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Newsletter March 2006

Dear Karen,

As a community service, the Law Offices of Karen M. Riggio, LLC publishes a complimentary e-newsletter designed for business owners and independent contractors. Each month, we offer valuable tips and practical, real life answers to today’s common contract issues and collection problems. Feel free to e-mail us your suggestions for future articles.

Karen M. Riggio

Tip of the Month
Proper Invoicing

An invoice is a legal document which can be used as evidence of an incurred debt. To make sure that your invoices are correct and proper the first time around, include the following items:

  • The full business name or name of individual who has purchased your goods or services. Include title, phone number, and complete mailing address.

  • Invoice date. You are encouraged to date invoices as close as possible to the date of mailing or transmitting the invoice.

  • Descriptions of products sold or services performed.

  • Price (agreed to amount, how it was calculated, hourly rate, number of hours, number of people, and price of materials)

  • Payment terms (including prompt payment discounts and late fee penalty terms).

  • The name and address of the person at your company to whom payment is to be sent. This must be the same person specified in the contract or in a proper notice of assignment.

  • Unique invoice number or a purchase order number reference.

  • Your full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation. If you are using a DBA business name, you must also supply an address where any legal documents can be delivered to you.

Timeliness is important. You should issue your invoice upon delivery of the goods or completed service. If you are receiving payment in installments, you should issue an invoice for each stage of the project. Make sure your invoice is clearly laid out, and the payment terms are easy to understand (For example, “payment is due upon receipt”, “net 30 days”, etc.). If you intend to impose a late payment penalty if the invoice is not paid on time, make sure this appears on the face of the invoice as well as details of any discount you offer for early payment. By using proper detailed invoices, you will assist your attorney in successfully collecting an overdue debt down the road.


Since 1983, Attorney Karen M. Riggio has helped thousands of clients create clear and concise written agreements and avoid potential business disputes. Her practice concentrates in business and commercial law, and provides experienced legal counsel in contracts, debt collection, dispute resolution, and real estate. For more information, call 203-968-8715 or visit www.kmriggio.com.

© 2006 Law Offices of Karen M. Riggio, LLC
Concentrating on Business and Commercial Law
Connecticut • New York