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How to Create a Final Invoice

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Last editedFeb 20232 min read

You’ve completed a project; now it’s time to get paid. Once work is complete, businesses can send a final invoice to customers to request payment. But what is the final invoice meaning and how is this type of invoice different to other formats such as interim and proforma? In this guide, we’ll show you what to include in a final payment invoice, along with a sample for clarification.

What is a final invoice?

A final invoice is what your business sends to request payment for a product, service, or project. For straightforward projects, it’s the same as a standard invoice. However, the format changes slightly if you’re sending a final invoice for longer term projects that require the use of retainer fees or interim payments. In this case, it would subtract the payments that have already been received.

Long or short-term, a final invoice must show a detailed, itemised list of all services you’ve provided. It should also show a breakdown of cost, the total amount still owed, and the payment terms and conditions including the due date and how to pay.

How is a final invoice different to a proforma invoice?

A proforma invoice is sent to a customer at the start of a project rather than at the end. It uses estimated figures to show the likely cost of work to be completed. To create your final invoice at the end of the project, these figures will likely need to be adjusted.

A third type of invoice you might use on larger projects is an interim invoice. These are sent when specific periods or milestones have been completed, requesting payment in instalments throughout the duration of the project. It helps the customer manage the expenses of a larger project, while providing small businesses with a steady cash flow.

How to create a final invoice

The format of a final invoice is comparable to any standard invoice. At the top, you’ll need to show:

  • Your business’s name and contact details

  • Your client’s name and contact details

  • A unique invoice number

  • The invoice date

Below this you must show a detailed breakdown, line by line, of each service or product provided to the customer throughout the project. Add in the cost for each line, and add them all together to show the subtotal.

Add in any applicable tax or other fees, before subtracting retainer invoice or interim payments you’ve received throughout the duration of the project.

The bottom of the invoice is arguably the most important part. This should show payment terms and conditions, including the final due date. You should also show the customer how to pay, ideally including a click-to-pay link for maximum convenience. For example, GoCardless lets businesses add an Instant Bank Pay link to their final invoice, allowing the customer to authorise payment easily and securely from their bank account of choice.

Final invoice example

This final invoice sample shows the type of information that you would include in a typical template:


Your Company Name

123 Your Street

+44 1234 456789

City, Postal Code


Client Name

Street Address

City, Postal Code

Invoice Number: 00001

Date of Issue: dd/mm/yyyy


Unit Cost

Qty/Hr Rate


Item name




Item name




Item name














Minus Retainer




Minus Interim Payments














Terms: Please pay by DD/MM/YYYY

You can click here for a variety of additional invoice templates. Download the applicable template and adapt it to suit your business’s needs.

Digital invoicing makes short work of the process, with an array of templates to choose from. All you need to do is input the applicable details and the software will generate an invoice on your behalf. Use accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks to create and customise your invoices, then integrate with a payment processor like GoCardless to automatically pull payments on the day they’re due.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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