When to send an invoice to a customer.

Learn more about the timeline of issuing invoices and whether it’s better to invoice before or after the completion of work.

If your business doesn’t know when to send an invoice to a customer, it can interrupt cash flow and cause you unnecessary stress. Read on to learn more about the timing of invoices, and which approach might work best for your business.

Do I invoice before or after payment?

First, let’s look at the purpose of invoices in your business. You’ll send invoices to notify your customers that payment is owed.

When you decide to send invoices is up to you — whether that’s before you begin work or after completion — but your customers shouldn’t pay you before you send an official invoice.

Invoice before work begins.

Invoicing upfront helps your business maintain a healthy cash flow, along with a few other benefits. Because the client has already invested in you and your services, they’re more likely to be involved in the project and provide any guidance or clarification as the project progresses.

By invoicing upfront, you’ll also guarantee that money won’t run out halfway through a project, which could delay or ultimately stop completion. However, invoicing before work begins isn’t always a suitable approach.

Invoice after work is complete.

If it fits in better with your business model, it may be more appropriate to invoice after work has been completed. Ideally, once your project is concluded, you’d send the invoice immediately, but you could also choose to invoice at the end of a two-week cycle or the month’s end.

There’s no set legal standard for when to issue invoices, so make sure to agree on terms with your client in advance. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and ensures prompt delivery of payment.

Keep your cash flow moving.

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