7 Best Free Small Business Invoice Generators in 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Any freelancer or small business owner is familiar with the headaches that can come with creating and managing invoices. One of the easiest ways to deal with this is by using an invoice generator, which simplifies the billing process. These invoice generators were designed to assist you with your invoicing needs and are also free—ideal for any budget. The right solution for you depends on your particular needs and how complex your invoices are:
- Zoho Invoice: Best overall free small business invoice generator
- ZipBooks: Best free small business invoice generator for occasional invoices
- Wave: Best free bookkeeping software that includes invoicing
- Invoice Generator: Best free invoice generator for sending invoices without setting up an account
- Square: Best free invoice generator for accepting point-of-sale (POS) and online payments
- PayPal: Best free invoice generator app for mobile devices
- Invoice Ninja: Best free invoice program for frequent invoicing
Comparison of Best Free Invoice Generators
Estimates & Proposals
$0 to $35
$0 to $14 per month
Selecting the best free invoice generator for your business involves the consideration of several factors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Features: Look for an invoice generator that offers the features you need, such as the ability to track payments and manage customer information. Some invoice generators offer additional features like time tracking or expense management, so consider which features will be most useful for your business.
- Email: If you want to email invoices, make sure the invoice generator allows you to email directly from the program rather than having to save the invoice and send an email separately.
- Customization: Many free invoice generators allow you to customize your invoices with your business branding, color, and logo. Look for a tool that offers a high level of customization so that you can create invoices that are consistent with your brand.
- Ease of use: A good invoice generator should be easy to use and have a user-friendly interface. Look for a tool that is intuitive and doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how.
- Customer support: Look for an invoice generator that offers good customer support in case you have any issues or questions. Some tools offer online support resources, while others offer email or phone support.
- Integration: If you use other tools for your business, such as accounting software or payment processors, consider whether the invoice generator integrates with those tools. This can save you time and streamline your invoicing process.
Zoho Invoice: Best Overall Free Invoice Generator
- Ability to automate workflows like calculating and adding discounts
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- No limitations to the number of clients you can invoice
- Integrates with other Zoho apps to manage your whole business
- Customizable invoice templates
- Schedule invoices in advance
- Not able to edit invoice templates on the mobile app
- Some functions require developer skills
- Extensive features make it more difficult to use
Zoho Invoice recently became free forever, without any contracts or hidden fees.
- Self-service client portal: Your customers will log into the portal to view and pay invoices, and you will receive an alert. Users can also share project data with clients, accept or decline estimates, or provide comments and feedback.
- Customizable invoices: You can select the invoice template and customize it with your logo, font, and colors.
- Mobile app: Zoho Invoice has a full-featured mobile app that is also available on Apple Watch. It allows you to send invoices, estimates, and account statements to customers via iMessage, and use the time tracking widget for billing.
- Multiple currencies and languages: Not only can you send your invoice in your customer’s currency, but you can also select from a variety of languages.
- Time and reimbursements: You can track time, mileage, and billable expenses, which you can add to invoices.
You can create invoices in Zoho Invoice by either importing them from other systems or by creating them manually. There is an option to create either recurring or nonrecurring invoices. Zoho Invoice will generate recurring invoices automatically and send them via email at a scheduled date and time. Nonrecurring invoices can be created on the Invoicing tab, as shown below:
- Service providers: If you offer a professional service, such as marketing or law, or personal services, like housekeeping, Zoho Invoice’s timesheet feature allows you to track employee time by client for later billing.
- Zoho users: Zoho users can connect Zoho Invoice with other Zoho products like Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho CRM.
- Billing clients by project: With Zoho Invoice, you can create multiple projects per customer and assign time and expenses by project. Once assigned to projects, these expenses can be included as part of client billings.
Zoho Invoice is a free invoicing and billing software for small businesses. Along with a free invoice generator, it comes with other free features, including an estimate generator, revenue forecaster, income tax calculator, expense report generator, and stock keeping unit (SKU) generator. Zoho Invoice seamlessly integrates with other Zoho apps and with Stripe, PayPal, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Its interface is easy to navigate, and it supports multiple currencies and languages.
