Getting Paid With PayPal: How To Create & Send PayPal Invoices
When talking about online payments, PayPal is probably one of the first payment platforms to come to mind. Most of us already have a PayPal account — whether it’s to fund that auction purchase on eBay or to send money to friends and family around the world. But as a small business owner, there is so much more that PayPal offers, including invoicing.
If you’re a small business owner that’s looking for an easy and affordable invoicing solution, you’re in the right place. PayPal invoicing allows you to easily customize and send invoices, as well as receive payments from your customers. If you’re not yet in need of full accounting software for invoicing and payments, this option from PayPal may just offer exactly what you’re looking for.
In this post, we’re going to introduce you to PayPal invoicing. By the end of this article, you’ll know what PayPal invoicing is, how much it costs, and whether or not it’s the right option for your business. If you’re ready to send your first invoice, we’ll also be breaking down how to customize your invoices and send them to customers so you can get paid more efficiently.
Keep reading to learn more about this PayPal service.
Table of Contents
- What Is PayPal Invoicing?
- How Do PayPal Invoices Work?
- How Much Does PayPal Invoicing Cost?
- How To Create & Send An Invoice With PayPal
- Are PayPal Invoices Right For You?
What Is PayPal Invoicing?
PayPal invoicing allows you to create professional invoices in just minutes. There are no software downloads required, and you can create and send your invoices from your computer or mobile device. You can customize your invoices by adding a logo, custom fields, and contact information. The process is quick and easy and is a great way to invoice clients and customers without paying hefty software subscription fees or fumbling with a clunky, hard-to-use UI.
How Do PayPal Invoices Work?
You can create printable invoices without even signing up for a PayPal account. However, to take full advantage of all of the features of PayPal invoicing, you’ll need to sign up for a free PayPal Business account.
Once you’ve created an invoice, you have three ways to get it to your customer. You can send the invoice directly through email. You can also create a link that can be shared with the customer. Once the customer receives the invoice, they can pay it instantly, giving you fast access to your funds. If you prefer to send your invoices another way (i.e., by the US postal service), your invoice can also be saved as a PDF and printed.
Customers can pay their PayPal invoices using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. Eligible users can also pay using PayPal Credit, which allows you to get your funds immediately but gives your customers up to six months to pay off any purchase of $99 or more. A PayPal account is not required for your customers to submit payment with a credit or debit card.
PayPal invoicing also helps you keep track of your sent and paid invoices. You can track payments, view billing history, and even send payment reminders for unpaid invoices. Other features include recurring invoices, partial payments, and tips. You can also create a custom billing app with PayPal Invoicing APIs.
How Much Does PayPal Invoicing Cost?
As of August 2, 2021, PayPal has changed its pricing for online payment processing, affecting new and existing merchants. The new rates are complicated and not easy to summarize, so we recommend reading our article on PayPal's pricing to understand how the new prices will affect your business.
To take advantage of every feature offered by PayPal invoicing, you have to sign up for a free PayPal Business account. Sending invoices is completely free — you do not have to pay a dime to send unlimited invoices to your customers and clients. There are no setup fees or monthly fees to use PayPal invoicing.
However, you will be required to pay a fee once the invoice is paid. The fee is 2.9% of the invoice, plus $0.30 per transaction for US-based transactions. For transactions outside of the US, the fee is 4.4% plus a fixed fee based on the currency.
Once your client pays the invoice, the fee will be deducted and the remainder will be added to your PayPal Business account. You can then keep the funds in your PayPal account and spend them using the PayPal Business Debit Card, you can initiate a standard transfer to a linked bank account for no additional cost, or you can initiate an instant transfer to a linked debit card or bank account for 1% of the amount transferred (maximum fee is $10).
How To Create & Send An Invoice With PayPal
Are you ready to send your first invoice? You can get started in no time at all with PayPal invoicing. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to getting paid.
Step 1: Sign Up For A PayPal Business Account
You can download and print paper invoices without signing up for a PayPal account by using PayPal’s invoice template generator. But to get access to all features, it’s best to take a few minutes to sign up for a PayPal Business account. It’s completely free and very easy.
First, visit the official PayPal website and click “Sign Up.” Then, you will be given the option to sign up for a Business or Personal account. For invoicing, you’ll want to sign up for a Business account.
Next, follow the prompts and input the required information. This includes the email address you use to log in, a password, your business contact, business name, business address, and phone number. You will also need to include your business type, description of products and services, and monthly sales.
To secure your account, you will also need to provide the last four digits of your social security number, your date of birth, and your home address. Note that a credit check is not performed, so your credit score will not be impacted by signing up for a PayPal Business account.
Once this information has been provided, you will then be taken to the PayPal Dashboard. From here, you can view your PayPal balance, link your checking accounts and cards, send money, request money, and perform other tasks. In this article, our focus is on creating and sending an invoice.
Step 2: Open The Invoice Dashboard
There are two ways to start creating invoices from the PayPal Dashboard. You can use the Invoicing Quick Link directly on the dashboard, or you can navigate to the “Pay & Get Paid” tab, then select Create & Manage Invoices.
Once you’re on the next screen, you can click the link to create an invoice if you want to jump in immediately. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to set up customers, inventory, and other information first by clicking on the Settings option.
