IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: invoicing as a professional freelance dancer
Invoices…the document that stands between you, and money in your bank account. It tells the person who most recently hired you (and who should also be paying you) who they’re paying (that’s you), what they’re paying you for, how much they should be paying you, when they should be paying it by and how to pay it. Very important information for the person who’s meant to be transferring money to you for services you’ve provided.
I’ve met lots of dancers who are terrified of invoices – yes, they are financial documents and it’s possible that one day the tax man (or woman) could roll up and say “hey, we want to see all of your financial paperwork including every invoice you’ve ever sent ” – and that’s not fun, it’s also unlikely to happen.
You know what else isn’t fun? Not getting paid for work you’ve done. So, get on top of your admin and get to grips with how to write an invoice.
There are some very important details that you need to include on your invoice, I’m going to take you through them now. If they don’t appear then your invoice may be invalid, and it may not be paid, so let’s go through what your invoice does need:
- The word “INVOICE” in massive lettering at the top. That way nobody gets confused as to what it is! It’s a request for payment and now it’s titled, everyone should understand what they need to do with it.
- Your stage name, your official name, your address and your telephone number – these identify you as the sender and the person or business who carried out the work. These details may also be used if the company need to contact you about your payment.
- The business name and address of the person or company you’re invoicing (you might also want to include a contact name here too) – it’s important to get this right. Any mistakes here can also delay payment, make sure you check BEFORE you carry out the job all the details of who you’re supposed to be invoicing.
- The date that the invoice was created – this too is important for accounting purposes on both sides and is often forgotten, but you won’t forget it, will you?
- The invoice number – this is also often forgotten but is also a very important part of the invoice. An invoice number means it’s identifiable in your records and you can use it as a reference when communicating with the person making payment. The invoice number can be anything you want it to be – yep, any number in the world, the only thing they need to be is sequential, so invoice number 1005 must be followed by 1006, then 1007 etc.
- Description of your services, the dates on which these services took place (it’s likely that this is different from your invoice date), the number of units you worked (whether hours or days, you can set this) the amount per unit that you’re charging for that particular service (whether per hour or per day etc.) and the total (number of units multiplied by amount per unit)
- Invoice total
- Your bank details including account name, account number and sort code. If you’re dealing with international companies also include your IBAN and your BIC code.
- The terms of payment (how quickly would you like to be paid? at which point is the invoice late and what will you do when it is?)
- Say Thank you! A little note of thanks on an invoice can go a long way to getting you paid quickly
Once you have all of these details on your invoice you can either email it to the contact you have for the accounts department, fax it (I don’t know anyone who still has a fax machine) or snail mail it.
So long as all your details are correct, and you’ve included everything we’ve outlined there should be no reason for a delayed payment.
If payment is delayed be safe in the knowledge that its them and not you, and you can then begin late payment collection procedures which is also tons of fun – join the DANCE+INDUSTRY professional dancers group on Facebook to learn about how to handle that.
Visit danceindustry.co.uk to get your free invoice template.
DANCE+INDUSTRY: MAKE MORE MOVES helps professional dancers be better at business, we offer advice, seminars, courses and live events professional dancers looking to take their career to the next level, for a happier, more stable and long-lasting career in dance. Knowledge is power, so visit www.danceindustry.co.uk today or find us on Instagram.
DANCE+INDUSTRY founder Kymberlee Jay will be at MOVE IT 2018, stand 749.
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