ZipBooks: Best Free Invoice Generator for Occasional Invoices
- Highly customizable invoices
- Very easy to use
- Send unlimited invoices
- Track time and projects
- Integrates with other popular applications
- Free plan requires typing of invoice detail each time
- No inventory management feature
- Mobile app only available on iOS
- No field on invoice form for sales tax, it must be adjusted manually
ZipBooks offers a free Starter plan, which allows you to send unlimited invoices, accept digital payments via Square or PayPal, or manage unlimited vendors and customers. There are also two paid plans, which allow for more features:
- Smarter: $15 per month for up to five team members, everything in Starter plus the ability to schedule recurring invoices, save invoice line items, and track time
- Sophisticated: $35 per month for unlimited team members, everything in Smarter plus the ability to tag by location, project, or custom, and customize your chart of accounts
- Customizable invoices: ZipBooks offers a variety of customizable invoices that can be sent as a PDF, or it creates a link automatically for your customer to access the invoice.
- Late payment reminders: The ability to send late payment reminders to customers is a convenient feature that lets you stay on top of your accounts receivable (A/R).
- Ease of use: ZipBooks consistently receives high praise for its ease of use and its highly intuitive and color-coded user interface.
- Invoice Quality Score: ZipBooks created the Invoice Quality Score to let you know how your invoices rate on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more likely you are to receive optimal outcomes like getting paid on time.
- Time and project tracking: You can track time by multiple activities, create projects and assign them to customers, and then add specific tasks to those projects. These are paid features that are available with the Smarter and Sophisticated plans.
ZipBooks gives you the option to invoice your customers manually or to set up a subscription for continuous billing that you can customize to your needs. As shown below, you have the option to add a logo, either save your invoice as a PDF and email or print and send it. ZipBooks will also create a link for your customer to access the invoice automatically:
- Businesses seeking free accounting software: When you sign up for ZipBooks, you’ll receive free unlimited invoices and the ability to connect one bank account, process credit card payments, and view basic reports.
- Users looking for easy invoicing: ZipBooks includes readily available templates you can download, customize, and send to your customers in a few seconds.
ZipBooks is a free cloud-based invoicing software for small businesses. In addition to its invoicing capabilities, it has time and expense tracking features. Its user interface (UI) is easy to navigate, and it has an intuitive design.
Its Starter plan offers a good variety of features, including the ability to connect a single bank account and track unlimited customer and vendor details. ZipBooks also has a unique function in that it assigns each invoice you create an “Invoice Quality Score,” which suggests what details matter so that you can get paid faster. Because you have to type each invoice, and this can take time, ZipBooks is best for occasional invoicing.
Wave: Best Free Bookkeeping Software That Includes Invoicing
- Easy set-up
- Unlimited users for free
- Free accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning services
- Easy to record a bill and manage unpaid bills
- Not a good fit for businesses with inventory
- Poor customer support
- Not able to track income and expenses by class or location
- Can’t reconcile bank statements when timing differences exist
Wave is free for accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning. It offers the following services for an additional fee:
- Credit card payments: 2.9% plus 60 cents per transaction or 3.4% plus 60 cents per AMEX transaction
- Bank payments: 1% per transaction but minimum of $1 fee
- Wave Payroll: Fixed monthly cost of $40 for tax service states or $20 for self-service states. There is an additional $6 per month per active employee or independent contractor.
- Wave Advisor: $149 per month for bookkeeping support
- Accounting and payroll coaching: $379 per coaching session and email support
- Unlimited users: Wave allows for unlimited users at no charge, making it an excellent option for businesses seeking an affordable and flexible solution.
- Sales tax: Wave lets you add sales tax to invoices, bills, estimates, and expense and income transactions. Whenever you enter a transaction with sales tax, it records the amount automatically in the sales tax liability account.
- Invoice customization: There are different ways to customize your Wave invoices, including the ability to choose from different templates, add your logo, change colors, and include a personalized message.
- Reporting: Wave has a robust reporting capability as free software, with all standard reports, such as profit and loss (P&L) statement, general ledger, trial balance, A/R aging, and accounts payable (A/P) aging, included.
To create a new invoice, select Sales & Payments, and then Invoices from the left navigation menu. Click Create an Invoice, and complete the required fields, which include invoice number, customer, and notes. Click on Add an Item to add the product or service you are invoicing for. Then, fill in the following fields: Description, Quantity, Price, and Tax. Click Save & Continue or click preview to preview the invoice before saving. Click Approve Draft once you are satisfied with the invoice, which will allow you to send it.
