Some freelance jobs pay a flat rate, others pay by the hour, some pay by the word. Regardless of how you get paid, unless you have an agreement in writing stipulating otherwise, it’s a very good idea to submit an invoice for the work completed.
This is helpful in two ways; it reminds your employer that you have a paycheck coming (never a bad thing) but it’s also a way for you to build in a layer of protection for yourself in case of any dispute over the volume or details of work submitted.
It’s so easy for your busy employers to forget or overlook little details (including the paycheck itself) in the rush to meet deadlines and satisfy clients, but the invoice is a freelance tool you can use to keep the wheels of progress moving. Here’s what you should include in your invoice:
1. Your address, phone number and e-mail address at the top of the page.
2. The date of the invoice when created or submitted.
3. The nature of the project and who it was created for and sent to.
4. The exact details of the project including titles, descriptions, and amount due on all deliverables.
5. Your fee per hour, per deliverable or per project.
6. Who to make out the check to and where to mail it.
7. A contact number (yes, this is repeated) in case there are problems.
8. A quick thank you.
It’s important to list this information in detail–ESPECIALLY the cost per deliverable, per hour, or per project. Never assume anything about what your employer knows or remembers about your agreement. Many times these invoices are turned over to a third party to deal with; your document should be written assuming so. Otherwise you risk being underpaid for your hard work. And who can afford that?