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Best for Small Businesses
Best for FreelancersBest for Faster PaymentsBest for Ease of UseBest for Businesses with In-Person Component
Zoho InvoiceInvoice NinjaWavePayPalSquare
Company Highlight

Free accounting software for very small businesses

Voice Commands Open Source

Get paid instantly when you sign up for banking

Get started with just a PayPal for Business Account

Get a free credit card reader when you sign up

Limitations

1,000 invoices per year

20 clients

Must use Wave for payment processing

Must use PayPal for payment processing

Must use Square for payment processing; no invoice customization

Customer Service

Email and chat support

Email and community support

Self-service support only

Chat and phone support

Phone, email, and chat support

Best for Small Businesses
Zoho Invoice
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Company Highlight

Free accounting software for very small businesses

Limitations

1,000 invoices per year

Customer Service

Email and chat support

Best for Freelancers
Invoice Ninja
Get Started
Company Highlight

Voice Commands Open Source

Limitations

20 clients

Customer Service

Email and community support

Best for Faster Payments
Wave
Get Started
Company Highlight

Get paid instantly when you sign up for banking

Limitations

Must use Wave for payment processing

Customer Service

Self-service support only

Best for Ease of Use
PayPal
Get Started
Company Highlight

Get started with just a PayPal for Business Account

Limitations

Must use PayPal for payment processing

Customer Service

Chat and phone support

Best for Businesses with In-Person Component
Square
Get Started
Company Highlight

Get a free credit card reader when you sign up

Limitations

Must use Square for payment processing; no invoice customization

Customer Service

Phone, email, and chat support

If you’ve just started a business, you probably want to spend as little time and money as possible on administrative tasks like invoicing and billing. And that’s exactly why you need to choose the best free invoicing and billing software for you and your business.

Relying on email correspondence, a spreadsheet or sticky notes to track your invoices and receivables isn’t going to cut it if you want to maintain your cash flow and ensure you get paid on time. The best invoicing and billing software will give you the tools to ensure your clients know how much and when to pay you.

Now, if you're looking for the best free invoicing and billing software, you have several other options to choose from. We’ve reviewed some of the best free invoicing solutions and provide a guide to help you choose the right one for your current and potential future business needs.

Our Top Picks for Free Invoice and Billing Software

  • Zoho – Best for Small Business
  • Invoice Ninja – Best for Freelancers
  • Wave – Best for Faster Payments
  • PayPal – Best for Ease of Use
  • Square – Best for Businesses With In-Person Component

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Best Free Invoice and Billing Software Reviews

The software picks included in our list were evaluated with freelancers, solopreneurs and small businesses in mind.

We weighed everyday functionalities such as recurring billing and dashboard reporting more heavily than features such as multiple-user support and advanced integrations.

We also kept in mind how a particular solution could accommodate a business’ needs throughout its life cycle because we know that small businesses don’t always stay small forever.

Why we chose it: From a robust, user-friendly dashboard to customizable invoices and a time tracking system, Zoho Invoice has all the features that a small business may want in a free invoicing platform. It also offers a suite of paid integrations for when you’re ready to scale.

Pros
  • Intuitive dashboard reports with payments and outstanding invoices
  • Free upgrade to Zoho Books if your annual revenue below $50K
  • Features such as recurring invoices, payment reminders and client portals
  • Integration with other software you can utilize as your business grows
  • Protects sensitive information through 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • Limited to 1,000 invoices per year
  • Not as user friendly as other platforms

Zoho is a great billing and invoicing option for small businesses, and it’s a platform that can continue to be utilized — in paid format — as the business grows. One drawback of using Zoho Invoice, however, is that it's limited to 1,000 invoices per year, although that should be more than enough for most small businesses.

If your business’s revenue is less than $50,000 annually, you can upgrade your free Zoho Invoice account to a free plan with Zoho Books, which is Zoho’s accounting platform. The 1,000-invoice limit will remain even if you upgrade to Zoho Books' free plan, though paid versions of Zoho Books support increased invoicing needs.

Once your small business’ revenue meets or exceeds $50,000 annually, you might be ready to upgrade to other services available in the Zoho suite, including:

  • Zoho CRM (customer relationship management platform)
  • Zoho Mail (email platform)
  • Zoho Desk (customer service)
  • Zoho Analytics (analytics platform)

Zoho is a platform you can utilize when you’re just starting out for free invoicing and billing and also one that you can grow into for additional software needs as your business grows.

Highlights

  • Free accounting software for some businesses: Businesses with less than $50,000 in annual revenue get free access to Zoho Books in conjunction with Zoho Invoice.
  • Full business suite for growing businesses: Zoho’s paid tools are not limited to the world of invoicing and accounting; it has a whole suite of tools ranging from a CRM to an analytics platform. This means you can get started with Zoho using Zoho Invoice’s free invoicing and billing software and add paid products as your business grows.
  • Comprehensive FAQ: Since Zoho has been around for a while, it has a library of frequently asked questions for Zoho Invoice that address things such as language options and even how to associate a sales person with a particular invoice.
Invoice limits Payments integrations Price for paid plans Payment processing fees
Limited to 1,000 invoices annually 12, including Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net No paid plans for Zoho Invoice, but Zoho Books has six plans ranging from free to $200 per month Depends on payment gateway used

Why we chose it: Invoice Ninja can give any other free invoicing and billing software a run for its money when it comes to invoicing and billing features, with the possible exception of payment reminder emails, which are only available in Invoice Ninja’s paid plans. As functional as it is, though, its free version’s 20-client limit makes it more suitable for small freelance operations.

