Just did my first paid gig - how do I make an invoice!?
musicmatt
Thread Starter
#1
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #1
Gear maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Just did my first paid gig - how do I make an invoice!?

I just did my first paid composing gig for a promo video by getting sub-contracted from a small production company!

I'm stoked and all, but they asked me to send an invoice to an email and I have no idea what I should do!!! haha

any help??
#2
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #2
you should get your self a book on running a small business and there is a low cost version of quick books available as well.
QUICKBOOKS
Other wise if you have Microsoft word, there are templates for invoices available.
MICROSOFT INVOICE TEMPLATES


cheers
geo
#3
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #3
You can start invoice numbering from anywhere you like so invoice number 101 would be fine..

(If you felt invoice number 1 looked dumb..)
#4
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #4
I invoice with reverse dates.... so if I were to issue you one today, it would read 090625.

Looks high (like I issue a lot!), numbers always guaranteed to increase, and easy record-keeping (you know at a glance how old the invoice is!)
#5
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
HobbyCore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal3 View Post
I invoice with reverse dates.... so if I were to issue you one today, it would read 090625.

Looks high (like I issue a lot!), numbers always guaranteed to increase, and easy record-keeping (you know at a glance how old the invoice is!)
That's not a very good idea for someone who may have multiple invoices on the same day.

You could just add an 01 to the beginning of every invoice number, and you could increment it if needed.
#6
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

You can type up any kind of piece of paper and call it an invoice. Making some simple sort of letterhead for yourself that has your address, ph #, web info etc and some indication of what you do is a good idea. At the top put the contact name, company name and full address of who the invoice is being sent to. There needs to also be a line at near the top that clearly states what the job was, who it was for, the dates of the job, and your client's job number, if they have one. (You should be sure to use the same name for the job that your client's use, esp if they don't number their jobs). Somewhere also near the top should be the word INVOICE, so they know this is a bill, not a letter. After that there is a simple listing of what you "sold" them: labor, equipment or studio rental, any equipment subrentals, "expendables" like DVD stock, batteries etc., mileage etc (unless they have a specific form for this) and a total. If your total is over a few hundred dollars, or you have or will work for these people again this year, you should also send along an IRS W9 form--sooner or later they will need your SS# for their tax reporting, and you will save them the trouble of having to track you down later if you hand over the form w/ your invoice. Now, how you keep a record of who you worked for and if they've paid you...the suggested software apps are a great idea.

Philip Perkins
musicmatt
Thread Starter
#7
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #7
Gear maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks guys, I found a pretty decent template and it worked great.

Before reading all the suggestions I decided to go with the increasing number with a dash to a number that won't change.

1-02888

nobody will ever know this is my first time. right?

#8
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #8
Gear maniac
 
bizzle's Avatar
 

Congratulations, and welcome to a stressful yet exciting industry. Its a wonderful feeling to make music that ends up being heard by thousands or even millions of people. A few words of caution however, you should be aware of some important issues when doing music for broadcast or advertising. I highly recommend you join the Association of Music Producers (AMP: Association of Music Producers). I have been a member for many years, and it has provided me with invaluable guidance and insight into the business of making music for advertising, broadcast, film, etc.

Some areas of concern:

1. Liability: I am assuming you don't have E&O insurance. Who will protect you (indemnify) if you get sued? Will someone be paying for a Musicologist report? Was there the music reference track given to you before you started working? There are serious implications regarding the use of commercially available CD's for advertising production..

Caution must be exercised in the use of existing music as “direction” for companies and composers. Copyright laws apply not only to the literal notes of music compositions, but to the sound of the musical arrangement and the lyrics, as well. Thus, there can be great risk—to the advertiser, the agency and to the music company—in making something “sound like” someone else’s song or soundtrack...

