How do I create an invoice?

Invoices allow you to bill a client for your products and/or services, and help you keep track of your income in FreshBooks. To learn more about managing your invoices, including adding payments, resending, printing or copying, as well as bad debt, individual and bulk actions, review How do I manage my invoices? instead.


Create an Invoice

There are multiple ways to create a new invoice:
  • On the Dashboard, select the Create New button, then select Invoice
  • Select the Invoices section and select the New Invoice button
  • Select the Clients section, then select a Client, select the Invoices sub-tab and then select the + button (this will create an Invoice assigned to this client)
From here, you can customize your new invoice by going through each section below:
New invoice ready to be filled out.
Or watch this tutorial on how to make a simple invoice: 


Business, Client, and Invoice Details

Set up your invoice by choosing a client and update any dates as needed with the below:
Top of invoice showing company and client details along with invoice number and dates.
  • Business - Your business information is displayed automatically based off what's in your Basic Information settings, select to edit this if needed
  • Billed To - Select Add a Client and choose or enter an existing client, or fill in the blank fields to make a new one. Once a client is selected, select it and choose between Edit Client to update their information (which will also update their client profile) or Remove Client to choose a different one
  • Date of Issue - The date of your invoice, this defaults to today’s date, or you can select it and choose between entering in the new date or using the calendar picker instead
  • Due Date - The date your Invoice should be paid by, this is remembered based on the last Invoice you created, or you can select it and choose between On Date of Issue, After x Days (where you choose the number of days), or Custom (provides a calendar picker). Payment Reminders, Late Payment Fees and Payment Schedules are based off the Due Date and will change the Invoice status
  • Reference Field - Enter up to 25 characters for any additional information you need to include, like purchase orders / PO numbers, project codes or work order numbers
Invoice Number
  • If set to a specific country in Basic Information settings, this will display as Tax Invoice Number instead
  • The default number for your first invoice is set to 0000001, with a maximum of 10 characters, or you can select and enter your own alphanumeric number instead. When you change your invoice number, keep in mind the following:
    • Numbers are Unique - The same invoice number cannot be used twice, regardless of whether the invoice is archived or deleted
    • Numbers Increment +1 - The invoice number you set will automatically increment +1 based on the last invoice created
      • If the invoice number reaches the limit of its increment, an extra character is added at the end so it can continue (e.g., the last created invoice is #9999, this will increment to #10000 on your next invoice)
      • If you want to avoid extra characters being added, include leading zeroes to accommodate increments (e.g., #0009999 instead of just #9999)
    • When viewing your list of invoices, you can also choose to sort your invoices by date instead of by invoice number to maintain chronological order

Items, Services, and Taxes

To bill your clients for your goods and services, select the Add a Line button. From there, you can:
Add a Line button on Invoice.
  • Import Unbilled Time and Expenses - This appears if the client has any unbilled time or expenses to rebill, select this in the dropdown and then follow the steps in How do I generate an invoice? here to add existing time entries and expenses to the invoice
    Import unbilled time, expenses and project option in dropdown to add new line to invoice.
  • Add an existing Item or Service - Choose from your list by entering in an existing item name. To save you time, go to your Items and Services in your settings to manage your items and services to always include a specific description, rate and/or sales tax so it’s filled out for you next time you add it to an invoice
  • Create a new Item - Fill out the blank fields for Item Name, Description, Rate and Quantity (Qty), this will automatically be added to your list of items for future use
  • Add Taxes - Once line items are added, select the Add Taxes link under the item’s rate and check up to two existing sales taxes to apply, or create new sales taxes instead
Other Actions
  • Hover over the left of any line item, select and hold down the three lines icon to drag and rearrange the order of your line items
    Line item on invoice with drag icon showing.
  • Hover over the right of any line item and select the trash can icon to delete that line item
    Line item on invoice with trashcan icon showing.

Subtotal and Total Area

In the Subtotal area, you can modify how the invoice is paid with any of the below:
Invoice subtotals with links to add various payment adjustents.

Notes, Terms, and Invoice Attachments

Near the bottom of the invoice, you can add extra details and any files for the Client:
  • Notes - Notes are unique to each invoice and will not be remembered for next time, this is useful for any comments, details and temporary information applicable to this specific client only
  • Terms - Terms are remembered from the last Invoice created, this is useful for sharing extra information like emails or websites, terms of service, contractual obligations or payment instructions that is applicable to all clients. If you need to change your terms, ensure your updated terms are on your most recently created invoice
  • Attachments - Select Add an attachment and upload any files (images or photos, PDFs, CSVs, spreadsheets, etc up to 30MB each) you'd like to share with your client on individual invoices only. These files will also be included if you download the invoice as a PDF
    Add an attachment inside box at bottom of invoice.

Invoice Settings

These settings, which are also remembered from the last invoice created, control the look of your invoice, allow you to activate online payments and modify client-specific settings as needed:
For This Invoice
For Client
Once you’ve selected a client on your invoice, you can modify the following:

Save or Send the Invoice

Once the invoice looks the way you want it, you can either select:
  • If the invoice is new, this will save as a draft
  • If it’s an existing invoice, it will save only the updated information, the status remains the same
Send... To
Select this to send the invoice by email or generate a link to share instead:
Pop up for sending invoice with to field showing dropdown of extra contacts.
  1. In the To: field, the primary client's email is automatically checked off as a sender, along with any secondary contacts you’ve sent to on a recent invoice, estimate or proposal (review secondary contacts details here)
  2. If needed, check off any additional contacts' emails to send the invoice to
  3. Personalize the email to your client as needed
  4. If Invoice Attachments / Send as PDF is activated, check the box off next to Attach a PDF copy of this invoice to include it in the email as well
  5. Select the Send Invoice button and you’ll be taken back to the Invoices section. The invoice will be marked as sent and appear in your financial reports.


What do each of the statuses on my invoices mean? 
  • Auto-Paid - Invoice was generated by a recurring template, sent to the client and paid automatically using recurring payments
  • Draft - Invoice has not been shared with the client yet and will not appear in reports, or invoice was sent to the same email matching the business owner's or team member's email in the account
    • Only the business owner and team members can view the invoice
  • Disputed - Invoice is undergoing a chargeback by the client
  • Outstanding - Unpaid invoices that have not passed their due date yet
  • Overdue - Unpaid invoices that have passed their due date
  • Paid - Invoices that are paid in full
  • Partially Paid - Invoices that are still unpaid partially
  • Sent - Unpaid invoices sent to the client
  • Viewed - Invoice has been viewed by the client
How do I view invoice activity? How do I leave a comment for my client on the invoice?
You can use the history bar, also known as an autobiography, to view any activity on the invoice, including comments. Select the chat button or View History button at the top of the invoice to reveal the history.
View history button above an invoice.
From here you can:
  • Review activity
  • Add a message and select Send to send it to your client as an email with the invoice link included
How do I unsend an invoice or revert it back to draft status?
If you've mistakenly sent an invoice that you didn't want to send, you can use these steps:
  1. In the Invoices section, check off the box next to the invoice you accidentally sent
  2. Select the Bulk Actions button
  3. Then select Duplicate
  4. Select the Save button to save the copy as a draft
  5. Return to the Invoices section, and check off the box next to the old invoice that was sent by mistake
  6. Select the Bulk Actions button
  7. Then select Delete. If the invoice was sent by email, you can let your client know that the link to the invoice will no longer work.