- Ecommerce integration: Through Zapier, you can integrate Wave with ecommerce platforms. We selected it as our best ecommerce accounting software for companies using Zapier.
- Businesses looking for free bookkeeping software: Wave is also our top-recommended free accounting software for multiple users. Its accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning services are free for an unlimited number of users and companies.
- Receipt scanning: We named Wave our best free receipt scanner because it has optical character recognition and unlimited cloud storage for receipts.
Wave is a cloud-based accounting solution and our choice for the leading free accounting software. It offers free invoicing and receipt scanning services, allows you to create, customize, send, email, and print invoices, and has an estimate management feature. Its ability to accommodate unlimited users is an added bonus.
Invoice Generator: Best Free Invoice Generator for Sending Invoices Without an Account
- No sign-in or account required to create invoices
- Able to add payment links to invoices for PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash
- Able to add tax, shipping, and discounts
- Easy-to-use interface
- Invoice on the go from any device
- Not able to save invoices
- Doesn’t track outstanding receivables
- Limited invoice customization options
If you’re looking for more features than what is available with Invoice Generator, then you may want to consider upgrading to Invoiced. Starting at $500 per month, it’ll allow you cloud-based access to unlimited invoices, credit card payments and the ability to see when customers view an invoice. You’ll also have a complete billing customer relationship management (CRM) and dashboard.
- Ease of use: With only one main page to navigate, it can’t get any easier than this when it comes to creating and sending invoices to your customers.
- Payment links: You have the option of adding payment links for PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash to any invoice.
- Invoice customization: Although customization options are limited, you can add your logo to invoices.
- No sign-in required: The only option in this buyer’s guide that doesn’t require you to create an account to create and send invoices, Invoice Generator is a great option if you need quick access to billing customers.
It’s simple to create an invoice with Invoice Generator. You just need to fill out the template with all the details you want on your invoice and once you are finished, you can opt to download a PDF or send invoices to customers through the Invoiced Business Network, which is free to use. Once you are registered, you can send digital invoices to your customers securely.
- Small businesses that want on-demand invoicing without an account: If you’re seeking software that allows you to create invoices without committing to accounting software, then Invoice Generator is a good choice because it gives you quick access to billing clients.
- Small businesses that want to accept payments online: With Invoice Generator, you can add payment links for Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash to your invoices.
Invoice Generator allows you to create and send invoices to clients and accept payments online without having to create an account and log in first. You just need to type the relevant information, add your logo, and opt for any tax, shipping, or discount costs.
The program doesn’t keep a copy of invoices that you create, so you won’t be able to track your A/R. When creating the invoice, you can choose which payment methods you plan to accept. Invoice Generator lets you add links for PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash.
Square: Best Free Invoice Generator for Accepting POS and Online Payments
- Send unlimited estimates and invoices for free
- Recurring and future-dated invoices
- Automatic payment reminders
- Ecommerce capabilities for sales
- Robust mobile app
- Limited invoice customization options
- Limited reporting
- Not able to edit an invoice after it is marked as paid
It is free to send unlimited estimates and invoices, and you will only pay for processing when you accept credit or debit card payments. The processing rate is 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction.
- Invoice customization: Within your account settings, you’ll find a few options for customizing your invoices—including adding a logo, selecting a color, adding a custom message or return policy, and choosing whether you want your address displayed.
- Item library: To speed up the invoice creation process, Square allows you to build an item library of your products and services. Once an item is in your library, it can be added to any invoice.
- Invoice scheduling: For your convenience, Square allows for both recurring invoices and scheduling your invoice to be sent in the future.
- Mobile app: No matter where you are, the Square Invoices mobile app allows you to send digital estimates and invoices, track the status of payments, send payment reminders, and accept payments.
With Square, you have the option to send invoices from your mobile device via the app, or from your Square dashboard. Select Create Invoice, then add your invoice details and customize the appearance by changing the color and uploading a logo. As shown below, you can preview your invoice to see how it will appear to your client. Once you’ve sent it, you can track the status of when the invoice was viewed and paid easily:
- New retailers with growth plans: Square’s forever-free plan is practical for retailers just starting out, while its advanced plans are ideal for businesses that need a scalable solution.
