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.
What should a professional freelancing invoice include?
If you have decided to invoice a company as an individual with your name then make sure you incorporate your name on all of your invoices. The name which you use for your business taxes should be on your invoice.
Whether you opt for paper invoice or the digital mode of invoicing, you need to ensure that your invoice predominantly includes:
- Your client’s name and address
- Your name and your business address
- Unique invoice number
- Date of the invoice sent
- Date when the payment is due
- Late fee penalties, if any
- Payment method you accept
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
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.