Invoicing

26 Different Types of Invoices: The Complete List

An invoice is a crucial document for nearly every business. Slightly different than a bill, an invoice is a legal document describing the goods or services rendered, as well as how much the client owes for such. Generally, not a single day of business operations will go by without invoice processing. That said, there are many types of invoices fitting many different business situations.

What is an Invoice?

An invoice is a document recording a transaction between a merchant and a customer. Merchants often issue them during or at the completion of a transaction. Invoices may also be issued prior to the transaction to create an agreement with a customer.

Elements All Types of Invoices Should Include

Each type of invoice contains different content, but they all traditionally share a few of the same elements. These elements are as follows:

Date of issue

This refers to the date on which the merchant sent the invoice to the customer. You can enter this by hand or through the use of software.

Company and merchant’s information

The merchant and their business’ information are on every type of invoice. This consists of basic details like name, address, phone number, and more.

Items or services provided

This describes the product or service provided alongside its price per unit, quantity, and the sum of the two.

woman on calculator adding up different types of invoices

Discount

A discount, also called a trade discount, is a percentage taken off of the price of an item or the combined price. If this applies, it’s included in the invoice.

Tax

In some situations, you’ll add a tax to the full sum. Specifically, if the invoice is a bill of sale, it’s subject to sales tax.

Total price

The total price is the combined price of all the sold products or services provided, including the shipping, tax, and discounts.

Payment method

The type of payment method is included on every invoice. Customers can choose from the merchant’s available payment methods.

Due date

The due date refers to the deadline by which the customer must compensate the merchant for the goods or services they provided. To be precise, the customer has time to pay the total price until the due date.

The 26 Different Types of Invoices

There’s a total of 26 types of invoices, each most applicable to different situations. The best invoice for you to make depends on the details of the transaction. Below we review each invoice type to help you determine which best fits your circumstance’s needs.

1. Standard Invoice

Businesses use standard invoices for many billing transactions. They are one of the most common forms of invoices because they’re suitable for many clientele transactions.

2. Sales Invoice

A sales invoice is the invoice merchants send to customers when purchasing goods or providing services. This invoice is usually subject to a sales tax and sent in the middle of the trade.

3. Purchase Invoice

In terms of information included, a purchase invoice is nearly identical to a sales invoice. However, the merchant sends this type of invoice at the end of the trade.

This is not to be confused with a purchase order, which is sent by the customer to initiate the transaction.

4. Past Due Invoice

The merchant sends this invoice when the due date has expired and the customer hasn’t met the terms. This process is executed by sending a new invoice with a stamp “past due” on it.

5. Pending Invoice

Pending invoices are akin to previewing the invoice. It’s essentially a draft showing the customer what the invoice will be like.

6. Proforma Invoice

A proforma invoice is a document showing how much a future transaction will cost. This is most often used to request payment from a committed buyer before the goods or services are supplied.

7. Interim Invoice

couple with calculator adding up types of invoices

If the situation calls for paying in multiple installments, the invoice of choice is an interim invoice. It’s excellent for long-term projects or for customers who can’t pay all at once.

8. Final Invoice

Following a business deal’s completion, a merchant issues a final invoice regarding the goods or services purchased.

9. Collective Invoices

When a merchant would send more than one invoice over a certain period of time, they typically utilize a collective invoice. Collective invoices summarize the total goods or services purchases over a period of time.

10. Tax Invoice

Merchants issue tax invoices for goods or services that are taxable. The buyer uses this document as primary evidence to claim an input tax credit.

11. Recurring Invoice

As the name suggests, merchants send recurring invoices when the customer must pay at regular intervals. Businesses that have subscription services regularly send out recurring invoices.

12. Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is one of the invoice types merchants may use when conducting international trades. It explains the value of the goods for assessment and tax reasons.

13. Credit Invoice vs Credit Memo

A credit invoice may also be called a credit memo. Merchants issue this invoice when a customer returns a product.

14. Debit Invoice vs Debit Memo

The merchant issues a debit invoice or debit memo when the customer requests a change in the original invoice.

15. E-Invoice

E-invoices are one of the most popular types of invoices nowadays. They’re basically standard invoices sent electronically.

16. Digital Invoice

A digital invoice isn’t the same as an e-invoice, as it doesn’t necessarily involve sending an invoice online. It may be a scanned copy that merchants transmit digitally.

17. Mixed Invoice

Mixed invoices are a combination of credit and debit invoices. With this invoice, you can perform positive and negative matching to reconcile an account, as well as match invoices against purchase orders.

18. Timesheet Billing Invoice

cafe employees sorting through paperwork - invoice types

Timesheet billing invoices show how many hours employees work. They’re a measurement tool that helps employers track how much they need to pay their workers.

19. Time-Based Billing Invoice

The time-based billing invoice lets you generate invoices based on the work done, be it tasks, calendar events, or projects. In particular, freelancers may bill clients for their work with this invoice.

20. Self-Billing Invoice

The merchant doesn’t always have to send the invoice. Clientele may generate invoices called self-billing invoices, which are forwarded to the merchant.

21. Utility Invoice

Companies issue utility invoices to customers to request payment for utilities such as gas, electricity, water, or sewerage.

22. Milestone Invoice

Merchants issue milestone invoices when certain milestones like a specified quantity of purchased goods or services, as opposed to a due date, triggers payment collection.

23. Value-Based Billing Invoice

Rather than charging by the number of hours, value-based invoices bill based on the value of the service. For example, an accountant may send a value-based billing invoice that bills the client for a percentage of what they saved in them in taxes.

24. Fixed-Bid Invoice

In fixed bid projects, a flat rate is charged through a fixed-bid invoice regardless of the number of hours worked. You can apply this flat rate to the whole project, as well as over each week or month.

25. Progress Invoice

A progress invoice is a type of invoice issued for the work done thus far. During the course of a large project, it is commonly prepared and submitted for payment at different stages of project execution.

26. Miscellaneous Invoice

Merchants send miscellaneous invoices when the customer owes money for services such as shipping or setup. Oftentimes, these invoices don’t involve any items.

Which Invoice Is Right for You?

The different types of invoices each have their own intended uses. The challenge is being able to identify what type of invoice will best serve your specific situation. For example, if you’re doing international trades, the commercial invoice is likely the document most applicable to your needs.

Online Invoicing Software – Paysley

Paysley’s online invoicing software creates mobile invoices within seconds. Its features include invoicing from anywhere, validating payments instantly, and generating reminders and receipts, among others.