When you create an invoice to send to your client or recruitment agency, you should ensure that you include all the necessary information, not only to comply with various regulations but also to minimise the chance of errors being made by the accounts department.
What should you include on your invoices?
You should include the following details on any invoices you make from your limited company (we have assumed that the company is VAT registered).
- Unsurprisingly, you must first include the word ‘INVOICE’ at the top of the document.
- Unique invoice number (this must be sequential) – you may designate each client a three letter code, or other identifiers for your own records.
- Invoice Date.
- Limited Company Name.
- Business Name (if not using the Limited Company Name).
- Limited Company Registration Number.
- VAT Registration Number.
- Limited Company Address.
- Further contact details, e.g. email address and phone number.
- Client / Agency’s Name and Address.
- Concise description of the services you are providing to the agency / client.
- Break down the services provided into units if necessary, e.g. 37.5 units (hours) @ £40 per hour.
- Date when the services were supplied.
- Total amount charged for services.
- VAT charged (at 20%).
- Total amount charged (including VAT)
- Your business bank account details for electronic settlement (sort code and account number).
- A client reference number or Purchase Order (PO) number are typically required.
Many contractors also include their payment terms on all invoices, including late payment information.
Although payment terms will typically be dictated by the agency or client, we do recommend you include a sentence stating your rights to charge interest on late payments under the terms of the EU Late Payment Directive (2013) and Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
Small businesses typically provide 30-day payment terms.
You might consider creating a company logo to use on your invoices to add that professional touch. You can then use your branding on Word templates, or on most online accounting systems.
Ensure that you have the correct details for the accounts department before you submit your invoice, and politely chase up payments which haven’t been received promptly.
You can access a very basic Word / PDF contracting invoice template here.