You might consider contacting a musicologist on your own to understand this better, I have been very happy with Sandy Wilbur at Musiodata Musicology Services and Music Copyright Services - Musiodata


2. Musicians Union: you should join, you will be missing out on residual payments. Also, there are as of yet no Union buy-out agreements for this kind of work, and it is currently a huge issue in the industry. Home :: American Federation of Musicians

3. Music Rights Agreement:
..a widely-used, variously-worded document or Contract, signed by the “Supplier” (music company) along with the Composer(s) and the Agency (on behalf of itself and its Client). In general, the document constitutes a complex “Purchase Agreement” which assigns Rights to ownership of the music composition (the “Work for Hire”) to the Client, or provides for a license of rights to use the music composition for specific periods and specific purposes, in exchange for a previously agreed-upon sum of money, to be paid to the Supplier. The Rights Agreement may define the acquisition by use (radio, television, etc.), by duration of use (i.e., one year, two years, in “perpetuity”), or by geographical definition (U.S. Rights only, Foreign use only, Worldwide, etc.). Music companies and composers are encouraged to review Rights Agreements carefully.

4. Composer's Royalties:
Composers and Publishers of original music for radio and television commercials (songs, underscores, etc.) have a legal right to receive “writer’s royalties,” which are paid by networks and individual stations into funds governed by three principle “distribution” bodies—ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Many major advertisers maintain their own publishing companies for the purpose of collecting the Publisher’s portion of these royalties (Proctor & Gamble, Kraft General Foods, Coca Cola USA, for example).
BMI.com | Welcome
ASCAP
SESAC Home

5. How will they pay you? There are tax implications especially if you are hired as an independent contractor. Talk to your accountant.

See this link for a complete breakdown: AMP: Association of Music Producers: Members Guidelines - Music Production Guidelines

Good luck!

&e
#10
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobbyCore View Post
That's not a very good idea for someone who may have multiple invoices on the same day.

You could just add an 01 to the beginning of every invoice number, and you could increment it if needed.
I used to use reverse dating followed by a hyphenated number (for multiple invoices in one day) so today would be 090625-001 then 090625-002

Now I use Quickbooks Pro which generates it's own invoice number starting with whatever you choose. I started with 101
#11
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #11
Gear nut
 
dkerins's Avatar
 

I was in your position a few months back. I found a pretty inexpensive program called MacFreelance (as the name implies, it's Apple only). It is a little quirky, but it keeps me organized.
#12
25th June 2009
Old 25th June 2009
  #12
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzle View Post
Congratulations, and welcome to a stressful yet exciting industry. Its a wonderful feeling to make music that ends up being heard by thousands or even millions of people. A few words of caution however, you should be aware of some important issues when doing music for broadcast or advertising. I highly recommend you join the Association of Music Producers (AMP: Association of Music Producers). I have been a member for many years, and it has provided me with invaluable guidance and insight into the business of making music for advertising, broadcast, film, etc.

Some areas of concern:

1. Liability: I am assuming you don't have E&O insurance. Who will protect you (indemnify) if you get sued? Will someone be paying for a Musicologist report? Was there the music reference track given to you before you started working? There are serious implications regarding the use of commercially available CD's for advertising production..

Caution must be exercised in the use of existing music as “direction” for companies and composers. Copyright laws apply not only to the literal notes of music compositions, but to the sound of the musical arrangement and the lyrics, as well. Thus, there can be great risk—to the advertiser, the agency and to the music company—in making something “sound like” someone else’s song or soundtrack...

You might consider contacting a musicologist on your own to understand this better, I have been very happy with Sandy Wilbur at Musiodata Musicology Services and Music Copyright Services - Musiodata


2. Musicians Union: you should join, you will be missing out on residual payments. Also, there are as of yet no Union buy-out agreements for this kind of work, and it is currently a huge issue in the industry. Home :: American Federation of Musicians

3. Music Rights Agreement:
..a widely-used, variously-worded document or Contract, signed by the “Supplier” (music company) along with the Composer(s) and the Agency (on behalf of itself and its Client). In general, the document constitutes a complex “Purchase Agreement” which assigns Rights to ownership of the music composition (the “Work for Hire”) to the Client, or provides for a license of rights to use the music composition for specific periods and specific purposes, in exchange for a previously agreed-upon sum of money, to be paid to the Supplier. The Rights Agreement may define the acquisition by use (radio, television, etc.), by duration of use (i.e., one year, two years, in “perpetuity”), or by geographical definition (U.S. Rights only, Foreign use only, Worldwide, etc.). Music companies and composers are encouraged to review Rights Agreements carefully.

