So, you are a freelancer and have delivered a project but still waiting for the payment?

We know this struggle is so frustrating. Not getting paid on time for your hard work can affect your finances & peace of mind.

Do you know? 

Nearly 71% of freelancers reported having trouble getting paid at some point in their careers.

If you’re experiencing this too, it might be due to unclear specifications of net terms in your invoices.

Understanding and effectively using net terms can be the key to streamlining your income, ensuring a more predictable cash flow. 

This guide aims to help you utilize net terms effectively, preventing future payment delays.

Let’s start by establishing a basic understanding of what net terms entail.

What Are Net Terms?

Net terms are the timeframe a freelancer and their client decide when payments should be made after services or products are delivered. 

The terms are important as they make things clear, like the due date, resulting in timely payments. 

Common net terms payment include Net 15, Net 30, Net 60, and Net 90. 

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Net 15: It gives clients a brief 15-day timeframe from the invoice date to settle payments, which benefits freelancers looking for faster turnover and improved cash flow.
  • Net 30: This term is often used in numerous businesses and allows clients to pay invoices within 30 days.
  • Net 60: Net 60 extends the payment period to 60 days from the invoice date, giving clients additional time to handle financial difficulties or complex payment processes. It is frequently employed in sectors with longer payment cycles or for larger projects.
  • Net 90: This payment arrangement allows payment to be made 90 days after invoice. It’s suitable for situations when lengthier payment cycles are expected, such as government contracts or large company transactions.

Net Terms

How Net Terms Affect Cash Flow For Freelancers

Cash flow is vital for any business, including freelancers. Net terms, or the period a client agrees to pay an invoice, can greatly affect a freelancer’s cash flow.

Cash Flow Impact

Faster cash is available with shorter periods, such as Net 15 or Net 30. However, longer periods, such as Net 60 or Net 90, give clients a longer period to make payments, which can cause freelancers’ income to decline.

Finding Balance

Freelancers must balance getting paid fast and giving clients the time they need. Quick payments are good, but sometimes longer terms are needed for bigger projects or certain industries.

Dealing with Net Terms

Freelancers often talk with clients to find a middle ground. Some offer rewards for early payments, while others keep some money aside for when payments take longer. Clear communication helps make things smoother.

Pros And Cons Of Different Net Terms

Strategies For Maximizing Net Terms

1. Establishing Clear Payment Terms in Contracts

Securing good payment terms starts with setting clear terms in your contracts. Define when payments are due, how long the net terms last, and specifics like late fees or penalties for delays. 

Invoicing tools such as Invoicera can make it smoother, keeping your contract terms organized and easy to find.

2. Negotiating Favorable Net Terms with Clients

Don’t hesitate to discuss payment schedules with your clients. Have open conversations to agree on terms that work for both of you. 

Show why quicker payments can be helpful, or think about giving rewards for paying early. 

Leverage your track record, professionalism, and the benefits you bring to the table to negotiate terms that work in your favor and maintain a positive client relationship.

3. Setting Up Milestones for Irregular Payments

Consider breaking down large projects into manageable milestones, each with a payment installment. 

This approach provides a steady income stream and offers clients visibility into the project’s progress. 

Clearly define these milestones in your contract, linking payment releases to the completion of each stage. 

4. Leveraging Invoicing Software for Payment Management

Investing in robust invoicing software like Invoicera can be game-changer for efficient payment management. 

Such software streamlines invoicing, allowing you to create professional invoices, track payments, and send automated reminders for overdue payments.

Pro tip: Invoicera’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive features managing your finances more organized and less time-consuming, enabling you to focus on your freelance work.

Invoicera’s intuitive dashboard and reporting tools provide real-time insights into your financial health, making managing and forecasting cash flow easier.

INV dashboard new

The Role Of Invoicing Software

Invoicing software stands as the unsung hero in freelancing, revolutionizing how independent professionals manage their finances. One such powerful tool, Invoicera, emerges as a game-changer, addressing the woes of delayed payments and transforming the invoicing experience for freelancers.

Introduction to Invoicera

Invoicera is a comprehensive platform designed for freelancers’ unique needs. 

With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Invoicera simplifies the invoicing process, making creating and sending professional-looking invoices hassle-free.

Features That Facilitate Efficient Invoicing and Payment Tracking:

  • Customizable Templates: Platforms for creating invoices, such as Invoicera, allow users to customize invoice templates. Freelancers may easily include their brand identification into invoices with this functionality. 

Freelancers can create a branded and professional image by adding their logos, color schemes, and personalized messages to templates. This improves brand awareness and trust.

  • INV Customizable TemplatesAutomated Payment Reminders: These platforms enable freelancers to automate payment reminders. By setting up automated reminders for upcoming or overdue payments, freelancers ensure clients stay informed about payment deadlines. 

This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of late payments, improving cash flow and minimizing the need for manual follow-ups.

INV billing

  • Expense Management: Invoicing tools often include expense tracking capabilities. Freelancers can easily record and categorize project-related expenses, linking them directly to specific clients or projects.

This functionality simplifies the billing process for reimbursable costs, ensuring accurate and transparent invoicing for both parties.

Expense Reports

  • Real-time Tracking: Invoicing platforms provide real-time updates on invoice statuses. Freelancers can monitor the progress of their invoices, knowing precisely when clients view or make payments. 

This feature offers transparency throughout the payment cycle, empowering freelancers with immediate insights into the status of their finances.

Real-time Tracking

How Invoicera Helps Freelancers Manage Net Terms Effectively

Invoicera offers a specialized net terms calculator, enabling freelancers to seamlessly navigate and optimize payment schedules. 

Discover how Invoicera streamlines net terms payment management for smoother freelance finances.

  • Clear Specification of Net Terms: Specify agreed-upon payment terms directly on the invoice, reducing confusion and setting transparent expectations.
  • Automated Reminders for Due Dates: Send automated reminders as the payment due date approaches, gently nudging clients to fulfill their payment obligations.
  • Enhanced Professionalism: Establish a professional image by managing payment terms efficiently and fostering trust and reliability with clients.

Tips For Effective Invoicing

Tips For Effective InvoicingCrafting clear, concise, and professional invoices significantly increases the likelihood of swift payments. 

Here are some essential tips to consider:

1. Create Professional and Clear Invoices

Your invoice represents your professionalism and attention to detail. Ensure it includes:

  • Contact Information: Your full name, contact details, and professional logo, if applicable.
  • Client Information: The client’s name, address, and contact details.
  • Invoice Number and Date: A unique identifier for the invoice and the issue date.
  • Description of Services: Clearly outline the services or products provided, including quantity, rates, and any additional charges.
  • Payment Terms: Specify the agreed-upon payment terms, such as “Net 30” or “Payment due upon receipt.”
  • Total Amount Due: Clearly display the total amount owed.

INV invoice

2. Send Timely Reminders for Payments

Don’t hesitate to nudge your clients gently when payment deadlines approach. Consider sending polite reminders a few days before and another reminder on the due date. 

A friendly and professional follow-up can often expedite the payment process without causing friction in your client relationship.

3. Establish Clear Deadlines

Be sure to outline due dates that are easy to understand and make sure they align with your business needs. 

This clarity reduces confusion and increases the chances of timely payments.

Having Trouble Setting Payment Deadlines?

Set Clear Due Dates With Invoicera

4. Reduce Payment Periods

One effective way to speed up payments is by shortening your payment periods. 

If you usually give your clients 60 days to pay, consider whether 30 days would work just as well. 

Shorter payment terms often mean less time for procrastination.

5. Add Late Fees

Implementing late fees within payment terms can encourage clients to prioritize timely payments. 

Be sure to communicate this policy upfront clearly.

6. Provide Multiple Payment Options

People have their preferred payment methods. 

To accommodate various preferences and speed up payments, offer multiple payment options. 

Whether it’s credit cards, electronic transfers, or even old-school checks, the more options you provide, the easier it is for your clients to pay you promptly.

Pro tip: Invoicera helps you offer your clients 14+ payment gateways so they can pay you with any option. 

Multiple Payment Options

7. Reward Early Payments

Offer incentives, such as discounts or other perks. Your clients or suppliers may appreciate the extra motivation to settle their invoices before the due date.

2/10, Net 30 2% off if paid in 10 days, the net amount due in 30 days
1/15, Net 45 1% off if paid in 15 days, the net amount due in 45 days
3/5, Net 60 3% off if paid in 5 days, the net amount due in 60 days
2/20, Net 90 2% off if paid in 20 days, the net amount due in 90 days
5/10, Net 15 5% off if paid in 10 days, the net amount due in 15 days
1/5, EOM 1% off if paid within 5 days after the end of the month. For example: If the month ends on 31 July, you will get 1% off if paid till 5 August.
1/2, Prox 10  1% off if paid in 2 days after delivery, the net amount due in 10 days

By implementing these invoicing strategies, you can streamline the payment process, reduce delays, and establish a reputation for professionalism and clarity in your financial transactions.

Overcoming Challenges

1. Dealing with Late Payments and their Impact

Late payments can disrupt your financial stability and hinder your ability to manage expenses. They create a ripple effect, causing stress and uncertainty in your freelance journey. 

According to a survey by Invoicera, 60% of freelancers face delayed payments, affecting their business operations and personal finances.

Pro tip: Invoicera’s automated reminders ensure timely payment follow-ups, minimizing the impact of late payments on your cash flow.

Tired Of Chasing And Receiving Late Payments?

Never Miss A Payment With Invoicera’s Automated Reminders

2. Strategies for Handling Clients who Violate Net Terms

Encountering clients who breach agreed-upon net terms can be frustrating. Establishing clear communication and setting expectations upfront is crucial. Outline penalties for late payments in your contract, and utilize polite yet firm reminders.

Invoicera’s real-time tracking helps identify delayed payments, allowing proactive steps to address violations.

Pro tip: Invoicera’s reporting and tracking features assist in monitoring payment adherence, empowering you to address violations promptly.

3. Legal Recourse and Protection for Freelancers

While prevention is key, having a safety net is essential. Legal recourse can be pursued if clients consistently violate payment terms. Invoicera’s documentation and record-keeping features provide a robust trail of transactions, aiding in legal proceedings if necessary and offering freelancers a layer of protection.

Pro tip: Invoicera’s comprehensive record-keeping ensures a solid foundation for legal actions, safeguarding freelancers’ interests.

Purchase of order managementKey Takeaways

  • Understand your industry’s net terms and use them in your contracts.
  • Communicate very clearly about what your clients are expecting from you.
  • Try to negotiate payment terms so that it matches your cash flow requirements. 
  • Always send invoices on time once the project is completed. Use billing platforms like Invoicera for this. 
  • Politely follow up on the pending payments to keep your client relationships perfect. 
  • Offer incentives or discounts if you receive timely payments. 
  • Provide multiple payment options so that it’s easy for your clients to pay. 
  • Plan for potential payment delays by creating a financial buffer.

Automating invoicing processes with systems such as Invoicera makes it possible to send bills quickly and easily, which in turn helps to ensure that clients pay on time.

Wondering About Extending Payment Deadlines?

Boost Your Earnings With Smarter Net Terms


How can I negotiate better net terms with clients without upsetting them?

You can politely discuss longer payment periods while highlighting benefits for both parties, such as streamlined processes or enhanced services.

How do I determine the best net terms that benefit my cash flow and client relationships?

Experiment with different timeframes and observe how they affect your cash flow. Find a balance that suits both you and your clients.

What if clients frequently delay payments within agreed net terms?

Communicate your concerns professionally. Consider implementing late fees in your terms and conditions to encourage timeliness.