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How to create invoice numbers for a small business ?

Just need some advice on a system of invoice numbers. I started a small business and I need to create invoice numbers for my customers. Is there any science or system behind invoice numbers ??? How can they be coded so you can store built-in information ??? FYI – I have a small construction contractor business.

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6 Responses to “How to create invoice numbers for a small business ?”

  1. David Z said :

    be careful not to try and do to much with one field. biggest thing is they need to be in chronological order. other fields have date, customer name so that information can be obtained some other way.

  2. FC said :

    There are printing companies that will number your invoices for you. Or if you don’t want to overspend, buy a used Zebra printer with it’s installation CD and has a auto designated number function that will print on and save a copy on your drive.

  3. Ross T said :

    Start at 500 and work up. This makes it look like you’ve been going for a while.

  4. Kwok Fai said :

    1. Add a prefix to indicate the invoice.
    It’s better to add a prefix for invoice, like INV. This can help you to organize different types of documents, like quotation, invoice, receipt, etc.
    INV – Invoice
    REC – Receipt.

    2. Dont make it too long.
    It is troublesome if you or your customer want to reference it.

    3. Add Time field.
    You may add the Year or Month into, for example INV200908 or INV081234. You can easily track the invoice accordingly.

    4. Start it from somewhere and not 1.
    It gives a good impression to your customer.
    It is really odd if your invoice number is INV00001.

    5. Add Category field.
    If you have different types of services/products, you want to differentiate it out in the number.
    You can add a suffix. For example, add “C” to represent the consultation job.

    So, you may come up with something like this
    INV200908501, INV200908502, INV200908503

    In next month, you have
    INV200909501, INV200909502, INV200909503

  5. patrickmball80 said :

    I have a small design business where I have to invoice several clients each week. You should use They can generate estimates, invoice #’s, POs, and they can even mail them for you or email them directly to the customer. It’s the best inexpensive option I’ve found.

  6. Lurlene Geissel said :

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