4. Composer's Royalties:
Composers and Publishers of original music for radio and television commercials (songs, underscores, etc.) have a legal right to receive “writer’s royalties,” which are paid by networks and individual stations into funds governed by three principle “distribution” bodies—ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Many major advertisers maintain their own publishing companies for the purpose of collecting the Publisher’s portion of these royalties (Proctor & Gamble, Kraft General Foods, Coca Cola USA, for example).
BMI.com | Welcome
ASCAP
SESAC Home

5. How will they pay you? There are tax implications especially if you are hired as an independent contractor. Talk to your accountant.

See this link for a complete breakdown: AMP: Association of Music Producers: Members Guidelines - Music Production Guidelines

Good luck!

&e
PM Bizzle on where to send the consultation fee.... you just got a lot of fantastic info.
#13
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #13
#14
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by HobbyCore View Post
That's not a very good idea for someone who may have multiple invoices on the same day.

You could just add an 01 to the beginning of every invoice number, and you could increment it if needed.
It's not exactly rocket science if I need to do two invoices on the same day. Can number it with the previous "day" if I did no invoices, or the next "day" if I don't plan on doing any invoices. It's just a number, after all, not an actual date.
#15
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzle View Post
Congratulations, and welcome to a stressful yet exciting industry. Its a wonderful feeling to make music that ends up being heard by thousands or even millions of people. A few words of caution however, you should be aware of some important issues when doing music for broadcast or advertising. I highly recommend you join the Association of Music Producers (AMP: Association of Music Producers). I have been a member for many years, and it has provided me with invaluable guidance and insight into the business of making music for advertising, broadcast, film, etc.

Some areas of concern:
Good stuff! It should be a sticky!
#16
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #16
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmatt View Post
I just did my first paid composing gig for a promo video by getting sub-contracted from a small production company!

I'm stoked and all, but they asked me to send an invoice to an email and I have no idea what I should do!!! haha

any help??
If you want to make a very professional one, buy QUICK BOOKS! or Quickens! Good luck!
#17
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #17
Gear addict
 
Fredo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sanchez View Post
I used to use reverse dating ...
Like go to bed with her and then buy her chocolats?
;o)

Fredo
#18
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Jfriah's Avatar
 

Myself, I use date codes for the year plus invoice number, like AV09006. (6th invoice of the year for A/V work).

And I'm using Macfreelance which is okay but is certainly not an 'accounting' program.
musicmatt
Thread Starter
#19
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #19
Gear maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzle View Post
Congratulations, and welcome to a stressful yet exciting industry. Its a wonderful feeling to make music that ends up being heard by thousands or even millions of people. A few words of caution however, you should be aware of some important issues when doing music for broadcast or advertising. I highly recommend you join the Association of Music Producers (AMP: Association of Music Producers). I have been a member for many years, and it has provided me with invaluable guidance and insight into the business of making music for advertising, broadcast, film, etc.

Some areas of concern:

1. Liability: I am assuming you don't have E&O insurance. Who will protect you (indemnify) if you get sued? Will someone be paying for a Musicologist report? Was there the music reference track given to you before you started working? There are serious implications regarding the use of commercially available CD's for advertising production..

Caution must be exercised in the use of existing music as “direction” for companies and composers. Copyright laws apply not only to the literal notes of music compositions, but to the sound of the musical arrangement and the lyrics, as well. Thus, there can be great risk—to the advertiser, the agency and to the music company—in making something “sound like” someone else’s song or soundtrack...

