Freelancer invoicing in New Zealand: the first steps to getting paid (part 1) 14.09.2015 : 09:54am
Invoicing may seem like just another boring admin task that you have to do as a freelancer. Maybe. But at the end of the day without it, you ain’t guna get paid. So get your PJs on and let’s go through the ins and outs, the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, so your invoice will hit your client’s inbox as sleek and professional as you are.
Right now we’ll delve into all the things that you need to have on your invoice. And then stay tuned for some extra hints that will help you out come admin time.
All the legal deets
There are quite a few bits and pieces that you will need to add to your invoice to a) make you seem legit and b) stay legally compliant.
All the things you need to add can differ by the amount you are invoicing. And the IRD point them out nicely. But the gist of them is:
Your company name
The company name and address of your client
The words “Tax Invoice” featured in a prominent way
Your GST number
An invoice date
An outline of the services you provided and the amount
The invoice amount excluding tax
The GST amount and the final amount including GST, or it must say somewhere that the final amount includes GST if that’s the case.
There are also some rules around the fact that you can only send someone an original invoice once, and that when requested by a client (if they are GST registered) you have to supply an invoice to them within 28 days.
Our biggest tip is to not freak out. It’s not that much really and most of it becomes second nature.
The professional bits
Now that the legal guff is out the way, here are a few things that will add a little something something to your invoice:
Your payment instructions. This is an obvious one but if you don’t put your bank account details or payment options on there, how are your clients meant to pay you? It also pays to get them to add things like your invoice number or a reference when they’re paying so you know exactly what invoice they have paid.
Your payment terms. Make sure you outline when you expect your clients to pay. It may differ by client and you may have already discussed it but setting expectations on both sides means everyone knows where they stand and you know when your bank balance will be on the up. It could be as easy as saying “payment is required within 10 working days upon receipt of this invoice” or something like that.