Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Somebody asked me the other day how to create a basic invoice template and what they needed to include on their invoices. The first thing I'd say is that if you're using accounting software, this will all be done for you, but if you're raising your own invoices using Microsoft Word (*shivers*) or something else, here's what you need to include. This is based on advice from HMRC's website.
A unique reference
Each invoice needs to have a unique ID and I'd suggest that they're numbered sequentially so that you don't lose track of which invoices you've raised.
You need to include your company name, address and contact details, and if you're a sole trader, you should give your own name and state whether you're trading as somebody else.
For example: Joe Bloggs trading as Joe's Bakehouse. You must include an address where official documents can be delivered to the business.
The name and address of the customer you're invoicing.
You should detail the goods and services you're supplying, if you're selling different products or services you might like to show each different item on a different line.
For example: 10 x pastries at £2.00 each.
This is the date you supplied the goods or services.
This is the date the invoice was raised in your system and might well be different from the supply date depending on how hot you are on invoicing. When it comes to your terms of payment, these will be worked out starting from the invoice date.
Each line item should show an amount.
For example: 10 x pastries at £2.00 each. £20.00.
If you're VAT registered, HMRC have very clear rules about the additional information you need to include on your invoices and you can read about this over on their website. These include stating the VAT rate and VAT amount for different supplies on the invoice, and the business's VAT registration number.
You should show the grand total of what is due for payment to avoid any confusion.
It isn't a legal requirement to include invoice terms on your invoices but I'd really recommend that you do so that customers are clear about when payment is expected. Standard terms are usually 30 days, but you might choose to set shorter payment terms.