Hourly Invoice Template - Automated and Free to Use

January 15, 2024

In this post, we share the importance of an hourly invoice, its difference from flat rate, how is it calculated, and what elements you need to include. We also include an hourly invoice template solution and its benefits so you can get started immediately after you understand other points covered in the article.

James Fyfe
Co-founder - CEO

In the world of freelancing, entrepreneurship, or business ownership, time is a precious resource. To maintain a positive cash flow and run a successful business, it's essential to issue invoices to clients promptly. 

However, managing this process can be challenging. That's where hourly invoice templates come to the rescue. A free invoice template ensures that your invoices are professional and complete, so you increase the likelihood of your invoices getting paid on time. The template automates the creation and sending of hourly invoices, making it a useful asset for small businesses.

Before we dive into the details, download our free hourly invoice template so you can follow along with the upcoming sections of this article and end up with a ready-to-send hourly invoice.

Professional Invoice Example - Portant Free Template

Why is Hourly Invoicing Important?

Your time is valuable, and when you've agreed on an hourly rate with your client, it is crucial to get compensated for the work you've completed or the services rendered. 

Hourly invoicing ensures you are paid fairly for every hour you invest working in your business or services provided for a specific client’s project. 

Flat Rate Vs. Hourly Rate

Before we dive into the specifics of hourly rates and invoicing, let's first understand the difference between flat rate and hourly rate billing methods.

  • Flat Rate Billing: This method involves charging a fixed fee for a specific project or service, regardless of the time spent. While it provides clients with cost predictability, it may not accurately track the time spent on a project.
  • Hourly Rate Billing: With hourly rate billing, you charge clients for the hours worked. This method allows you to accurately track time spent on tasks, making it suitable for projects with variable workloads or ongoing commitments.

The choice between these billing methods depends on the nature of your work and the likes of your clients.

How is an Hourly Rate Calculated?

Calculating your hourly rate is a crucial step in hourly invoicing. Here's a formula to help you determine your rate accurately:

Hourly Rate = (Desired Profit + Overhead Costs) / Billable Hours 

  • Desired Profit: This is the income you aim to earn for a specific project.
  • Overhead Costs: These encompass expenses such as rent, utilities, software subscriptions, tools, and office supplies.
  • Billable Hours: This figure considers the number of hours you expect to work on the task or project.

Accurate hourly rate calculation ensures that you cover your costs, earn a reasonable profit for hourly work, and provide fair payment terms to your clients.

What Should Hourly Professional Invoices Include?

A professional hourly invoice should contain specific elements to ensure clarity and facilitate prompt payment. 

Here's what your hourly invoice template should include:

1. Your Contact and Business Details: Include your name, business name, logo, address, phone number, and email address.

2. Business Contact Information: Include the client's name, business contact information, address, phone number, and email address.

Customer's Business Contact Information Example - Portant's Invoice Template

3. Invoice Number: Assign a unique invoice number to each invoice for easy tracking.

Invoice Number Example - Portant's Invoice Template

4. Invoice Date: Specify the invoice date to indicate when the invoice is issued.

Invoice Date Example - Portant's Invoice Template

5. Payment Terms: Indicate the due date by which the payment should be completed. Common payment terms are "Net 30" or "Net 15," meaning payment is expected within 30 or 15 days, respectively.

Payment Terms Example - Portant's Invoice Template

6. Itemized List of Services: Detail the services rendered, including a description, the number of hours worked, and the hourly rate for each service.

7. Total Amount Due: Sum up the charges for all services provided.

8. Payment Instructions: Provide clear instructions, including payment methods (e.g., PayPal, credit card, wire transfer), payment terms, and any late payment penalties or discounts for early payments.

9. Notes: Outline specific terms and conditions related to the project or payment, such as late payment fees for outstanding invoices, project milestones, or confidentiality agreements. Include any additional information or notes relevant to the invoice or your client relationship.

Our hourly professional invoice template includes all these essential components, making it a convenient solution for creating professional invoices.

What are the Benefits of Using an Hourly Invoice Template?

Using an hourly pay rate invoice template offers several advantages for your business:

  1. Time Savings: Templates eliminate the need to create invoices from scratch, saving you valuable time. You can quickly fill in the details and send invoices in minutes.
  2. Consistency: Templates ensure that your invoices maintain a consistent and professional appearance, reinforcing your business brand.
  3. Accuracy: Templates help prevent errors in invoicing, ensuring that all necessary information is included.
  4. Organization: Templates make it easier to track invoices, payments, and outstanding balances, aiding in financial management.
  5. Automation: Some templates, like Portant's hourly invoice template, enable you to automate invoice creation and delivery, reducing manual effort, which saves your business time and money.
  6. Client Convenience: Templates provide a clear and structured format that clients appreciate, making it easier to process and pay invoices promptly.
  7. Professionalism: Using a well-designed template demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, instilling confidence in your clients.

Portant's free hourly invoice template provides all these benefits, offering a free and user-friendly solution for streamlining your invoicing process.

When Should You Send Your Hourly Invoice to Your Clients?

Timing is crucial when it comes to sending invoices to your clients. Here are some best practices:

  1. Prompt Invoicing: Send invoices as soon as work is completed or at agreed-upon intervals, such as weekly or monthly, to maintain a steady cash flow.
  2. Clear Payment Terms: Communicate payment terms and the payment due date on your invoices to ensure your clients know when to pay.
  3. Utilize Automation: Take advantage of features in tools like Portant's invoice workflow where you can connect your professional email and send invoices via email within minutes of completing the work.
  4. Follow Up on Overdue Payments: If a client misses the payment, send a past due invoice email as a friendly reminder. Consistent follow-up ensures you receive timely payments.

Remember, prompt invoicing also benefits you by demonstrating professionalism and reliability to your clients.

To conclude, time is indeed money, especially for small businesses. Maximizing the efficiency of your invoicing process can significantly impact your business's success and cash flow. 

By using an hourly invoice template, you not only save time but also ensure your invoices are professional, accurate, and consistent. This free and automated solution provided by Portant empowers you to focus on what you do best while maintaining a transparent and fair billing process for your clients.

For a detailed walkthrough of Portant’s invoice workflow, have a look at the video below: 


Q: What is an example of an hourly billing rate?

A: Hourly billing rates vary depending on industry, location, experience, and specialization. For instance, a freelance graphic designer in a major city might charge $50 to $150 per hour, while an experienced attorney might bill $200 to $500 per hour or more.

Q: Should freelancers charge hourly?

A: Whether freelancers should charge hourly or use a different billing method depends on the nature of their work and client relationships. Hourly billing suits projects with variable workloads or ongoing tasks where tracking hours is feasible. 

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