24th November 2023 3 minutes

A complete guide to creating a business invoice

Invoices are a critical component in ensuring your business receives payment for the goods and services it provides. Here's our comprehensive guide to creating business invoices, avoiding errors, and expediting payments.
A complete guide to creating a business invoice

If you’re making and receiving business payments domestically or internationally, then you’ve probably come across a business invoice. It may seem like a small component, but in the grand scheme of your business operations, these invoices play a big role – primarily because they ensure you get paid for your goods and services. 

There are several types of invoices to be aware of, each with their own specific uses. For example, a commercial invoice, tax invoice, credit invoice or proforma invoice. It is important for all businesses to have a good overview of the information required for business invoices, plus the common errors to avoid when producing one (and how to prevent them). Read on for our comprehensive guide. 

 

What's a business invoice?

A business invoice is a receipt detailing the products or services delivered to a customer. It also includes the total amount due and the payment method required. As well as prompting payment from your customer, a business invoice is a useful tool for record-keeping in your business. 

When should you need to use a business invoice? 

Generally speaking, a business invoice is used when selling products or services to customers.  

Did you know: In accordance with UK law, if both you and the customer are registered for Value Added Tax (VAT), then you must give them an invoice whenever you sell them a product or service.

Creating your business invoice

Now that we’ve covered what they are and when to use them, let’s dive into how to create your business invoice. Read on for the necessary information to include, plus the key steps to remember.  

1. Gather necessary information 

First, you’ll need to collect all the necessary information before creating an invoice, such as any information about your business and client, plus the products or services you’re providing. Here’s what to include: 

  • Your business name, address, and contact details. 
  • Your client or customer's name, address, and contact details. 
  • The invoice date. 
  • Due date. 
  • A description of the products or services provided. 
  • Quantity, unit price, and total for each item. 
  • Any applicable taxes, discounts, or additional charges. 
  • Payment methods. 

2. Select an invoice template 

Once you’ve gathered the information, you’ll then need to choose an invoice template in line with your business style and branding or use invoicing software with built-in templates. If you need some inspiration, here’s our commercial invoice template. Keep on reading for our business invoice template. 

3. Filling out the invoice 

Next, it’s time to fill out the invoice. For this, ensure you do the following: 

  • Calculate total amounts, including product costs, taxes and any other fees. 
  • Double-check details such as provider and client details, product or service information, payment terms, and more to help reduce errors. 
  • Include any special terms or conditions on the invoice, such as discounts for early payment or penalties for late payment. 
  • Integrate a backup process every time an invoice is sent or received for record-keeping purposes.

Once you’ve filled out your invoice and checked all the information is correct, it’ll be ready to send. Here's what it should look like:

Tips for faster payments

It’s worth noting that when you send or receive an invoice (whether to a client or from a supplier), there’s a good chance that payments may not always be instant. Let’s take international payments, for example. Depending on your provider, these can take up to five working days, which can be a real pain for your business. Thankfully, with a 3S Money international business account, you can make fast international payments to over 190 countries – some of them being same-day. Also, SWIFT payments are only $1 to send and $0 to receive, unlike other providers who charge up to $25 per transfer. 

If you’re ready to send and receive fast global business payments, 3S Money can help. Start your application process today and be approved in as little as 15 minutes. 

In addition to slow payment processing times, there are other factors that can sometimes delay your invoice payments. For example, this can happen if any important details are missing from the business invoice. Here are our top tips to consider for quicker payments when sending an invoice.  

  • Always ensure the payment date is indicated on the invoice. 
  • Clarify the terms and conditions of your invoice (such as late fees). 
  • Include a payment due date or 'deadline' i.e. within 30 days. 
  • Thoroughly check your invoice to ensure there aren’t any typos. 
  • Provide clients or customers with multiple payment methods e.g. credit cards, PayPal, and other electronic payment methods. 
  • Use automation tools or software to contact clients who have overdue or upcoming payments without manual intervention. 

Secure Your Payments with 3S Money

If you’re ready to optimise your business payment operations, then 3S Money can help. With a global business account, our clients can: 

  • Reach global markets with ease. 
  • Send and receive fast international payments at low cost. 
  • Be confident that all payments are protected (3S Money is FCA, DFSA and CSSF regulated). 
  • Keep track of invoices and expenses thanks to our intuitive integration with Xero platform. 
  • Much more 

Join the thousands of clients already sending and receiving speedy international business payments with our business accounts. 

Meet the authors

Sharyh Murray

Author

Sharyh is the lead Content Writer at 3S Money with a strong background in crafting high-quality, compelling fintech and FX-related articles. With extensive expertise in the field, Sharyh's writing resonates with a variety of audiences and drives action among readers, whatever the financial topic.

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