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What Should Go on an Illustration Invoice

Who doesn’t love getting paid? It allows you to do all the things you enjoy like eating, wearing clothes, and not dying in the streets. So it’s a huge bummer when your payment is slowed down because you forgot some vital information on your invoice. You can solve that by making sure to include the following information on every illustration invoice you send out:

  1. Your name. Clients need to know who did the work.
  2. Your contact info. So clients know where to send those sweet, sweet payments and contact you if there are any problems.
  3. An invoice number. Something you and your clients can reference.
  4. The client’s PO number (only if applicable). Some clients will give you purchase order numbers. For ones that do, you should include them on your invoices.
  5. An invoice date. So your clients and you know when the invoices were submitted and when they need to be paid.
  6. The client’s information. Who the clients are and who commissioned the work.
  7. A description of the work done. So your clients know what they’re actually being billed for.
  8. A tax ID number. For government purposes. Because you don’t want every client you work with to have your social security number (invoices go through a lot of hands), I’d recommend getting an EIN number which can be used instead.
  9. The total fee due. So your clients know how much to write on your checks.
  10. Payment terms. So your clients know when payment is expected to be received by and what happens if those payments are late. Standard is 30 days upon receipt.

Invoices don’t have to be anything fancy. They can simply be a Word doc with all the appropriate information. However, if you want to design yours and have them look nice or use some kind of bookkeeping software to generate them, I’m sure your clients would be even happier (and it may be beneficial to you for tracking purposes). Whatever way you decide to present them, if you include all this information on your invoices, your clients should have no excuse for holding up your payments.

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Neil Swaab is a freelance illustrator, art director, author, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He's an instructor at Parsons the New School for Design and the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling book Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou. His new authored and illustrated book, The Secrets to Ruling School: Class Election, comes out this September from Amulet Books.

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