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Free Small Business Invoice Template

Are you a small business owner in Europe? Real estate agents, consultants, contractors, and even beauty salons can operate as small businesses. Knowing how much to bill your client, and what items to bill for, isn’t always easy. Download our free small business invoice template to simplify your billing process.

Download a Free Small Business Invoice Template


Invoicing software that gets you paid

  • Make it easier for your local and international customers to pay
  • Get alerts as customers view and pay
  • Take on bigger jobs with progress invoicing
  • Put a personal touch on your invoice
  • Set up automatic invoices


What Should You Include on Your Invoice for Small Businesses in Europe?

The process of starting a small business has a lot of moving parts, so it may be tempting to avoid paying attention to the small details of your invoicing process – but this would be a big mistake. As your invoice will be how you get paid, you want to make sure to be as thorough as possible. 

You may be confused about what to include on your invoice. No two businesses are the exact same, therefore no two invoices will be the same. This can even be true for invoices created by the same company but received by different clients (because the goods received and services rendered to different clients will always differ, at least slightly). 

That being said, there are some staples that small business owners should always include on their invoices for a professional-looking document that adheres to European standards. 

Branding

Your invoice is an extension of your business and should therefore reflect your business’s brand and its philosophy. Stay consistent with any brand logos, fonts, colours, or wording within your professional invoice. 

Create custom invoices by adding your branding to keep your document looking professional. 

Invoice header

The header should clearly state what the document is – an invoice. This point may seem obvious but it’s important the recipient knows exactly what the document is as soon as they open it. No one wants to receive a bill, and start questioning what it is and where it came from. 

Alongside the header or right underneath it, you should include a unique invoice number. This way you can easily identify and keep track of each invoice, which will help you maintain an organised bank account and stay on top of cash flow. This will be especially useful if you send multiple invoices to the same client. 

Personal information and recipient information

Your company invoice template needs to include your business’s personal information as well as your recipient’s. 

Personal information:  

  • The date of issue
  • A unique sequential number identifying the invoice
  • The supplier’s VAT identification number
  • The customer’s VAT identification number
  • The supplier’s full name and address
  • The customer’s full name and address
  • A description of the quantity and type of goods supplied OR the type and extent of services rendered
  • The unit price of goods or services. This does not include taxes, discounts, or rebates unless these are part of the unit price.
  • The transaction and payment dates (if these are different from the invoice date)
  • The VAT rate applied
  • The VAT amount payable
  • A breakdown of VAT amount payable by VAT rate or exemption
  • The foreign currency rate (if an alternative to the supplier’s national currency is used)
  • The EU VAT Directive refers to sequential numbering, but this number can be based on one or more series. 
  • Complete Bank account details with IBAN and SWIFT codes

You may need to add the department and the contact information or person’s name if the recipient is dealing with a specific department within your company.

additional information: 

  • A VAT-exempt transaction – include a reference to exempting legislation (EU or local)
  • If a ‘reverse charge’ is applied to the transaction
  • The intra-EU supply of a new means of transport (i.e. some additional information for a car)
  • For margin schemes – include a reference to the scheme applied. (A margin scheme is a special VAT scheme available to travel agents and others.)
  • If the invoice is “self-billing” (a customer issues the invoice instead of the supplier), those exact words must appear on the invoice.
  • If a supplier uses cash accounting, the words “cash accounting” must appear on the invoice.
  • For tax representatives: some VAT details may be needed if tax representatives are involved in a business. (Tax representatives are appointed by entities who do business in the EU but don’t have a physical presence there; they still need to settle VAT on their business activity.)

Important dates and terms of agreement

Noting important dates in your invoice will help you and your client stay on track and prevent any delays in the agreed-upon invoice payment terms. Important dates to include are:

  • Issue date (the day the invoice was created)
  • Project start date
  • Project completion date 
  • Payment deadlines 
  • Date the client received any goods or services
  • The due date of the invoice

If there are any specific conditions for early or late payments these should also be included in your business invoice. 


VAT Requirements On Invoices In Europe

For EU-based companies, VAT is chargeable on most sales and purchases of goods within the EU. In such cases, VAT is charged and due in the EU country where the goods are consumed by the final consumer. Likewise, VAT is charged on services at the time they are carried out in each EU country.


There are various types of VAT rates that are applied in EU countries. The rate depends on the product or service involved in the transaction. There are also special rates that were set according to VAT rates implemented in EU countries before they joined the EU.


Each EU country has a standard rate that applies to the supply of most goods and services. This cannot be less than 15%. 

Description of goods and services 

Create a list of the goods obtained or services rendered. This list should be as detailed as possible to ensure there is no confusion as to what the client is paying for. 

You can easily set up a list of your regular service using Google sheets or Google docs and then just copy and paste the relevant information into the invoice template. This will save time when you create invoices for your clients.

For example, instead of a general description such as “installation”, write down exactly what was installed, (software, T.V., air conditioning, etc), where it was installed, how many hours it took, and if there were any additional parts you needed to purchase for the installation. 

Total of what your client owes

A small business owner can use their fee schedule to determine how much the client owes. Any discounts offered will apply to the subtotal, after which you apply the taxes. That figure is the grand total. When you create your business’s fee schedule, factor in aspects that affect your bottom line in the same way. 


How Much Should You Charge on Your Small Business Invoice?

In order to arrive at a fair price that will profit your business while still considering your client’s best interest, you need to develop a pricing strategy. This can be done by obtaining accurate reports that break down your company’s financial statements. These statements include:  

Once these reports have been reviewed, you can start looking at external factors such as market conditions, economy pricing, psychological pricing, geographical pricing and more. 

Should you Send a Small Business Invoice to Your Clients? 

The answer is yes. A small business owner can bill for obvious things, such as the number of hours they spend actually working on the client’s project. The service provider can also charge for travel time to and from the work location, compensation for additional workers, and for parts or equipment costs. Intangible items many business owners can work into their fee schedule are:

  • Brand name
  • Years of experience
  • Marketing costs 

While these are not items to add to the invoice, these are crucial aspects of the service that factor into their fees. If you have a large number of clients, developing an invoicing schedule is necessary.

When Should You Send Your Small Business Invoice to Your Clients? 

There are different methods for how to send your invoice. If you provide short-term, small-scale services, it’s customary to send an invoice at the end of the project directing the client that payment is due upon receipt. 

If your projects are larger in scope, breaking them into scheduled invoices is a common practice. Depending on the scope of a project, you can also invoice for a deposit upon the signing of the contract and break down the remaining payments into monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly payments.

Using online invoicing or invoicing software will make creating and sending professional invoices easier and more efficient. With QuickBooks you will get access to features that will allow you to:

  • Customise your invoice (choosing brand colours, currency type, and language preferences) 
  • Set up automated scheduled invoices 
  • Automated sales taxes calculations
  • Easier customer payments with the “Pay Now” button 
  • Instant payment matching which means when an invoice is paid, QuickBooks automatically matches the payment with the invoice in your books to save you time and keep everything updated. 

And the list doesn’t stop there. Simply download the free invoice templates and try QuickBooks invoicing software today to see how it helps simplify your entire billing process and helps you create and send invoices effortlessly. 

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