You might consider contacting a musicologist on your own to understand this better, I have been very happy with Sandy Wilbur at Musiodata Musicology Services and Music Copyright Services - Musiodata


2. Musicians Union: you should join, you will be missing out on residual payments. Also, there are as of yet no Union buy-out agreements for this kind of work, and it is currently a huge issue in the industry. Home :: American Federation of Musicians

3. Music Rights Agreement:
..a widely-used, variously-worded document or Contract, signed by the “Supplier” (music company) along with the Composer(s) and the Agency (on behalf of itself and its Client). In general, the document constitutes a complex “Purchase Agreement” which assigns Rights to ownership of the music composition (the “Work for Hire”) to the Client, or provides for a license of rights to use the music composition for specific periods and specific purposes, in exchange for a previously agreed-upon sum of money, to be paid to the Supplier. The Rights Agreement may define the acquisition by use (radio, television, etc.), by duration of use (i.e., one year, two years, in “perpetuity”), or by geographical definition (U.S. Rights only, Foreign use only, Worldwide, etc.). Music companies and composers are encouraged to review Rights Agreements carefully.

4. Composer's Royalties:
Composers and Publishers of original music for radio and television commercials (songs, underscores, etc.) have a legal right to receive “writer’s royalties,” which are paid by networks and individual stations into funds governed by three principle “distribution” bodies—ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Many major advertisers maintain their own publishing companies for the purpose of collecting the Publisher’s portion of these royalties (Proctor & Gamble, Kraft General Foods, Coca Cola USA, for example).
BMI.com | Welcome
ASCAP
SESAC Home

5. How will they pay you? There are tax implications especially if you are hired as an independent contractor. Talk to your accountant.

See this link for a complete breakdown: AMP: Association of Music Producers: Members Guidelines - Music Production Guidelines

Good luck!

&e
Wow, thanks bizzle!! Greatly appreciated

now for that consultation fee... as they say, the check is in the mail
musicmatt
Thread Starter
#20
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #20
Gear maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Another quick question..

I'm working as a freelance composer so is it the equivalent of running a small business? Does that mean I should come up with a business name?
#21
26th June 2009
Old 26th June 2009
  #21
Gear maniac
 
bizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmatt View Post
Another quick question..

I'm working as a freelance composer so is it the equivalent of running a small business? Does that mean I should come up with a business name?
You should really talk to an accountant, starting a business might be a good idea at some point. There are countless books on the subject. You know you can't just pick a name and say you are a business.

&e
#22
27th June 2009
Old 27th June 2009
  #22
YES! quickly.... If you get sued for doing something wrong, or somebody decides your latest score sounds too much like someone else and files a lawsuit, or a client just decides your work wasn't delivered as promised and files a lawsuit... if you have a client over to your studio ( bedroom ) and they slip and fall.... you home, your equipment, your car, your possessions, your bank accounts, including joint accounts with your wife, etc.... they can ALL be attached and are in jeopardy. You need to place a legal barrier between your personal life and your business life.

You can file an LLC ( normally Delaware or Nevada ) and reserve your company name in that state and the state you do business in. ( we're talking a few hundred bucks so far )
You can file an S-corp and do the same ( different financial, and legal issues )
You can file a C-Corp and do the same ( different financial, and legal issues )

Find an attorney and file. Get E&O insurance. And get equipment and liability insurance.

Also, check local laws and zoning issues concerning opening a small business in your home or if you are going to open in a commercial facility.
You may also need to file a local DBA ( Doing business as ) with your local town or city.

cheers
geo
#23
27th June 2009
Old 27th June 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
YES! quickly.... If you get sued for doing something wrong, or somebody decides your latest score sounds too much like someone else and files a lawsuit, or a client just decides your work wasn't delivered as promised and files a lawsuit... if you have a client over to your studio ( bedroom ) and they slip and fall.... you home, your equipment, your car, your possessions, your bank accounts, including joint accounts with your wife, etc.... they can ALL be attached and are in jeopardy. You need to place a legal barrier between your personal life and your business life.

You can file an LLC ( normally Delaware or Nevada ) and reserve your company name in that state and the state you do business in. ( we're talking a few hundred bucks so far )
You can file an S-corp and do the same ( different financial, and legal issues )
You can file a C-Corp and do the same ( different financial, and legal issues )

Find an attorney and file. Get E&O insurance. And get equipment and liability insurance.

