When you sign a contract with your recruitment agency or end-client, it will specify how much you will be paid, and when to invoice for payment.
At the end of each payment period (typically weekly or monthly), you need to send an invoice to the client/agency before you receive your contract earnings.
Once you have had your timesheet signed off, you should send it, together with a professional-looking invoice, to the client (or agency).
If you’re an umbrella company client, you send your timesheet to your umbrella, and they’ll invoice the agency.
Almost all agencies will accept an electronic invoice these days or will create an invoice on your behalf if they use a self-billing system, but check first.
You can read more in our guide to timesheets and invoicing your agency.
What to include on an Invoice
There are certain fields you must include on every invoice issued by your limited company, and extra information if you’re also VAT-registered.
- The invoice must be marked as such (‘INVOICE’).
- Invoice date.
- Unique invoice number (which must be sequential, if VAT registered).
- VAT number (you can only charge VAT if you have a reg. number).
- Your full company name, address, contact information (email, phone, etc.)
- The client’s company name and address (ideally, include a contact name).
- Detail all work done, and the supply date of the services.
- The rate charged per unit (for contractors – the hourly or daily rate, plus how many of each unit).
- The net total (before VAT).
- Value Added Tax amount (if applicable).
- Gross total being charged (net + VAT, if applicable).
- Your bank details (account number, sort code, account name).
- Include your payment terms, e.g. payment must be made within 14, 30 days, etc.
What Happens Next?
Once the agency has received your timesheet and invoice, you should be paid electronically within typically 7-14 days later (this will depend on your contract terms).
There shouldn’t be any problems, but if the unlikely happens and payment is late, ensure you get on to the accounts department right away (or to your umbrella company’s administration team if you don’t work via a limited company).
Invoice Template Download
Feel free to use the limited company (VAT registered) invoice template we used here at Contract Eye in the past (before switching to online accounting). See below for some useful online alternatives.
Online Invoicing Options
There are dozens of excellent online invoicing apps out there – some are free, and others are integrated into paid-for software.
- FreeAgent is a complete online accounting solution (which many accountants recommend too). Invoicing clients is just one of many features. Includes a 30-day free trial, so worth a try. We’ve used it for years here at Contract Eye for our own accounts.
- You can also create an instant invoice online (for free) with Zoho and invoicetome, and many more – just do a Google search for more options.
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