- Businesses switching over from cash registers: Square’s user-friendly interface and overall simplicity make it a great option for those upgrading from a cash register.
- Businesses on a limited budget: Square is our top pick for free POS software for small businesses, mainly because it has no use limits and features that are often found only in paid plans.
Square works with almost any ecommerce platform, making it an ideal choice if you’d like to accept point-of-sale (POS) and online payments. It also gives you the ability to send estimates that you can convert easily into an invoice and share contract templates along with your invoices.
The free Square Invoice mobile app lets you track the status of invoices from any digital device. Square also lets you create recurring invoices, schedule invoices to be sent at a later date, and schedule automatic payment reminders.
PayPal: Best Free Invoice Generator App for Mobile Devices
- Batch invoicing capability
- You can customize invoices with your logo, contact information, and custom fields
- Send unlimited invoices
- Ability to track invoice status and enable recurring payments
- Software provides security and integration with multiple platforms and marketplaces
- Free bank transfer can take several days
- 1% fee is charged if you want instant access to your money
- Accounts are subject to suspension at any time, which can result in frozen funds
It is free to create a PayPal account and send invoices. It is also free to transfer money to a linked bank account, but if you want a same-day instant transfer there is a 1% surcharge of up to $10. PayPal’s payment processing fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.
- Mobile app: PayPal has been configured for mobile devices, making invoicing a breeze.
- Ease of use: With a user-friendly display and intuitive navigation, it is a great option for new businesses or computer novices.
- Batch invoicing: PayPal allows you to send up to 100 invoices simultaneously, making your invoicing process more efficient.
- Multicurrency support: You can invoice customers and accept payments in 25 currencies.
You can create a professional-looking invoice in PayPal for free, and your customers can pay even without a PayPal account. As shown below, once you log into your account, click on Tools and then click Invoicing. Click Create Invoice, and you only need your customer’s email address to send the invoice. They can pay securely by credit or debit card, PayPal, or PayPal Credit:
- Nonprofit payment processing: PayPal is one of our leading nonprofit payment processing solutions because it offers discounted transaction fees for IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Plus, it’s easy to use and offers fundraising tools like donate buttons you can add to any website, shareable payment links, a hosted donation page, and a quick response (QR) code generator.
- Processing international payments: PayPal operates in over 200 countries and 100 currencies and offers one of the best international payment processing solutions.
- Adding online payments to your business quickly: If you don’t already accept payments online, PayPal Business is an easy way to do it. You can embed its “Pay Now” functionality directly onto your existing website.
One of the biggest names in online payment processing, PayPal is a mobile-friendly invoice software that allows you to create and send invoices in just minutes from any digital device. You can also save online invoice templates for quick entry, send automated payment reminders, review account activity, and issue refunds on the go.
Once logged in, you’ll see a dedicated tab for invoicing, and PayPal will pull data from your recent contacts to create the invoice. The invoice editor is configured for mobile devices with large buttons and easy data entry. Access to invoicing features requires a PayPal Business account.
Invoice Ninja: Best Free Invoice Program for Frequent Invoicing
- Free, open-source software
- Accept credit cards, PayPal, automated clearing house (ACH), and Bitcoin
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- Set up automatic payments for recurring customers
- Generate one-click pay invoices to send to clients
- Mobile app
- Project management tools
- Invoices come with Invoice Ninja watermark unless you upgrade to paid plan
- Inventory not available
- Limited reports
Invoice Ninja has three plans available, including one that is forever free. All include unlimited invoices and estimates, and are described below:
- Forever Free: $0 per month, it includes up to 100 clients for one user
- Ninja Pro: $10 per month, it includes unlimited clients and the ability to remove Invoice Ninja branding on invoices for one user
- Enterprise: $14 per month, it includes unlimited clients, up to 20 users, and advanced invoice customizations
- Client portal: Invoice Ninja provides a portal for your clients that allows them to open and view your invoices and make payments. You can also view when a client has opened your invoice and track the status of payments.
- Bulk invoicing: If you need to send the same invoice to multiple customers, you can take advantage of this timesaving feature.
- Automatic payments: You can set up automatic payments for recurring customers, and also automatic reminders for late payments.
