Free resources for freelance translators #2 – Invoices

This article is part of a series of blog posts about free resources for freelance translators.  Read the first post here.


An invoice is basically a bill sent by a provider to a purchaser. It is a written verification of an agreement that establishes an obligation of payment, creating an account receivable.

Invoices are an important part of any legit business’s bookkeeping and accounting system, as they record sales transactions.

You can either build your own template (using Excel or Word) or use an online creator. Either way, finding the proper tools when creating an invoice is not difficult.

If you are the one designing your invoice template, do not forget to include the following:

  • The word “Invoice” at the top of the document;
  • Your name, company name (if applicable) and address;
  • The client’s name and address, specifying the name of the person who commissioned the translation;
  • Invoice date + Invoice number (create an invoice number[#] which allows a sequence to build up over the years. e.g. – YYMM## which translates into 17[year]10[month]01[invoice number] ) ;
  • Job details:
    • Brief description
    • Client’s project number;
    • Date of assignment and delivery, rate, units;
    • VAT if applicable;
    • Total amount due (subtotal, amount of taxes, grand total);
    • Payment method and period (the standard is up to 30 days after delivery. Always try to agree upon a system of regular invoicing with the client);
  • A “thank you” type message (optional);
  • Include a marketing section in your template (optional);
  • Your bank details:
    • Account holder;
    • Bank name;
    • Account number;
    • Sort code;
    • IBAN/Swift numbers.

The way your translation invoice is formulated is a reflection of your professional image, so make sure it gives the right impression.

 Do not:

  • Send a messy invoice;
  • Leave out key information:
  • Present inadequate or imprecise descriptions of your work;
  • Write your invoice in a different language than the one spoken where the client is based;


  • Send an organized invoice;
  • Pay attention to every detail;
  • Value professional quality presentation;
  • Keep a clear record of all your jobs


If you do not want to create your own invoice, that is not a problem! Here are some free online software/templates which will get the job done (some options only have a free trial):

  1. ProZ
  2. FreshBooks
  4. Translation Office 3000
  5. WaveApps
  6. Paypal
  7. Zoho
  8. Harvest
  9. Billdu
  10. Invoice Ninja
  11. Due
  12. Sighted
  13. Handdy
  14. BrightBook
  15. Reliabills


I hope you find this information useful. Feel free to share it with your colleagues. See you next time!

Recommended reading –  A Comprehensive Review of Harvest

Leave a Comment

O seu endereço de email não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios marcados com *