Free Freelance Invoice Templates For Your Online Business

freelance invoice templates

I didn’t use a freelance invoice template when I first started working online, though I should have. While it’s definitely easier to just drop your client an email saying they owe you $1,500, an invoice makes you look professional and encourages your clients to take the balance owed seriously. This helps ensure you get paid, and paid on time.

Once I finally started sending professional invoices to my clients, I noticed the difference myself. Here are some templates I recommend you use, whether you’re a freelance designer, editor, writer, consultant, etc.

Freelance Invoice Templates For Your Self-Employed Business

All The Templates You Need: Fixed-price, hourly, and general billing. Perfect for all online freelancers. Download your free templates and get a BONUS project proposal template to land new clients!

I created these freelance invoice templates for other people who run an online business like I do. They are perfect for any type of self-employed business, especially those that work online. They look professional and include all the elements you need to invoice for your freelance business. Just fill out your fees and adapt the templates to suit your needs.

All the invoice templates are available in Google Sheets and Excel format, and can easily be converted to Google Docs or PDF once you fill them out. Here’s what the free invoice templates include:

General Invoice Template

First, you get a complete template that can be used for all sorts of tasks, including hourly and fixed-price billing.

self employed invoice template

Hourly Invoice Template

If you want a different type of invoice for hourly work, you can use this one that’s set up to calculate your fees based on logged hours:

hourly invoice for freelance work

Fixed Price Invoice Template

This invoice for freelancers is designed specifically for fixed-price billing:

Bonus Freelance Proposal Template

The download also includes a bonus freelance proposal template you can use to pitch and land more clients:

freelance proposal template

All The Templates You Need: Fixed-price, hourly, and general billing. Perfect for all online freelancers. Download your free templates and get a BONUS project proposal template to land new clients!

Freelance Invoice Generators: An Alternative Option

Instead of templates, you can also use invoicing software designed for freelancers. These are usually paid tools, but invoice generators have a lot of benefits. While there are many invoicing tools to choose from, I personally use Bonsai. Here’s why:

Simplify the invoicing process

Bonsai helps you get paid faster by automating many aspects of invoicing. It generates invoices to include your business info, client info, itemized expenses, tax rate, and due date. It integrates with PayPal, Stripe and other payment tools directly, making it easy for your clients to pay. You can also easily send follow-up emails for unpaid invoices to ensure you get paid.

Access other project management apps

Bonsai is a multi-purpose tool that helps you manage many other aspects of your freelance business, like project proposals, contracts, time tracking, and task management. One feature I really like is the breakdown of earnings vs expenses it generates automatically on the main dashboard.

Use a tool designed for freelancing

I’ve used other invoicing tools in the past, but switched to Bonsai because it’s the first one designed specifically for freelancer businesses. Freelancers need to bill for tracked time or other expenses, which you can import directly into your Bonsai invoices.

You can definitely use your own self-employed invoice template or a tool like Bonsai for freelancers. Just be sure to follow the invoicing tips outlined in this post.


What to Include in a Professional Invoice

Even if you use a freelancer invoice template, it’s good to know what elements to include for a self-employed business. These are important sections you’ll need to fill out on your invoice templates for clients:

Company and Contact Info

At the top of every invoice, you need to include company info and contact information. This includes your company name, email address, phone number, and business address.

Project Description

Another thing you should have on all your invoices is a description of what is being billed for. This is especially important with ongoing clients. When I first started freelancing, I was guilty of creating vague invoice descriptions, billing for things like “Editing work” or “April projects.” Then when a client started arguing that they already paid for something they hadn’t, I realized my mistake. Now whenever I have a finished project, I am very specific about what I’m billing clients for in my invoices, to make sure I’m fully paid for writing. You should be even more meticulous about detailing your project scope, rate, billing charges, and company policies in your freelance contract before work begins.

Rates and Charges

Of course your invoice will need to include your itemized charges, including your rate per hour or flat rate fee for services. Be as detailed as possible about your base rate and any extra charges on each invoice. Here are some examples of how to itemize your hourly rate, freelance writer rates per word, and other misc charges:

1. 20 hours of manuscript editing @ $80/hour, week of May 17-21, 2021
2. Article writing, “Why Automation is the Answer”, delivered May 17th, 2021, 3,000 words at 30 cents/word

Whether you’re billing for a flat rate project or hourly charges, always describe the project, dates delivered, and rate in your itemized invoice.

Payment Terms

Another very important thing to include in your invoice is terms of payment. You should detail what payment methods you accept, such as PayPal, Stripe, or bank transfer. You should also outline your company policies when it comes to late payments. For example:

If this invoice is unpaid by June 1st, 2021, a non-compounding late fee of 5.0% accrues monthly on the outstanding amount.

Giving your clients 30 days to pay an outstanding invoice is pretty standard in freelancing businesses. Your late payments penalty can also range from 2-15%.

If you have a privacy policy or any other info to add, do so at the bottom of the invoice. Set the policies you’re comfortable with and include them on your freelance work invoice.

Why You Should Always Use Invoices as a Freelancer

If you’re still not sure about using freelance invoices, here are a few reasons why they’re really important for your business:

1. Look professional

Back before online payment options became widespread, business owners used paper invoices all the time to get paid. Now that everything’s digital, most freelancers simply don’t bother anymore. Creating a professional-looking invoice can help you stand out, showing clients you’re a real business, not just a freelancer doing gigs.

2. Encourage timely payment

Invoices are also a very important tool that help you get paid. They include all the info your clients need, including different methods of payment and official deadlines to help you avoid late payment. People will take your invoices more seriously than simple requests for payment.

3. Track your earnings

Invoicing makes it MUCH easier to track your business income, so you can calculate profit/loss, pay your taxes, plan for the future, etc. Digging through your PayPal, bank and Stripe transaction records for client payments takes ages. When you use an invoicing tool, it’s possible to track all income/expenses automatically.

4. Build your reputation

Your invoices include your brand name, logo, and a summary of the great work you do for your clients. They can also reflect personal touches, like a pro bono service or special discount for your best clients. All this serves to build your brand identity online and influence your reputation. Invoicing can help you build positive relationships with clients who will remember you and refer you to other freelance writing jobs online.

5. Protect your business

If you ever have problems with clients making a partial payment or refusing to pay at all, your invoices are the evidence you need to seek the compensation you deserve. They hold important information like client contact details, issue date, and how long the invoice is overdue. Hopefully, you’ll never need to pursue legal action, and well-documented invoices can help you avoid this by pressuring them to pay.


By now, you should have a great idea of why invoices are important for freelancers, which elements they should include, and how you can use them to grow your online business. As your next step, I recommend downloading these templates so you’ll be ready to use them to bill your next client. You can also check out the freelance invoicing tool I recommended.