Newcomer billing question: what should a bill look like?
Thread poster: swissmiss

swissmiss  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
German to English
+ ...
Dec 7, 2001

I am fairly new to the freelancing world (I\'ve done most of my work for one client, a friend--so, my bills have been very simple).

I\'d welcome suggestions on how to bill \"successfully\"--ie. what a bill should look like: do you put the total charge on there for the completed project, do you itemize it? What kinds of tips would you give a newcomer?



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Ramón Esquivel  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Take a look at this Dec 8, 2001

Maybe you would like to check this address:

They make a terrific invoicing software geared specifically to translators & interpretors.

Even if you don\'t buy it, you\'ll be able to see a invoice sample on the site.

I invoice that way and, so far, no complaints!

Good luck!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
English to German
+ ...
Fundamentals Dec 8, 2001

Hi Nadja,

I use a commercial accounting software (Sage KHK), but only because I got fed up with calculating all these invoices by hand... (yes, I could have used an embedded Excel spreadsheet, but in the end I opted for the proper solution).

It\'s a good idea to state that the invoice refers to a translation, showing the languages involved. If it\'s just a single piece of text, a single reference line is ok; for larger projects, use a header line identifying the project, and itemise the amounts for individual chapters.

Finally, if you need to charge VAT, do so at the end of the invoice, calculating VAT on the subtotal rather than doing it for individual items (just less work...).

HTH - best regards, Ralf

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
French to English
As you are based in France Dec 13, 2001

you would be suprised by just how much information IS supposed to go on your bill. There\'s little space left for the amount a client is supposed to pay! Here are some of the elements which have to be included but to be sure check with an accountant and/or your centre de gestion.

- the word \"facture\"

- your business name and address

- date bill issued

- client name and address

- service provided

- unit cost (per word, for example)

- multiplied by (number of words)

- total H.T.

- total T.V.A. (if applicable)

- total T.T.C.

- indications of when payment is due

- indication of penalty for late payment (Cf. Loi 92-1442 du 31/12/92.) and what happens if payment terms and conditions not respected


- Code APE

- N° TVA intra-communautaire (if applicable)

- indication that you are member of a Centre de Gestion (if applicable) and will accept payment by cheque

I\'ll try to find an official source but this ought to get you thinking!

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
French to English
Status - business structure Dec 13, 2001

Just a quick word. A number of years ago in France, it was possible to present fee notes (notes d\'honoraires) of up to a total of 36 000 FF without having to have any professional business structure. That was at the time when there was no need to bill VAT (TVA) on anything under 10 000 FF. That threshold has increased to 175 000 FF and the 36 000 FF thing has gone. Anyone presenting fee notes has to have some sort of business structure, \"profesional libérale\" being the most common among France-based translators, but far from being the only one.

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