- Time tracking: Invoice Ninja also comes with a free time tracker, which can be launched from within your online account or by using a downloaded desktop icon. Once you have completed the task, you can simply click and add your time to an invoice.
- Fully customizable: Invoice Ninja also has a free, open-source version for local installation and customization.
Invoice Ninja’s real-time PDF creator shows you exactly what your invoice will look like as you are creating it. When you fill in details such as service descriptions or payment information, you’ll see the text appear right away. You can also create a custom domain URL for your online invoicing. Multiple payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, WePay, and Authorize.net are also supported:
- Businesses with no more than 20 clients: Invoice Ninja’s free plan allows you to manage up to 20 clients with unlimited invoices and estimates.
- Service-based businesses: With Invoice Ninja, you can create service quotes and proposals and easily convert them into invoices once they’re approved.
- Small businesses with in-house developers: Experienced developers can customize the user interface to fit their company’s unique accounting and reporting needs.
Invoice Ninja is an excellent tool for small business owners who invoice frequently because of its ability to accommodate bulk invoicing and set up automatic payments for recurring customers. If you sign up for the free plan, you can manage up to 20 clients and unlimited invoices, plus get advanced features like branded invoices, auto-billing, time tracking, and direct payment integration with over 40 gateways. However, the drawback is that each invoice has a “Created by Invoice Ninja” watermark unless you upgrade to the paid plan for $10 per month.
We considered many factors when determining the best free invoice generators. These factors include:
- Free forever: We placed top priority on invoice generators that are free forever, not just for a limited time.
- Invoice limitations: We looked at whether each software has limitations on the number of customers or invoices that are sent per month and whether it’s possible to email invoices from within the program.
- Templates: While most offer some form of invoice customization options, we considered the depth of these options, such as whether it’s possible to add your logo, change the color scheme, and add a personalized message.
- Sales tax: We looked at whether it’s possible to collect and track collected sales tax to simplify sales tax filings and payments.
- Reports: The types of reports available were a focus here, whether that’s an aged A/R report, a balance by customer summary, or a list of outstanding invoices.
- Automation: Any features that automate frequent tasks were evaluated, such as setting up recurring invoices and creating items that can be added to invoices without retyping the entire description.
- Payment: The ability to accept short payments from customers, or less than the amount due, was also considered. We also looked at whether it’s possible to issue a credit memo and apply it to a future invoice.
- Ease of use: Ranging from basic to requiring developer skills, we looked at the skill level required to use these invoice generators.
- Inventory management: While not a deal-breaker, we looked at whether the software contained an inventory management feature.
- Mobile app: If a mobile app is available, we considered whether it’s possible to create and send invoices from your device.
Are you willing to pay for an invoice generator with more features?
Check out our guide to the best invoicing software for additional options
When To Use Bookkeeping Software
If you’re looking for a solution that offers more than just invoicing capabilities, then you might want to consider full bookkeeping software that also offers great invoicing, like FreshBooks—which you can learn about in our in-depth FreshBooks review. You should consider bookkeeping software for:
- Tracking income and expense to file a tax return
- Tracking cash flow
- Managing bills from vendors
- Analyzing profit and loss from specific projects
- Printing financial statements for banks, insurance companies, or other interested parties
Check out our article on the best small business accounting software for a list of great bookkeeping software.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
An invoice generator is an online tool that allows you to create and send invoices for your business. It typically includes features like invoice templates, the ability to customize your invoices with your branding, and tools to track payments and customer information.
Yes, it is. Once you create your invoice, you can download it as a PDF and send your invoice via email. No account is required to create an invoice, but you do need to enter your email address to complete these actions.
We selected PayPal as the best free invoice generator for mobile users because you can create and send invoices in minutes on any digital device. You can also save online invoice templates for quick entry, send automated payment reminders, review account activity, and issue refunds no matter where you are.
Yes, there are many high-quality invoice apps that are absolutely free. Our selection of the best free invoice app is Zoho Invoice, which offers all features completely free, regardless of your company size.
Invoicing customers for the products and services that you sell is a key component of your cash flow. Using an invoice generator is a great option if you’re on a budget or have a new small business with very few expenses. Each of the options discussed allow you to create professional-looking invoices and, in many cases, accept payments online. The best option for you is the one that suits the needs of your business.