Best Terms to Include in Your Business Invoices - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Best Terms to Include in Your Business Invoices

Invoicing is always a subject up for debate in business meetings. Questions around the timing of an invoice are discussed as are the best ways to deliver and write the invoices. Unfortunately, there is no one solution to invoicing clients and have them pay without too much of a delay. Most businesses have the ability to be able to wait a certain amount of time for payment of an invoice but if too many clients were far too late in paying for their services, this could have a huge impact on the cash flow of the business. After all, a business has overheads and some very substantial at that. Your staff are not willing to wait to be paid nor will any of your other providers be happy with a delay in their payment, so having prompt payment from clients becomes crucial to the survival of your business. 

Is there a way that we can give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve prompt payment and are there terms which we could include in our invoice which would prompt that? What are some of the invoice terms that you should be considering?

Services Rendered

It is important with any invoice to provide enough detail as to the works that you are charging for, detail is important especially if you are completing more than one piece of work for the same client. Lack of clarity can sour relationships.

Polite, Friendly but Firm Wording

Your client has to know that they have to pay promptly but you do not want to appear demanding or harsh with your instructions. Using firm but pleasant language can convey the message. ’Please’ and ’Thank You’ should be included somewhere.

Don’t Be Vague

If you ask for the invoice to be paid ‘on receipt’, what does that really mean? It will most certainly mean different things to different people and can lead to a lot of confusion when your meaning is just not the same as your client’s interpretation. Be specific, state the number of days within which you would wish the invoice to be paid.

Attach Late Fees

Let your clients know that there is a consequence for not meeting the payment terms and again be specific. Firm but polite language again, getting the message across. Having a late payment clause should help you with compliance.


Your client will respect you as a business if your invoices are clear, state the details and they are left no doubt as to what they are paying for and when the invoice should be paid by. Avoid giving too long a payment term so as not to have your client put the payment on the back burner for review at a later date. Cash flow is essential and do not forget to follow up with reminder invoices and keep on top of all of your payments. Having a process in place can go a long way to relieving the worry and stress associated with invoice payment.

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