Do I need a registered company name or can I just invoice as an individual?
It’s an extremely basic question but quite a valid one when you kickoff your career as a freelancer. You must have come across some folks who get paid just fine without incorporating any legal entity but simply using their name. So in such a situation, you might definitely think – ‘Can I invoice a company as an individual too.’
Just like any other service provider, you agreed on a project, offered products and services to a company, then comes a time to get paid. As an inexperienced freelancer, you might stumble with invoicing. Remember, companies are wholeheartedly willing to pay for good work, so it is your responsibility to know the best practices for invoicing as a freelancer.
Here is all you need to know about the legalities and invoicing for your freelancing profession:
As a freelancer, you are the brand and you are a business owner. The freedom and flexibility of working independently have influenced millions around the globe and have encouraged them to fly as a solo entity in the gig economy.
Ever wondered how many freelancers are there around the world?
According to research, U.S. tops the list with roughly around 60 million freelancers followed by India with over 15 million freelancers and the list continues with millions from the rest of the world.
Now the question is, does every freelancer have a registered name? Is the invoice which they send, legal?
In most cases, freelancers do invoice as an individual to a company but only in instances like if the invoice
- States fraudulent charges for services not provided
- Requests for funds instead of payment
- Charges higher than discussed before
the freelancer might fall into legal trouble. So this makes quite evident that the invoice should be accurate, true and clearly have a breakdown of products and services you’ve offered with its rates.
Even if your freelancing work is not registered, it is always wise to have a contract or a written agreement that includes all information regarding the service request and the service that will be provided. Make sure all the details regarding the invoice is cleared beforehand, also don’t forget to consider the tax laws.
Related article – Legal Documents to Make Freelancing Lawful
Since freelancers enjoy the freedom to work with any client from any corner of the world, it is essential to learn international invoicing laws. Every country has its invoicing regulations.
For example: If you have clients in the European Union then it’s mandatory to display all the services offered, VAT number and charge VAT. For Australian based clients Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be charged on all goods and services provided. Even in Canada, GST is charged but only on the goods that come under the level of sales minimums.
How to invoice a company as a freelancer?
It must be clear till now that no business can do without invoicing. Not even freelancers. If you are a novice, you need to get proper guidance on how to create an invoice. Personal invoice is usually used by freelancers to charge for their own goods and services. If you have decided to invoice a company as an individual/freelancer, make sure you do it professionally.
Here are a few pointers you need to remember while writing/creating an invoice:
Make it look professional
Whether you opt for paper invoice or the digital mode of invoicing, it should look professional. Include a logo if you have. Also, ensure you generate an invoice following your brand colours and using professional fonts.
The invoice should predominantly include:
Your client’s name and address – Include all the details of company/client you are invoicing so that reaches the right place/person.
Your name and your business address – Individual or company, as a sender it is essential that you include your contact information too.
Unique invoice number – A unique invoice number will always help you and your client later for any reference. It’s good for keeping track.
Date of the invoice sent – Do not forget to mention the date when you send the invoice. It can serve as it can help in further payment issues if any.
Date when the payment is due – This is to inform the client and to make sure they make the payment on time.
Payment terms – Mention payment terms like within how many days the customer is expected to make the payment.
Late fee penalties, if any – If the client fails to make the payment within mentioned time, let them know how much later fee you can charge.
Payment method you accept – Include the mode of payment. How would you like to expect the payment through card, through payment gateway, directly accept the payment or get it transferred in your bank account.
Related article – How to write an Invoice?
Stressed about creating invoicing yourself?
Online invoicing software like Billbooks is a great companion for freelancers…
Hassle-free and professional invoicing software for freelancers is tried and tested by myriads of self-employed professionals. Automate the accounting process, create and send professional-looking invoices, set payment reminders and get paid faster online.
Payment options to get paid faster
Make it easy for your clients to pay and also get paid faster by accepting payment in digital forms like credit card, debit card or integrating secured payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Stripe, Authorize.Net or 2checkout.
Related article – 5 Best Payment Options for Freelancers