How to Set Up an Invoice for Clients in PayPal

PayPal is among the most trusted online payment systems on the Internet. And it’s among the most used for freelancers writers to get paid. Today, I’ll show you how to easily create an invoice in PayPal from a business account.

That means if you want to use this tutorial, you’ll need a PayPal business account, which you should have as a freelancer anyway. If you haven’t upgraded, it’s probably in your best interest to do so.

I’ve been using PayPal for roughly 20 years, and it’s my preferred method of payment as a freelancer. Originally, the account was used for my eBay selling business.

As I have a PayPal Mastercard debit card, I have immediate access to funds as soon as someone pays me.

It’s incredibly convenient.

Setting Up Your PayPal Invoice

Creating an invoice in PayPal is relatively simple and straightforward. In fact, it’s gotten a lot easier over the past couple of decades to issue invoices as a freelance professional.

In three simple steps, you’ll be sending invoices to your clients and customers.

Step 1: Open PayPal Invoicing

On your PayPal business dashboard, click the “Invoicing” quick link. You can also access the page from the “Pay & Get Paid” section of the top navigation bar.

PayPal Invoicing

The Invoicing page lets you manage any that you have sent, send estimates, or set up recurring invoices for those who will perform more than one job or have a regular weekly or monthly contract.

For example, let’s say you get a client who wants two blog posts per month. You can set up the invoices to launch on a regular schedule, which can save you quite a bit of time.

Step 2: Create a New Invoice

Click the “Create Invoice” button at the top right of the page.

Create Invoice

On this next page, fill out all of the pertinent information for your customer.

This includes the email address, the item you’re selling (which could be a service you’re providing), the cost, taxes (if applicable), messages to the customer, and additional options such as adding a file attachment.

If this is for something digital, then you probably aren’t going to worry about shipping. In my case, I just put the client’s email address in the “Bill to” section.

Creating an Invoice for Clients

NOTE: After adding the client’s email address, you can “Edit customer info.” I suggest you click on the link and edit the client’s information, such as full name, address, phone number, and other bits of information.

You have control over when the payment is due, adding your company information, offering discounts, shipping fees, and anything else you’ll need as a freelancer.

PayPal also gives you the ability to customize what fields are available in the main invoice section.

Step 3: Send the PayPal Invoice

Once you’re done adding the details, and the invoice looks good, click the “Send” button on the top.

Send PayPal Invoice

The message will be sent immediately to the recipient.

What Else Can You Do with PayPal Invoices?

Invoice Management

Sending invoices is only part of the process. PayPal also gives you the ability to manage them, as well as any estimates you provide.

Let’s take a quick look at the PayPal invoicing options. When you click on the 3-dot option button on the right of the invoice, you’ll see:

  • Remind
    This lets you send a reminder email to the client to pay the invoice. Just don’t go bonkers with it and become annoying.
  • Edit
    From here, you can edit the invoice in case there is an issue or if you have to make adjustments prior to payment.
  • Copy
    The copy function lets you copy the invoice…obviously.
  • Record Payment
    If someone pays you outside of PayPal, you can use the Record Payment option to put the money towards the invoice.
  • Print
    You can print the invoice should you need a hard copy.
  • Download PDF
    One of the nicer options with the PayPal invoice is that you can download it as a PDF. This means you can send the invoice to other parties, print it, or mail it via snail mail.
  • Share Link
    Instead of emailing the client, you can choose to share the link. Only those with the link are able to view the invoice.
  • Cancel
    Cancels out the invoice.
  • Archive
    Moves the invoice into an archival state so it keeps your dashboard clean.

7 Things to Consider When Sending an Invoice from PayPal

Sending invoices is an extension of your professionalism. As such, you want to make sure they appear as clean and put together as you.

Although PayPal does a decent job providing that professional appearance, there are a few things you want to keep in mind.

Be Succinct, But Detailed

When you send an invoice through PayPal, you want to include as much detail as necessary for what you’re providing. However, you also want to keep it succinct.

In other words, don’t write a blog post in the description. In plain language, simply highlight the products or services for which the client is paying.

Have an Arrangement of Due Date Before Hand

Before you send an invoice, make sure you and the client are on the same page for the payment due date. There are several ways you can arrange this, and it’ll avoid confusion if you have a set plan.

For example, do you plan to have the invoice due on receipt, or are you going to have a due date after the invoice has been sent? Are you going to accept partial payments?

Will This Be a Recurring PayPal Invoice?

Some freelancers will probably set up recurring invoices in PayPal. That’s because a lot of us are hired for continuous work. For instance, a client might want a certain number of articles from you every month.

In this case, it’d be easier and less time-consuming to set up recurring invoices for payments.

Save All PDFs for Your Records

If you’re not a fan of hard copies and want to save on paper and ink, keep a copy of the invoice in PDF format on your computer. Think of it as a backup system.

It’s always good to have copies of the invoice on hand in case issues arise or perhaps the client would like a tally of everything you’ve done for them.

Handle Shipping and Taxes Correctly

For freelancers who provide products, take the time to make sure shipping calculations are accurate. You don’t want to overcharge as it could dissuade the client from coming back.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re properly handling taxes. Now, this depends greatly on your local government and laws, so, make sure you read up on what’s needed in your area.

Only Include Elements that Are Relevant in Your PayPal Invoice

When filling out the information on the invoice, stick to information that is relevant. For example, you don’t want to go into incredible detail in the description section. Keep it short and sweet.

Remember, you’re not writing a blog post. Just provide what is necessary for the work you provided and what the client received.

Remember PayPal Fees

And lastly, remember that PayPal charges 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction in the United States for processing invoices. This can change depending on the method you offer for payment.

For instance, QR code transactions over $10 have a $0.10 per transaction fee instead of the $0.49.

I only bring this up because these are fees you have to pay. Depending on your location, these fees can be deducted from your annual taxes. However, some freelancers will include the fee when sending the invoice to the client to help cover expenses.

What’s Your Preferred Payment Method?

PayPal isn’t the only way you can send an invoice online. There are quite a few great systems out there that are somewhat popular with a variety of freelancers.

The trick is to find one that you like and that works best with your particular setup.

Either way, keeping track of your invoices is a great business practice and can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Manage your personal business well.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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