How to write an invoice: Clear step-by-step guide

Panna Kemenes

Figuring out how to write an invoice has been known to cause a headache or two.

Not everyone knows how to fill out an invoice correctly, which can lead to errors that cost the business time and money.

As a result, it’s in your best interest to get a firm grip on how to write up an invoice.

Get free invoice templates from Wise

How to write an invoice: 5 key steps

Writing a simple invoice can be easy when you follow some straightforward steps.

Perhaps one of the most essential things to bear in mind when writing and sending an invoice is to pay close attention to detail. It’s better to spend more time double-checking details at this stage, than spending precious time and money trying to fix errors later on.

There are five steps to follow, which are outlined below:
  1. Choose a professional invoice design
  2. Add company and customer information
  3. Include services and goods
  4. Set the invoice total and due date
  5. Don’t forget the payment terms

1. Choose a professional invoice design

First, you’ll need to select a professional invoice design and personalize it to suit your brand identity.

You want each invoice to look professional, but also to represent your business’s personality. You also want every invoice you issue to look the same, for the sake of brand consistency.

Select the right color for the template, insert the business logo, and add other touches that will make it feel personalized to your business.

You can use the free invoice template from Wise to make life easier.

2. Add the company and customer information

Next, enter basic information about both the company and the customer. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

This step is easy to skip, but it’s just as important. Adding customer and business details makes it easier to identify and file the invoice.

Using invoicing software can save time at this stage, as you can upload customer information to the system. Once stored, the customer details are accurately added to each invoice - saving you the hassle of manually typing it out each time.

3. Include the services and goods provided

Provide an itemized list of all the goods you provided to the customer, stating an exact quantity. In the case of services provided, you can substitute the quantity for hours taken to complete the service.

Take time to make sure you use the correct information for this section. Including incorrect services or goods will leave a bad impression. The customer will also likely ask for the invoice to be reissued with the correct information - losing you precious admin time.

4. Set the invoice total and due date for the payment

Write out the total amount of money owed, and set a due date for the payment to be made. Services provided can be broken down into a total hourly cost.

This provides the customer with an overview that they can take in at a glance to see what they owe, and by when they need to pay.

Extra attention should also be paid at this stage. Issuing an invoice that lists the wrong sum of money to be paid can affect your cash flow and profits if you are underpaid.

If you have international customers, then it is also essential to clarify the currency for payment. If a customer pays in a currency other than your local business account currency, you could end up losing money due to bad exchange rates and foreign transaction fees.

You can read the guide to invoices to learn more about international invoicing.

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5. Don’t forget the payment terms

You also need to remember to include payment terms in your invoice. These terms should lay out what the payment schedule is, e.g. NET 30 payment. The terms should also establish what payment methods are acceptable, such as check, ACH, or wire transfer.

For international invoices, you will also need to include the agreed currency in the payment terms.

Without payment terms, a customer won’t be clear on how they are supposed to pay the invoice. This could delay your payment, and leave you chasing after customers.

🔍 To learn more, you can read the full guide to invoice payment terms.

What to include in your invoice

There are a few other pieces of information you need to add to your invoice in addition to those listed above.

This includes the following:

  • The word ‘Invoice’ written in bold capital letters at the head of the invoice
  • An invoice number
  • Any taxes or duties

How do you write a self-employed invoice?

To write a self-employed invoice, simply follow the steps outlined above.

When starting as a freelancer, a freelancer contract may also be a requirement.

To get an idea of what this is, you can download a free freelance contract template from Wise.

Can I create my own invoice?

Yes, there’s no reason why you can’t create your own invoice from scratch. You can make one using free or paid software, including the likes of Microsoft Word, Excel, or even Google Docs.

However, there’s no denying the fact that invoice templates make things a lot easier. If you don’t know where to start, or don’t have time to draw up your own invoice, a template can be an easy way to create a professional invoice.

Templates also have all the necessary fields for the information you need to fill out, reducing the risk of filling it out incorrectly.

💡 To learn how to write an invoice email or fill one out, you can download invoice templates from Wise, or try out one of many invoicing software options if you prefer.

Receive international payments the stress-free way with Wise

After reading about how to write an invoice, you’ll know there are certain elements to pay attention to if you have international customers.

Research from Inc. Magazine shows that companies are 30% more likely to receive payment if they offer a convenient online way to make the payment.¹

Offering an easy way for international customers to pay can speed up your payment, but traditional banks often charge fees for receiving foreign currencies.

Luckily, Wise Business offers a solution. If you do business overseas, you can receive international payments with ease to your Wise Business account.

Discover Wise - The world’s
most international account

One of the benefits of using Wise Business is that you can receive multiple currencies to one account. Your customer can pay in their local currency without worrying about exchange rates and hidden fees, which can help you get paid faster.

What’s more, you can check your account, move money, and manage transactions. All in one place, at the real mid-market rate that you see on Google.

💡 For all you need to know about invoices, don't forget to read and bookmark the ultimate guide to invoicing from Wise!


  1. 7 Tips for Billing Customers

Source checked November 16, 2021.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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