Standard Invoice Forms & Free Templates | Do It Right!

Standard Invoices are the most common invoice formats used by all industries and individuals. Here in this blog, we will discuss everything related to the standard invoices:

  • The definition of a standard invoice.
  • The benefits of using standard invoices.
  • Content and formats of standard invoices.
  • Standard Invoice free templates and generators.
  • Common questions and answers related to standard invoices.

What is the Standard Invoice?

The definition of Standard invoices is the basic invoice format that suits most invoicing purposes and industries. They contain the basic and standard fields required in an invoice to be legally binding and valid.

The main purpose of the standard invoices is to itemize and legalize the transaction processes between the sellers and the buyer. The standard invoice carries a short description of the services or products.

The standard Invoice identifies the payment terms and methods. It also includes the sent and due dates in addition to shipping, handling, and similar terms. It calculates the total and unit costs of the shipped items.

Benefits of using the formats of standard invoices:

There are many benefits of using standard invoices for your local and international transactions. 

Some of these benefits are true for most types of invoices, but some features are only true for the standard invoice. Here are the most common benefits:

User-Friendly invoices format

Standard invoices are so simple and easy to use. There are not too many fields to fulfill and there are fewer requirements.

Account internal Control

Applying invoice format to your business is the cornerstone of your business accounting. They would enable you to easily control and audit your books of accounts. It also speeds up your timely payments.

Finance and Tax Reporting

Invoices allow you to watch the flow of income and expenses. You keep a bird’s eye on your capital. You can compile them with tax reporting.

The Basic Fields of A Standard Invoice Format

You can include several groups of data in your standard invoices. But they are some must-have fields and other additional, optional details that you may include. Here we discuss the basic component of a standard invoice format:

Invoice Details:

For your standard invoice to be valid, you must include a unique invoice number and a heading telling this is an invoice. It also carries the issuing date.

Information Related to the Sellers:

The invoice must include some basic information about the seller and his business. Such as his name, company name, identification number, business address, business contact information, and official signature. You can add other optional information such as the company logo.

Information Related to the buyer:

The standard invoice must carry information about the buyer. Such as his name, address, and contact.

Basic information about the Product:

The standard invoice must include a description of the product or service provided. Such as the names, short descriptions, units purchased, quantity, cost per unit, prices, and total cost. You can also include discounts if any.

Basic Payment Term in Standard Invoice

The Standard invoice must include basic payment terms – as defined below. Such as the accepted forms and currencies of payment and the due date.

You can add other optional details such as terms of handling, freight, and shipping, and then associate their tax charges. You could add the privacy policy and the refund policy if you want. 

How Do A Limited Company & Individual Traders Create An Invoice?

If you own a limited company, or you’re a trader and need to issue an invoice. For a limited company, you need to include your name, your business registered office address and your registered company number.

For traders, you need to include the owner’s name, the trade name of your business, and the address of your business offices.

Note: We recommend adding as much information as possible to the standard invoice. This speeds up your payment without any mistakes.

Identifying the Payment Terms and their Definition

Payment terms are one of the most important elements of your invoice. They are displayed to act as a short contract between both parties to ensure that everyone gets his rights.

These terms would include all or come of the following:

  • Accepted forms of payment:

This would include the currency and the methods of payment.

  • Due Date and Late Penalty

The standard invoice must include the due date of payment. It depends on the date both parties agreed on to achieve the payment process. The period usually is 30 days maximum, but it is still relative.

There are some related terms to this category:

  • PIA (payment in advance) terms if expected and agreed on.
  • CIA (cash In advance) terms.
  • 50% Upfront: This payment term means that the client has to pay 50% of the payment before work initiation.
  • Payment upon receipt means that you expect your client to pay the cost immediately once the product is received. 

The invoice should also include the penalties specified if the buyer delayed the payment. The date is counted based on the issuing date of the invoice.

Some payment terms can describe this issue:

  • Net 7 refers to the net payment being due within 7 days.
  • Net 10 means that the net payment is due within 10 days.
  • Net 21: Net 21 means that the net payment is due within 21 days.
  • Net 30: This means that the net payment is due within 30 days.
  • 5/10 Net 30: The number Before the “ / ” refers to the discount percentage. The number after the “ / ” refers to the valid days of the offer. 

So, “5/10 Net 30” means that the payment is due within 30 days, but if the client pays within the first 5 days, he will get a 5% discount.

  • 15 MFI: The MFI stands for “month following invoice.” In this format, it means that the payment is due before the 15th of the ongoing month.

What is the standard late fee on an invoice?

The standard late fee on an invoice is the late penalty that the buyer will pay when he delays the payment. The late fee condition informs the buyer that they would be in charge of an extra fee if they delayed the payment beyond the payment due date.

The percentage of the late fee could be something between 1.5% to 3% of the payment per month.

How To Implement Invoice Standards To Get Paid Fast?

There are some best practices that you should ensure that you included in your standard invoice. These standards will let you get paid fast with no further delay. These best practices are:

Be An Early Bird:

Try to issue the invoice as soon as possible as the early the invoice to the transaction, the fastest it will get paid. The client here still remembers the value you added. He would be willing to pay right away.

 There is also other online invoice generator software with templates that will make it easy to issue invoices right away.

Send the Invoice to the One in Charge:

You have to only send the invoice to the one who is entitled to pay your invoice, not the one in charge of him. This would speed up your payment process, and your invoice would not be stuck in the wrong person’s inbox.

The Easiest the Better:

Try to make your invoice as easy as possible. By easy I mean, understandable to clients regardless of their accounting background. This could be handled by making sense of the items listed with no confusion. Everything is explained and logical.

The balance between Short and Informative:

Your invoice should be as short as possible. However, you should also be as clear and descriptive as possible. This would be obtained if you add only the necessary information that helps your clients understand your invoice.

Payment terms with Due Date:

You should apply the payment terms mentioned above. But if the client is not familiar with accounting, you need to use natural language to express the terms. You can also add early payment discounts.

Agree on Terms Before Issuing the Invoice:

You should discuss the terms and conditions you want to include in the invoice with your client before you issue the invoice. This would speed the process as the client expects all of what is included.

Add Polite Payment Terms

You should add payment terms that include delay fees. This would ensure that you will get paid promptly. 

But you need to be polite when writing the payment terms. Use words that would make your client offended. Use welcoming words such as “please, thank you, etc”.

Variant Payment Methods:

You should provide various payment methods available to clients. If your client has only one payment method that he does not recommend or is not easily supported. Your payment may get stuck. 

Use Invoicing Software:

It would be better to use invoicing software to handle your invoices. The software ensures that your invoice matches the standards.

Standard Invoice Templates to download

Here are blank standard invoice templates that can be customized to suit your needs. 

Don’t forget to make a copy or download the version you like and then start editing:

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