Invoices, documents sent from a company to a customer or client that explains the details of a sale, are vital for many businesses. It gives you and the client a formal, written explanation of costs.
Without an invoice, your clients might not know when they owe money and how they can pay for the product or service.
In the past, invoices would have to be mailed to clients. Thankfully, modern technology has made the process of billing far easier, and invoices can now be created, sent, and even paid online. (If you want to accept credit cards as payment for invoices, you’ll need to work with a credit card processing company.) The internet makes it easy for business owners to create high quality invoices using free or paid invoicing makers and invoice templates. Many accounting software programs have integrated easy invoice creation into their product. Other companies have created stand-alone subscription invoice creation programs.
Small business owners or freelancers might not have the excess funds to invest in a paid invoicing product or program. Not to worry. There are many free invoicing tools that will help you create and download professional invoices. Free tools aren’t quite as adaptable as their paid counterparts or as interactive, but they will serve you well as you begin your journey as a self-employed individual. Check out these four solid picks if you’re looking for a free invoice maker.
- QuickBooks Free Invoice Creator
- Invoiced Lite
- Shopify Invoice Generator
- Free Invoice Maker
- Taking Credit Cards and Invoicing
QuickBooks Free Invoice Creator
This Free Invoice Creator allows you to create and download free invoices with some measure of control and includes a live preview of the invoice. Unlike other tools, you don’t need to wait until the end of the three step process to find out what the invoice will look like.
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The invoice maker also lets you change the color of the text and text boxes to match your brand colors. It utilizes a color wheel, so you can choose any color you desire, and has four different invoice styles to choose from. Once you’ve set the look you want, make note of the styles you like so you can treat it as an invoice template to quickly create future invoices.
On the business side, it allows you to choose between a net term of 15, 30, 60, or 90 days, although you still need to remember to update the due date to reflect the chosen net term.
Invoiced is another free invoice maker. While it doesn’t have as many stylistic options, this generator has a notes section and a terms section that can be useful. These features let you include notes about the transaction and more in-depth payment term information.
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This tool also allows you to choose what currency to utilize. It should be noted that although it allows a change in currency, it doesn’t have areas to denote the legally required European Union VAT ID number or Australia GST registration numbers on the document.
As a final feature this invoice maker keeps a collection of invoices and templates that is tied to your internet browser’s cache. I haven’t utilized this feature enough to know if there are high risks of data loss, though, so I would recommend that you still keep copies of invoices on your computer or wherever you maintain backups of files.
Shopify Invoice Generator
Those who already use Shopify for their ecommerce website platform or credit card processing may find this option appealing. The Shopify invoice generator is a solid basic invoice maker but does not allow any stylistic choices. Unlike the other two invoice generators already discussed, it has an in-depth customer information section. Like the Invoiced Lite tool, it has a notes section where you can include extra information that the customer needs.
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Unlike both of the other tools discussed so far, this invoice template does not have an area to denote and calculate any discounts given from the final cost. Another not-so-great feature is that draft invoices can only be sent to the email address in the “company information” section. You can’t choose a different email. Since you’ll need to review and download the invoice in order to send it to your clients, this means that you must have access to the email account listed in the “company information” section. You can’t request draft invoices go to “email@example.com” if the email in your company information section is “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Additionally, the email does not send you the PDF directly; instead it sends you a URL that directs you to the invoice. You can then choose to download it and send it to your client.
Free Invoice Maker
Free Invoice Maker is a tool that offers minor control over the invoice’s appearance. You can choose between eight different accent colors. You can also preview the invoice before either downloading the PDF or sending it to email.
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Like the Invoiced Lite tool, it allows you to choose what currency to utilize. Discounts can be calculated into the final total at a percentage rate or a flat rate. You can also choose whether or not to utilize the notes and payment terms sections. One helpful feature is that this creator can track if the customer has already paid part of the bill, helping you keep split payments straight.
Taking Credit Cards and Invoicing
It’s possible to use online invoice makers and still request checks by mail. However, some businesses want to fully streamline the process, and accept payments online via credit card. If that’s you, be sure to check out our related article on electronic invoicing.
The creation and delivery of invoices is a vital part of the accounting process. As your company grows, you might want to look into investing in more sophisticated invoicing templates or option, but for smaller businesses or those who only invoice occasionally, free invoice makers such as these can work very well. There are many basic invoice template tools that can incorporate all of the information you need to properly bill your clients or customers. Just remember to make notes of your style preferences and chosen options once you’ve created the first invoice the way you want it so that you can use it as an invoice template going forward. Doing so will save you time and help with consistent branding.