Do you know what to include when you send out invoices? Well according to UK law and HMRC, there are certain obligations that you must fulfil. For members of The Barn, we break it all down for you and give a sample invoice to download...[private] So you are in business and you make that first sale.. whoop whoop, way to go but now what? In creating an invoice, do you just bodge together a word document with your name on it and the amount? Well that's not quite good enough so here is our ace guide as to what you need to include.

Sounds obvious but it's such an easy mistake to make.. you must clearly display the actual word invoice on the document, not just in the title. You are also required to clearly state...

  • a unique and if possible sequential number for the invoice
  • your company name, address and all your contact information
  • the company name and address of the customer you are invoicing
  • a clear description of what service you are providing and what is included
  • the date of the service (eg wedding date)
  • the date of the invoice
  • the total being charged
  • any booking fees already received
  • the total amount that is outstanding and when it is due by

Sole trader invoices

If you’re a sole trader, the invoice must also include:

  • your name as well as any business name being used
  • an address where any legal documents can be delivered to you if you are using a business name

Limited company invoices

If you have registered as a limited company, you must include the full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation plus your company number. You receive this from Company House when the registration is complete.

Payment details

Your Bank, plus your sort code and account number. You do not need to include your bank's address but don't assume that your client will be paying by Bank Transfer. They may prefer to settle by cheque so make it clear who this should be made out to. Also provide your BIC and IBAN numbers for any international clients. I don't advise that you include your paypal details as their refund policy could screw you over, I've seen it happen a few times recently. If for some reason a client does want to pay via paypal then I suggest that you talk to them about your policy in this case and you ask them to cover the fees.

We have provided a Word File with a basic template for you. When sending to clients we advise that after your edit, you save it as a PDF. Alternatively use the photography business management software, Light Blue to create invoices and fill out all of the same fields.