an agreement document, so you do not have to sign it or request a signed copy from your client. Some people include contract-like terms in their invoices and say that making a payment for that invoice constitutes an agreement on the client’s behalf to those terms. This is a sleazy method of getting a client to agree to something that wasn’t included in the original contract. Don’t do this.
Free Invoice Template
Now that you’re familiar with the purpose of an invoice, feel free to examine and use the following invoice template: