Do freelancers register for GST? Read this if you’re invoicing for your clients outside India

So, now you’re a freelance digital marketer. You’ve just finished your first project and now you want payment from your client. So you need to send your client an invoice. So what should this invoice contain? What are the latest GST notifications to abide by?

This guide will answer all your questions about GST invoices and what goes into it.

As a Freelance Digital Marketer, Do I Need To Register For GST?

Because you are providing a service as an online marketer, you are expected to file for GST. However, there are a few exemptions to this rule. If you own a business ( be it an LLP business or if it’s simply registered under your name) and your annual turnover is less than Rs 20 lakhs, you do not need to file for GST.

Even if your clients are in different states and you’re providing interstate services, if your annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs, you do not need to file for GST. However, if you live and provide your services from any one of the North Eastern States or in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand, the exemption from GST is valid only up to 10 lakhs.

If you receive income from a foreign registered company like Paypal, it is counted as export income.
Export income is exempted from GST.

You can submit a Letter of Undertaking for export services and file 0% GST under export income.
Without the Letter Of Undertaking, however, you will need to pay 18% GST if your income exceeds 20 lakhs.

What Details Do I Need For A GST Invoice?

The primary things you need to include in an invoice are:

  • Your details and the client’s details
  • Name of the person who handles the invoicing
  • Date and invoice number
  • Special terms and conditions you previously agreed on, if any
  • Complete details of all the services provided, listed down individually
  • Your bank account details
  • A thank you note with an invitation to work again really soon

Other important things to remember are –

  • Always proofread your invoice before sending
  • Make sure it is formatted properly and in the same template every time
  • Send an email informing the client that you have sent the email
  • Send a follow-up email in case of non-receipt of payment

What Else Do I Need To Keep In Mind?

It is always prudent to have an agreement in writing, especially for any specific terms and conditions that you have applied. Are you charging just for marketing as, in AdWords and facebook? Is the client reimbursing you for any extra expenses like if you have to travel to the client’s office? Do you charge extra for creating content on your own and then marketing it? Do you expect to be reimbursed by a particular date? What about an advance payment? Do you prefer any payment gateway or third-party services for receiving your money? All these aspects need to be agreed to when you charge your client for your services.

How are you going to charge?

There are many ways in which freelance marketers decide their rates. If you are into a specific style of marketing, like AdWords, facebook, marketing of other website content, then it is easier to set a rate. However, if you do varied types of work, then it becomes a little challenging to decide how to charge. Do you plan to be paid weekly, monthly or once every project is finished? Do you want to be a contractor or entirely freelance? Do some market research to know what the current rate is. Talk to other freelancers in your field. The rule of thumb is that about 20% of your potential clients must not be able to afford you. If 80% of your clients can afford you, then you have set the perfect rates. Otherwise, you should revise.

How Much GST Do I Need to Pay as a Freelance Marketer?

The standard rate of GST is 18% for most services provided online which includes writing, designing, digital marketing, and advertisements. Your SAC number will also vary according to the type of service you provide.

SAC 998311 is the sac number for online businesses. But it may vary depending on your business.

Personalize your Invoice

If you are a registered freelancer, you can make your invoice unique by adding a personal touch. Putting your own style into the invoice makes it memorable and identifiable with you. If you are of the creative sort, then why not design a logo that can make your invoice even more exclusive.

Personalizing your invoice goes a long way in establishing your identity as a freelance content writer. Even though invoices are official documents that have an air of drab around them, a little color never hurts. Some freelancers have gone a step further and created their own logos that go on their invoice. Logo or no logo, personalization makes you stand out from the crowd and creates your own personal brand.

Use An Online Invoicing software

If you are overloaded with work or you just don’t feel like putting in so many details and creating a template for an invoice all by yourself, then it is much easier to just use an online tool. These online tools will have the templates ready and once you put in the details, an invoice will be generated automatically. You can use this tool every time you need an invoice and it will be printed in the same template every time. There are plenty of online GST invoice tools which offer this service completely, for free.

Invoicing is a must for freelance Digital marketers. It is the only way to have proof of having billed your clients so that you get paid on time. You should never forget to follow up if the payment date has passed and you haven’t received your money. Don’t worry about invoicing. It isn’t as morbid as it seems to be, especially to a beginner. Once you get into the groove, it will be smooth sailing.

The author of this post is Mr. Prathik from Ghaas.xyz and all the contents are submitted to this blog by the guest post author. We take no liability for the accuracy of the fact(s) mentioned in this article.

This post was last modified on August 20, 2018 3:51 pm

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