How to Invoice as a Freelancer: Basics

Invoices facilitate seamless payments and serve as a guarantee for both parties who do some job. The documents prevent clients and freelancers from wondering, as they give straightforward explanations of the work, deadlines, and payment terms. Invoices may not be required when working via freelance platforms, as the platform handles invoicing. However, freelancers may need help writing and managing the paperwork outside of freelance platforms. We want to help and tell you how invoice; if they depend on the location, is it worth believing words without invoices? Let’s go!

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a document that freelancers and businesses send to their clients, requesting payment for goods or services provided. It outlines the transaction details, including the products or services rendered, the quantity, the agreed-upon price, and the total amount due. Invoices serve as a formal transaction record and facilitate timely and accurate payments.

While invoices are generally recommended and widely used in professional settings worldwide, specific regulations and practices surrounding invoicing may differ depending on the country and industry. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the invoicing requirements and guidelines relevant to your location to ensure compliance with local laws and maintain proper financial record-keeping for the service provider and client.

When does one need the invoices?

When it comes to invoicing, we recognize that the success of your payment workflow relies on clear and professional communication with your clients. An invoice is a crucial document that outlines the details of the services you provided, the agreed-upon payment terms, and the amount due. By presenting a well-structured invoice, you demonstrate your professionalism and help build trust with your clients. Here are the cases when one might need them.

1. Direct Client Work

When working directly with clients outside of freelance platforms, invoices are typically needed to request payment for services rendered. 

2. Business-to-Business (B2B) Transactions

Partnership thrives where parties respect each other. Speaking about the B2B sphere, businesses provide goods or services to other companies, so it takes serious consideration. Simplify your cooperation by filing all the valid information.

3. High-Value Transactions

Invoices are commonly used for high-value transactions, regardless of the client type or industry. Do you run an agency and have to secure your workers delivering high-quality services? Invoices work great across countries and industries.

4. Legal and Tax Requirements

Follow the Law by complying with taxes. Invoices are needed to document business transactions and maintain proper financial records. Moreover, we recommend keeping all your invoices with proper names so you can easily find them for ten years. It may be helpful for future disputes, calculations, and resolutions.  

The 7 Benefits the Invoice Management Brings

1. Facilitating Payment

Invoicing is a formal payment request from clients or customers. It clearly outlines the amount due, payment terms, and methods, making it easier for both parties to understand and fulfill their financial obligations.

2. Professionalism and Legitimacy

Sending professional invoices demonstrates your professionalism as a freelancer or business owner. It adds credibility to your work and creates a sense of legitimacy in the eyes of your clients, enhancing their trust in your services.

3. Clear Documentation

Invoices provide a clear record of the goods or services and the agreed-upon terms and pricing. This documentation helps avoid confusion or disputes regarding the scope of work, costs, or payment deadlines.

4. Financial Organization

Invoicing is vital in keeping your finances organized. It allows you to track your income, monitor outstanding payments, and reconcile your accounts efficiently. It helps maintain accurate financial records and makes tax filing and financial analysis much more accessible.

5. Cash Flow Management 

Timely and regular invoicing is crucial for effective cash flow management. By sending invoices promptly and following up on payments, you can ensure a steady inflow of funds, enabling you to cover your expenses, invest in your business, and maintain a stable financial position.

6. Legal and Tax Compliance

Invoices are often required for legal and tax purposes. They provide evidence of business transactions and serve as supporting documentation for audits, financial reporting, and tax filings. Properly documented invoices help you comply with applicable laws and regulations.

7. Relationship Fostering

Invoicing is part of the client relationship-building process. It sets clear expectations regarding payment terms, encourages timely payments, and helps maintain a positive and professional relationship with your clients.

What about invoice format? Is it consistent across the world?

Regarding EU regulations, while there are overarching principles, invoicing requirements may vary among member states. The EU provides guidelines and directives to promote harmonization and simplify invoicing procedures, such as the EU Directive 2010/45/EU on electronic invoicing.

To ensure compliance with EU regulations and country-specific requirements, check the specific invoicing regulations of the relevant EU member state where you conduct business.

Brief mention of 11 countries invoicing regulations with common elements for the invoices:

Countries Group 1 Invoices

It requires the Seller’s and Buyer’s Details, Invoice Date, Invoice Number, Description of Goods/Services, Quantity, Price, and Applicable Taxes, including:

  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • Austria

Countries Group 2 Invoices: Compliance with Specific Requirements includes:

  • Germany: Compliance with German tax authorities’ technical requirements for electronic invoices.
  • France: Inclusion of SIREN or SIRET number; compliance with electronic invoicing requirements (if applicable).
  • Italy: Compliance with Italian tax authorities’ specific invoice format.
  • Spain: Compliance with specific technical requirements for electronic invoicing.
  • Netherlands: Compliance with specific electronic invoicing requirements.
  • Belgium: Compliance with particular requirements for electronic invoicing.
  • Poland: Issuing invoices in Polish; compliance with electronic invoicing practices.
  • Austria: Compliance with specific technical requirements for electronic invoicing.

