Last editedMay 20222 min read
Whether you’re a member of an orchestra, a solo performer or a drummer in a rock band, as a professional musician you need to make sure you get paid for your services. In the age of streaming, it’s increasingly tricky to make any money from recording music, so getting paid for playing live is more important than ever to keep your cash flow moving. Unfortunately, many musicians are too busy concentrating on practising, rehearsing or writing — in other words, the art that drives them – to spend too much time thinking about the administrative side of things.
Without regular payments, however, no musician will be able to fully commit themselves to making music as more than a hobby, which is why any professional musician needs to think about putting together an invoice for musicians.
What is needed on an invoice for musicians
In simple terms, an invoice is a document which sets out the details needed for a payment to be made. When you play a gig as a musician, then it could be the venue which owes you money or a bandleader. Still, either way, setting out how much you are owed and why in a professional-looking format will make it much more likely that you are going to be paid, and promptly.
For SMEs of every kind, particularly sole traders like professional musicians, late payments can spell disaster, interrupting income and making it impossible to re-invest. As a musician, you may be depending upon the payment from one assignment to fund the travel costs for your next, so it’s vital that payment is made quickly and in full.
A musician invoice needs to include:
your name, address and other contact details
the name and address of the person or business you’re invoicing
a unique invoice number. The client may use this number when they make a payment, and you will be able to refer to it if any follow-up enquiries are needed after the invoice has been sent. In both circumstances a unique reference number will make it easier to track the progress of an individual invoice and payment
details of the services provided
the total due for those services
details of the payment methods which you accept
the date upon which the payment falls due
details of any policy you have for dealing with late payments, such as imposing a fee or charging interest on the amount
The more professional a musician invoice is, the more seriously your demands for payment will be treated. Creating a professional-looking invoice from scratch would be highly time-consuming, which is why a musician invoice template is such a valuable resource. At GoCardless, we offer a basic invoice which can be downloaded free of charge here and modified to suit the specific requirements of a professional musician, as detailed above.
The easier it is for a client to make a payment, the more likely a musician can be paid quickly. Working with GoCardless means putting an end to the kind of issues which so often plague the payment process. By its very nature, a late payment has to be chased, putting stress on a musician and potentially souring relationships with the venues and promoters they depend on. However, according to our research, GoCardless customers are paid 47% faster than others chasing payments. In contrast, those who link GoCardless with an accounting platform like Xero receive payment twice as fast.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.