Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A contractor invoice is a document through which a contractor bills an individual or company for the services or supplies he provided. Typically, this invoice lists the exact quantity of supplies a person provided, hourly rate charges, or flat-rate fees. Usually, a contractor invoice also includes information about the contractor's terms of payment. For example, it may state that the recipient of the invoice has a particular number of days in which to pay the amount listed on the invoice. It may list the acceptable methods of payment as well.
Contractors are not employees, so they typically do not depend on automatic payment through a company’s payroll system. Essentially, they are independent workers who are self-employed. To receive payment for the services he offers, a contractor usually prepares a contractor invoice and submits it to his client. For example, a person may prepare a contractor invoice for his clients if he is a builder, electrician, freelance writer, or plumber. Even a handyman may prepare contractor invoices in some cases.
The information a person includes when he prepares a contractor invoice may depend on the type of works he does. Typically, however, a contractor invoice should include that contractor’s name or business name and the address and phone number through which he can be contacted in relation to the invoice; some contractors list their e-mail addressed as well. Often, this type of invoice also includes information about the person or company responsible for paying the invoice. For example, it may include the recipient’s name or business name, address, and phone number. It may also include the name of the contractor’s contact person at the company.
The entries that are on a contractor invoice may depend on the type of business the contractor runs. For example, a contractor involved in the construction industry may have blanks for supplies and labor on his invoice. A freelance writer many not list supplies on his invoice, but may have blanks for hourly writing fees or flat-rate writing work instead. If a contractor sometimes charges a flat rate but may also charge hourly rates for some of his clients, he may have blanks for both flat-rate services and hourly fees on his invoice. Additionally, a contractor may have blanks for entering tax charges and special fees on his invoice.
A contractor's invoice usually includes information about when an invoice is generated and when it is due. For example, a contractor's invoice may list the date on which the contractor prepared the invoice as well as the date on which the payment is due. It may also include the terms the contractor has set for payment. It may, for instance, state that the invoice is due upon receipt or within a particular number of days of receiving it. Additionally, it may list the forms of payment the contractor is willing to accept.
@Markerrag -- It is true that there are some contractor invoices that are chock full of fiction. No denying it. However, most contractors are good people and aren't out to rip off anyone.
How can you tell the good contractors from the bad ones? Ask for some reccomendations. Word of mouth referrals are probably the best way to find a good contractor.
I have dealt with some contractors invoices that are so padded with expenses that they are borderline illegal. You should always look at these closely and ask questions when necessary so that you make sure you are not getting cheated.
It is a true but unfortunate fact of life that there are a lot of contractors out there who do pad expenses and whatever else they can get away with to make a buck. Those invoice can be confusing and I am afraid that is often by design. It is easier to hide things amongst the complexities.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!