Group 3: Miscellaneous

  • Sweden: Compliance with specific formats and requirements for electronic invoicing.
  • Lithuania: Compliance with specific invoicing requirements by Lithuanian tax authorities.

On deadlines

There is one parameter to keep in mind. Deadlines for invoices refer to the timeframe for an invoice to be issued or paid. The deadlines can vary depending on the country, industry, and agreement between the parties involved. Here are two common types of deadlines related to invoices:

1. Invoice Issuance Deadline:

  • It refers to the timeframe for the seller or service provider to issue the invoice to the buyer or client.
  • In many countries, including the European Union, there are legal requirements for issuing invoices within a certain period after the completion of goods delivery or service provision.
  • One can specify the invoice issuance deadline in contractual agreements between parties.

2. Payment Deadline:

  • It refers to the timeframe within which the buyer or client is expected to pay for the goods or services as indicated on the invoice.
  • The payment deadline can vary depending on the terms agreed upon between the parties, industry practices, and local regulations.
  • Typical payment terms include “net 30” (payment due within 30 days from the invoice date) or “due upon receipt” (payment due immediately upon receiving the invoice).
  • Late payment penalties or interest charges may apply if payment is not made within the specified deadline.

Sellers and buyers must understand and adhere to the applicable invoice deadlines to ensure smooth financial operations and maintain healthy business relationships.

Note: It’s essential to consult the invoicing regulations of each country for detailed information and any additional requirements.

Where to find specific information on invoices?

Visit the following websites to find the regulations for each country regarding invoicing:


  • Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen): Official website provides information on tax regulations, including invoicing requirements.
  • German tax authority (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern): Offers detailed guidance on invoicing regulations and compliance.


  • Official website of the French Tax Administration (Direction Générale des Finances Publiques): Provides resources and guidelines on invoicing requirements and tax obligations.
  • French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de France): Offers business information and support, including invoicing guidelines.

United Kingdom:

  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC): Official government website with detailed information on invoicing requirements, VAT regulations, and tax obligations.
  • Companies House: Guides invoicing requirements for registered companies in the UK.


  • Italian Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate): Official website offers comprehensive guidance on invoicing regulations and compliance, including technical specifications for electronic invoices.


  • Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria): Official website provides resources and information on invoicing requirements, electronic invoicing, and tax obligations.


  • Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst): Official website provides guidance on invoicing rules, VAT requirements, and electronic invoicing.


  • Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket): Official website provides information on invoicing regulations, VAT requirements, and electronic invoicing.


  •  FPS Finance Belgium: Official website guides invoicing regulations, VAT obligations, and electronic invoicing requirements.


  • Ministry of Finance (Ministerstwo Finansów): Official website offers information on invoicing regulations, VAT requirements, and tax obligations.
  • National Revenue Administration (Krajowa Administracja Skarbowa): Provides resources and guidelines on invoicing and tax compliance.


  • Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium für Finanzen): Official website provides information on invoicing regulations, VAT requirements, and tax obligations.
  • Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich): Offers guidance and resources on invoicing rules and business-related matters.


  • The primary and authoritative source for invoicing regulations in Lithuania is the State Tax Inspectorate (Valstybinė Mokesčių Inspekcija) 
  • the Ministry of Finance (Lietuvos Respublikos Finansų Ministerija).

For more detailed information, you can check these resources to provide clear guidelines and regulations specific to each country’s invoicing requirements.

Invoicing matters because it ensures prompt and accurate payments, establishes professionalism, provides clear documentation, aids financial organization, enables effective cash flow management, ensures legal and tax compliance, and helps build strong client relationships. Implementing effective invoicing practices can enhance your financial stability and success as a freelancer or business owner.


You have the knowledge and tools to invoice clients professionally, ensure prompt payments, and streamline your financial processes as a freelancer. Let’s dive into the details and master the art of invoicing to maximize your earnings and financial stability.

About the Author:
Ben Adam is a dedicated in-house copywriter at Wittix, a leading money transfer services company. With a passion for crafting compelling content and respect for clients, Ben has been creating engaging and informative articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights into finance, money transfer, and related topics.

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