Also, check local laws and zoning issues concerning opening a small business in your home or if you are going to open in a commercial facility.
You may also need to file a local DBA ( Doing business as ) with your local town or city.

cheers
geo
very good advice, but the OP is from Canada so things might be a bit different. basic principle remains that a corporation is a seperate legal "person" but doing sound in Vancouver and invoicing from a company out of Delaware might not work exactly.
#24
27th June 2009
Old 27th June 2009
  #24
oops... didn't notice that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal3 View Post
but doing sound in Vancouver and invoicing from a company out of Delaware might not work exactly.
... nothing better than a "off-shore" company!.. LOL

cheers
geo
musicmatt
Thread Starter
#25
28th June 2009
Old 28th June 2009
  #25
Gear maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
oops... didn't notice that.



... nothing better than a "off-shore" company!.. LOL

cheers
geo
HAHA. Thanks for your concern. Any Canadians have any input on this subject!? I'm pretty sure the same liability stands here in Canada.. of course I haven't met with clients in my bedroom as of late (THANK GOD) lol.

I guess the big question is should I join an association like ASCAP or AFM, and what one SHOULD I join!?

I'm really just in the very start of all this.. I'm still in the process of making a website, business cards, and a proper portfolio! Its all very new and challenging to understand.. I feel like I have a good business sense, but I really want to make sure my music and everything else is protected.

Thanks for your help guys!
#26
29th June 2009
Old 29th June 2009
  #26
Gear addict
 
Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

Hi Matt,

In Canada, you can start any business as a "sole proprietor" doing business under your own name. This is what countless freelancers do. Remember that if you are or are planning to make over $30k /year in this business, then you have to get a GST# and file quarterly reports, even if you have no income or have done no business in that quarter. Of course, this DOESN'T protect you from any legal actions, as you and the business are the same entity. Becoming a corporation, or a limited partnership requires you see a lawyer to have the papers drawn up, and also has different paperwork requirements. When in doubt, consult a business lawyer... it's worth it. They can tell you the various benefits and problems with each form of business and make a good suggestion as to which form you should take. Also the good 'ol Government of Canada website (canada.gc.ca) has lots of advice on starting a business, along with links to your provinces rules and regs, as well as sources of funding - hey you pay the tax dollars... Oh and get an accountant... even if you understand accounting. It's worth every penny!
#27
5th July 2009
Old 5th July 2009
  #27
Gear nut
 
RussMaGuss's Avatar
 

-go to office max/depot
-buy invoice pad
-fill out invoice
-scan
-send in e-mail
#28
5th July 2009
Old 5th July 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
memphisindie's Avatar
 

Client number, invoice number for that client number, then you don't have to worry about multiple invoices for one date, you can do it that way and it's deeper immediately knowable data about specific clients without a search involved.
There used to be software called "Bizplan Builder" which contained excel versions of everything you need and I mean everything, it could bamboozle or impress a banker easily if filled out properly.

Bizzle 's info is also most important.

It looks like it's time for you to assemble your winning team, congratulations and bravo!!
I love to hear of music winning!
#29
23rd July 2013
Old 23rd July 2013
  #29
Gear maniac
 

+1 Bizzie. See a lawyer. Form a closed corporation. Hire an accountant. Pay yourself.
#30
20th September 2013
Old 20th September 2013
  #30
Gear interested
 

By this time, you might have found a solution for yourself. Still, just attempting to help you with my answer:

Your client usually asks you send an invoice/bill for you to get paid. You can either do it with the help of MS Excel or do it online.

I'd recommend doing it online since you get predefined templates that'd need to filled in. There are many online invoicing apps out there. You can try one, it's called Invoicera.com

Hope it helps.







Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmatt View Post
I just did my first paid composing gig for a promo video by getting sub-contracted from a small production company!

I'm stoked and all, but they asked me to send an invoice to an email and I have no idea what I should do!!! haha

any help??
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