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Freelance art invoice: how to create an invoice for art services

If you’re a freelance artist, creating professional art invoices is an essential part of managing your finances. Discover our tips for creating, managing, and sharing invoices for artistic work.

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If you’re a professional artist who’s just launched a small art business for the first time, or you’re still new to your freelance art career, you’ll want to get up to speed on the invoicing process.

An invoice is a statement of the goods or services you as the seller have supplied to a buyer, and the amount that's due for that transaction. Creating a professional invoice as a freelance artist is an essential part of managing your finances and getting paid for your artistic work.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of creating an art invoice for freelance work, including what to include and how to manage them. We'll also explore how Dropbox can help you manage your art invoices and streamline your workflow.

When should I use an art invoice?

You should create an invoice any time someone buys a product or service from you. This includes:

Commissioned work

Payments usually won’t be made until the commissioned artwork has been completed and delivered to the buyer.

With large commissions, you might send the invoice before you start creating your artwork to guarantee payment for your time. But with smaller commissions, you might not know the final price until the piece has been created.

Exhibition sales

In this case, the invoice will likely be sent to the buyer by the gallery's sales team on your behalf, so that they can add their own commission. Because of this, you need to price your artwork accordingly before it goes on display at an exhibition.

Licensing agreements

You’ll send your invoice to someone for licensing your work after the terms of the agreement have been made and agreed upon. This could be billed on a rolling basis for as long as the artwork requires a license to be used by someone else.

Two professionals look over an invoice.

What to include in your art invoice

An effective art invoice will feature clear information that makes it easy for your buyer(s) to pay you—and tools like Dropbox make it simpler for everyone by helping you create, store, and share an easy-to-use invoice template. On your invoice, you should include:

Your details

  • Your business name and address
  • Your contact information, such as your email address or phone number
  • A unique identification number for your invoice number

Your buyer’s details

  • Your buyer’s name and address
  • Your buyer’s contact information, such as their email address or phone number
  • Your buyer’s order or commission reference number, if relevant

Information about the artwork

  • Separate line items for each product or service delivered
  • A clear description for each line item
  • An explanation about any restrictions on the use of the artwork by the buyer, such as copyright
  • The date of the invoice
  • The date the product or service was delivered to the buyer

You may also want to attach a certificate of authenticity along with the email, to provide further guarantees of provenance to your buyer.

Information about the payment terms

  • Your hourly rate, if relevant
  • The subtotal of the amount(s) being charged, for example if the artwork was delivered in installments
  • The sum in the buyer’s currency, if relevant
  • Any applicable taxes such as sales tax
  • The total amount due
  • Any payment terms, such as the payment due date and any fees for late payment
  • The method of payment, for example directly into your bank account, via credit card, or through a payment processor like PayPal

How to manage art invoices with Dropbox

If you’re not using invoicing software, but rather manually sending your invoices as email attachments, Dropbox can be a helpful way to store, organize, and share your invoices.

Get all the features of Dropbox in one place and enhance every aspect of your art services—from editing PDF invoice templates to password-protecting files once they’ve been shared.

With instant syncing to all your devices, you can easily access and share your invoices directly from your Dropbox account. And, for advanced file sending features like file share tracking and analytics, send your invoices with Send and track.

An image of the Dropbox user interface, demonstrating the send and track feature for files stored in your Dropbox account.

Dropbox speeds up the process of creating, customizing, and sending invoices by serving as a centralized hub to store, edit, and share your invoices.

Simple, stress-free art invoices

Creating and sending invoices doesn't have to be a hassle. With Dropbox, you can streamline the process of creating and sending invoices for your art business. 

Create and customize professional invoices that reflect your brand and help you get paid faster by making everything easier to edit, organize, and share—directly from your Dropbox account. So you can spend less time worrying about managing your finances and more time focusing on creating your art.

With a streamlined workflow, you can track your invoices, send reminders for overdue payments, and easily access all your financial information in one place. Say goodbye to the hassle of invoicing and hello to a more efficient way of managing your art business finances.

Create professional invoices effortlessly.

Manage your art invoices with ease