Step 3: Add Your Business Info
Under business info settings, you can add, edit, or remove your:
- Company logo
- First & last name
- Company name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Tax ID
- Additional info (i.e., business hours)
You can apply these settings to a single invoice or to all invoices created in PayPal. In this section, you can also select your template. There are three invoice templates:
- Quantity: This template allows you to input the item name, quantity, price, and tax. You can add an optional description.
- Hours: This template includes the item name, quantity, price, and an optional description.
- Amounts Only: This template features the item name and price only.
Later, you can customize these templates by adding or removing fields and changing currency.
Step 4: Add Inventory
Once you’ve saved your changes under the business information settings, navigate to the Items list. While you can also add items manually to each invoice, this is a more efficient way to create invoices, especially if you have a specific list of products or services at set prices.
Select Add a New Item. From here, you can add the item name, description, price, currency, and tax. Once you save the changes, the item will be added to your list and can be added to your invoices.
Step 5: Add Customers
Now, we want to go back into settings and add your customer information in the Address Book. This is particularly useful for recurring customers that frequently make purchases.
Under Settings, go into the Address Book. You can add information for each customer by clicking Add new contact. For this section, you can add an email address, business name, first and last name, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, and a memo to yourself, which won’t appear on your invoices.
Once you’ve added information for your customers, you can access the Address Book to make changes, delete old customers, or add new customers. Instead of typing in the customer information every time you create an invoice, you can now pull this information directly from the Address Book. You still also have the option to input a customer’s information directly into the invoice. You can also bypass adding all of this information and use just an email address to send your invoice.
Step 6: Create Your Invoice
Remember the invoice dashboard we navigated to earlier? We’re going to go back to that and create our first invoice.
Let’s look at each section and break down how to complete and send your invoice.
In this section, you can add a customer from your address book, input customer information, or enter the email address of the recipient.
If you would like to use a different template, you can choose from the three options directly in the invoice.
If you need to add a logo or make changes to your business information, it can be done here.
Add items from your item list, and the total amount will be automatically calculated for you. You also have the option to add new items not found on your item list.
Message To Customer
In this section, you can add an optional note to your customer. You can also add terms and conditions or a reference number if you choose.
In this section, you can add up to five attachments. You can also add an internal memo that will not be viewable by the recipient of the invoice.
Your invoices through PayPal invoicing are in numerical order beginning with number 0001. If you’ve used a previous invoicing program or have another system in place, the invoice number can be changed.
You can also edit the invoice date from the default (the date the invoice was created) and the payment terms. In this section, you can also add discounts and shipping charges.
In this section, you can allow a partial payment or allow the customer to add a tip. By default, these options are turned off but can easily be turned on by selecting the relevant checkbox.
Step 7: Preview Your Invoice
Once you’ve filled out all information on your invoice, you have the option to go ahead and send it to your customer. However, PayPal also allows you to preview the invoice so you can see how it will look to the customer. This is a great time to make sure the invoice looks the way you want it to and that all information you’ve added is accurate.
After you’ve reviewed your invoice, you have several options:
- Save the invoice as a draft that can be viewed, completed, and sent at a later time.
- Edit the invoice.
- Get a shareable link to the invoice.
- Download and print the invoice.
- Send the invoice.
Step 8: Getting Paid & Additional Steps
Once you click “Send,” you’ll be taken back to your invoice dashboard. From here, you can view information at-a-glance, including the customer name, invoice number, invoice amount, due date, and status. There are several things you can do to your invoices directly from this dashboard.
Some of the actions you can take include: Sending a reminder, editing the invoice, recording payment (if a payment was made outside of PayPal), canceling the invoice, or archiving it.
Once your customer pays the invoice, payment will automatically be recorded and the funds transferred to your Paypal balance. Your list of invoices will be automatically updated accordingly to show that the invoice was paid.
Through the Invoicing dashboard, you can also set up recurring invoices for repeat customers.
Simply choose the Recurring Series option, open a new invoice, select the frequency of invoicing, and create your invoice as you normally would. Invoices will automatically be sent as scheduled until you cancel or update them.
Another option that may simplify processes within your business is the ability to create estimates. You can do this through the Paypal Invoices dashboard. You can even later convert the estimate to an invoice if your customer decides to move forward with the transaction.
Are PayPal Invoices Right For You?
Congratulations! If you made it this far, you now know just how easy it is to create invoices with PayPal. Once you’ve set up your system, you can easily invoice your customers in minutes and be on your way to getting paid.
Still on the fence as to whether PayPal invoicing is right for you? Consider using PayPal for invoicing if:
- You operate an eCommerce business.
- You don’t have an extensive amount of inventory to track.
- You don’t want or need more complicated accounting software.
- You don’t want to pay for invoicing upfront (only pay when you get paid).
- You want an uncomplicated invoicing system to use on your laptop or on the go.
PayPal invoices aren’t for everyone. If, for example, you need a more advanced inventory system (as opposed to just an inventory list), you’ll want to look elsewhere for invoicing software. If you’re looking for more advanced features and customization options, you might want to look into other software. Unsure of where to start? Check out our top picks in invoicing software, or start your search with a reputable product like Square Invoices. Remember to take advantage of free trials and no-cost plans to fully explore each option before making the choice for your business. Good luck!