10 Important Payment Terms Small Business Owners Should Know

Invoice Payment Terms for Small Business

Fill in the form to get a blank invoice template as an editable PDF, with how-to guide. To see our product designed specifically for your country, please visit the United States site.

  • Therefore, these fees can serve as an added incentive for customers to pay you sooner or communicate with you if they’re unable to.
  • That creates a significant cash flow deficit for many businesses, which is not a positive sign for long-term growth, prosperity, or profitability.
  • To ensure the smooth running of a business, it is essential to set up comprehensive payment guidelines and terms for payments past the deadline.
  • For startups, the cash coming in and out of the company can amount to crucial changes in its greater cash flow projections, regardless of how big or small the payment is.
  • Installment agreements are similar to line-of-credit payment terms, except they’re cash-based.
  • Cash against documents, or CAD, is a common form of payment in international trade.
  • You can ask clients to provide credit card numbers or accept payments through a mobile application.

To make sure your clients pay you properly, it helps to understand common payment terms and how to use them. What happens when the invoice deadline comes and goes and https://www.bookstime.com/articles/invoice-payment-terms your customer hasn’t submitted payment? If you charge fees for late payments, then these late fees basically become a way to charge interest on outstanding invoices.

Credit card payments

To avoid any confusion or conflicts later on, the best way to address payment terms is up front and within your agreement. Bring up payment terms once you’ve agreed on a scope of work so that your client knows exactly what to expect. You may also decide to break up your customer’s payment into multiple installments set over an agreed period.

Invoice Payment Terms for Small Business

Another important consideration when determining payment terms is the total amount of invoice. The smaller an invoice is, the less time you want to spend chasing payment on it. If you are invoicing for a small amount like $200 or less, requiring immediate payment (due on receipt) or terms of net 10 may make the most sense. Maintaining records, tracking, and analyzing payments are crucial to small business success. Tracking invoices can help you spot customer buying patterns, and risks, identify product seasonality and other trends and inform budgeting and forecasting.


Choose from a host of templates to help you create your invoices, send them out and get money flowing back into your business. While payment terms are largely concerned with the particulars of “When” and “How” your customers should pay you, there are standard invoice payment terms you need to understand. You can customize them based on your business needs, industry expectations, and credit terms you plan to provide for that customer. The most critical focus of a business should be its consistent cash flow. And one of the primary factors that impact your cash flow is your invoice payment terms.

  • For example, consider offering a 5% discount if the customer pays the total balance in full before the due date.
  • These terms set the general expectations on payment to avoid confusion or conflicts later.
  • Payment terms can also be used as a competitive advantage if your cash flow can support it.
  • A small business supplier is an entity that carries on an enterprise in Australia and its annual turnover for the most recent income year is less than $10million.
  • This means that the customer has until the end of the month to pay the invoice.
  • Meanwhile, Net 60 can be most often found in the fashion and construction industries.
  • Here’s a close look at what are payment terms and how they can help you streamline your cash flow and the range of options available to businesses.

For example, restaurant owners are typically paid in 1-2 days whereas construction companies may not receive funds for up to 90 days. That may be okay for large companies that can afford to extend payment terms for their clients, but a lack of cash flow for small businesses could cause them to fail. This means that the customer has until the end of the month to pay the invoice. This term is often used when businesses have a lot of invoices to process and want to simplify their accounting. If you’re planning to bill with EOM payment terms, be sure to send invoices promptly so customers feel they have enough time to pay.

Simplify online invoicing. Try Zoho Invoice today!

Communicating clear invoice payment terms to your clients can therefore be vital for financial forecasting and long-range planning. Paper-based invoicing and snail-mail payments don’t exactly lend themselves to a sprightly, responsive competitive profile in the age of digital transformation. If possible, be sure to support payment methods that offer maximum convenience, and minimal hassle, to your customers, including credit cards, automated clearing house (ACH), etc. Finally, net 7 is the shortest payment term and is typically used only for very small invoices or when businesses are providing services on credit.

You can base your decision on their credit history, while you may choose to have new customers pay a deposit. It’s crucial to negotiate your payment terms with your customer before you begin work. QuickBooks makes it easy to invoice your customers, accept payments, and automate follow-up reminders, so nothing slips through the cracks. QuickBooks Payments offers a free email and ACH payment merchant service account, and free instant deposits with a QuickBooks Cash business bank account. Make sure both you and the client are clear on what work will be delivered, and when.

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

If you must supply a service or product, these payment terms mean that your client would typically receive your invoice and pay it after 30 days. Businesses with large overheads which need time to manage their cash flows before paying invoices will often use this payment method. In this payment method, customers will be required to pay cash in advance for services. Advance payments help improve the company’s cash flow and minimise the risk of losing money. Suppose you have a small business, for example, a wedding photography or cake delivery business. In that case, you might want to avoid any cancellation risk by asking your customers to pay upfront.

  • You may have made your first invoices in a standard software package like Microsoft Word.
  • Larger payments require extended deadlines so the customer has enough funds to finance the ongoing project.
  • From having to pay for utilities, vendors, and employees to investing in new avenues to expand the business, small business owners have many expenses.
  • Regardless of the reason, unpaid invoices create gaps in your cash flow, and multiple unpaid invoices can cause serious problems for your small business.
  • Another common method is actually to positively reinforce the importance of following a quicker payment term.
  • If a customer unilaterally announces an extension of payment terms, don’t be afraid to remind the company of its contractual obligations.

Plus, you’ll be able to track your upcoming payments, send automated late payment reminders and easily reconcile your account. And accounting software will ensure that your financial records stay organized and that you’re prepared for tax season. If you struggle to get your clients to pay their invoices on time, you may need to set up more effective payment terms. Here are seven tips for setting up better payment terms for your clients. Your small business’s cash flow depends on how quickly your customers pay you.

Contra/contra payment

This also assists your clients in efficiently understanding your billing process. Invoice payment terms are the conditions under which a customer agrees to pay an invoice. These terms are typically negotiable between the customer and supplier, and may be different for each invoice. Common invoice payment terms include “net 30,” “due on receipt,” and “2% 10, net 30.

Invoice Payment Terms for Small Business