Free invoice template Australia

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Rounded logo Accounting for sole traders

How to invoice in Australia as a sole trader

A tight invoicing process is essential to a successful solo business. Not only is it the first step in getting paid, it's a key element in your obligations to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Below you'll find everything you need to get paid and keep the ATO happy come tax time.

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a document that details a transaction between a buyer and a seller. An invoice can be sent before or after the goods or services are provided. Typically, an invoice outlines the goods or services to be paid for, the price, and the payment terms (when the payment must be made).

Is there a difference between an invoice and a tax invoice?

Yes. In Australia there are two types of invoices in relation to tax. Which one you send depends on whether or not you are registered for GST.

  • If your business is registered for GST you must issue a 'Tax invoice' and display the amount of GST included in the sale.
  • If your business is NOT registered for GST you simply issue an 'Invoice' and show there is no GST included in the price. This can be done by dispplaying 'No GST has been charged' or simply by showing the GST amount as $0.00.
Do I need to be registered for GST?

If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 AUD or more, you must register for GST. If your annual turnover is less than $75,000, you can choose to register for GST or not. If you choose not to register for GST, you will not be able to claim GST credits on your purchases.

What needs to be incuded on an invoice?

Generally speaking, all invoices must include the following information to be valid:

  • The words 'Tax invoice' or 'Invoice' (depending on GST status, see above)
  • Information that identifies you as the seller, such as your name, business name or trading name. Your contact details aren't strictly required but are certainly recommended.
  • Your Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • The date the invoice was issued
  • A list or brief description of the goods or services provided
  • If applicable, the GST amount included in the sale
  • The total amount payable

For invoices totaling more than $1,000 including GST, the invoice must also clearly display the buyer's Identity or ABN.

It's also strongly recommended you include:

  • Your payment terms
    Make sure your payment terms are clearly visible on the invoice. This is the period of time your client has to pay your invoice. Common terms are 'Upon receipt', 7 days, 14 days and 30 days.
  • Available payment methods
    At a minimum you should display your bank account details, such as the BSB and account number or your PayID. However, to ensure prompt payment of your invoice, it is highly recommended to include multiple payment methods. Rounded includes integrations to allow your clients to pay your invoice online with their credit or debit card and via PayPal.
  • Your branding
    While a logo isn't essential, personalising your invoices is a great way to strengthen your brand and maintain a professional image from start to finish.

The above template and invoices issued from Rounded meets all requirements for invoicing in Australia.

Common invoicing mistakes to avoid

Manually updating key invoice data

Copy and pasting info between invoices and manually updatating data is the number one cause of issuing incorrect invoices. The invoice number or any other sequential data that needs to be incremented on each invoice is particularly error prone.
Rounded automatically generates a unique invoice number for each invoice and stores all your client data. This eliminates all errors associated with manually updating invoice data.

Sending poorly designed invoices

It's often overlooked, but the final invoice you send to your client is a reflection of your business and should be considered part of your overall client experience.
Rounded invoices look great, are easy to read and are fully customisable to match your brand.

Waiting too long to send your invoice

An unsent invoice is an unpaid invoice. You should send yours out as soon as you finish a project or, if you work on recurring projects or retainer, on a regular schedule.
Sending an invoice takes less than a minute with Rounded and can be even scheduled to send automatically at a scheduled intervals.

Failing to follow up on overdue invoices

Dealing with overdue invoices is uncomfortable at best and potentially very stressful if you're depending on the money. The longer you wait to follow up with your client the more difficult it becomes. So don't delay for the sake of avoiding an awkward conversation.
Fortunately, Rounded can automatically send reminders to your clients when invoices become overdue.