Pros
  • See collections and receivables from its easy-to-read dashboard
  • Has most features a freelancer would need
  • Integrates with a large number of payment gateways
  • Software is open source, making it highly customizable
  • Protects sensitive information
Cons
  • Limited to 20 clients
  • Only four invoice templates
  • No payment reminder emails to clients
  • Doesn't specify the level of invoice encryption

Invoice Ninja was founded in 2014 and is therefore the newest service on our list, but its list of features runs long. It provides automatic billing and invoicing, invoice viewing, payment alerts, currency conversions and more. Its one major drawback is that its free plan is limited to 20 clients.

As an open source program, you can also adjust Invoice Ninja to your business needs if you or someone on your team has basic development skills.

Highlights

  • Feature-rich: Has just as many billing and invoicing features as any other software on our list.
  • Open source: Invoice Ninja’s software is open source, meaning that it can be customized as users see fit.
Invoice limits Payments integrations Price for paid plans Payment processing fees
Limited to 20 clients 16, including Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net $10 per month to $14 per month (plus an additional cost for adding over two users) Depends on payment gateway used

Why we chose it: Wave doesn't just offer a free invoicing service, but free accounting and banking platforms as well. And if you sign up for Wave Banking, you can get free instant payouts instead of having to pay the standard 1% fee. Square also offers a similar program through its Square Checking account, but Wave Banking gets an extra star because it offers a network of surcharge-free ATMs — something Square Checking does not.

Pros
  • Offers Wave Accounting and Wave Banking for free
  • You don't need a separate payment gateway
  • Free instant payout if you bank with Wave
  • Protects sensitive information by using 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • Payment processing fees on credit card transactions aren't that low
  • No personal support for free products

Most other free invoice and billing software don't also include full accounting functionality for free — assuming they have any accounting software at all. For example, Zoho offers the lightest version of its accounting platform, Zoho Books, for free to businesses with an annual revenue of less than $50,000. But businesses with larger revenue streams have to pay. Wave, on the other hand, gives it all away for free, no matter the size of your business.

While your typical billing and invoicing software may provide you with a report of total payments and outstanding invoices, Wave lets you sync your business bank and credit card accounts, categorize transactions, and create the financial statements and accounting reports you need to keep a pulse on your business’s financial health. This is quite a boon for those who want to accurately prepare their tax returns without drowning in spreadsheets. And if you use Wave’s banking platform, you can also get instant payouts without any fees.

Wave can offer its invoicing and accounting services for free because it makes money by selling additional services and features. These include a payment processing service, payroll software (for when you recruit your first employee) and bookkeeping services.

One possible drawback of using Wave is that, similar to PayPal, you are beholden to using it for payment processing if you use it for invoicing. This is a double-edged sword because while you don’t have to get set up with a separate payment gateway, you also can’t shop around for the lowest-priced payment processor for your business.

Highlights

  • Not just free invoicing: Wave offers free accounting software and a free business banking platform in addition to its free invoicing and billing software.
  • Instant payouts with banking integration: Payouts on Wave invoices can be instantly deposited to a Wave business checking account without a fee.
  • All-in-one payments: There’s no need to get a separate payment gateway for your business because Wave is its own payment processor.
Invoice limits Payments integrations Price for paid plans Payment processing fees
None Wave itself is a payment processor; no other integrations available No paid invoicing plans Credit Cards: $0.60 + 2.9% (3.4% for Amex) of transaction amount
Bank Transfers: 1% of transaction amount with a $1 minimum fee

Why we chose it: PayPal is simple and familiar, and if you just need a simple platform to send professional invoices to your clients, it may be the best option for you.

Pros
  • No need to integrate with a separate payment gateway
  • Straightforward invoicing from your PayPal for Business account
  • No limits on number of invoices or clients
  • Protects sensitive information through 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • May hold funds for a certain number of days for new users
  • Payment processing fees are on the high side
  • Lacks more advanced features offered by other platforms

PayPal offers freelancers and other small businesses a straightforward way to send and manage invoices. Once you have a PayPal for Business account set up, just click “Pay & Get Paid,” then “Create Invoice,” and you’re on your way.

That said, PayPal has its share of drawbacks when it comes to invoicing. For one thing, you won’t get fancy dashboards or features like time tracking that you would get with some of the other software on this list.

Also, while it is convenient that PayPal itself is a payment processor you're limited to using PayPal as your processor when invoicing through PayPal. This means that you may be stuck paying higher fees by using PayPal instead of a cheaper option.

All in all, if you have relatively simple invoicing needs and want a simple solution, PayPal gets the job done.

Highlights

  • Native payment processing: Invoicing through PayPal utilizes PayPal’s native payment processing, so there’s no need to get set up with another payment gateway. This is one less thing to worry about for those with simple invoicing needs.
  • Simple: While PayPal doesn’t offer as many features as other invoicing platforms, it gets the job done.
Monthly Cost Payments integrations Price for paid plans Payment processing fees
None PayPal itself is a payment processor; no other integrations available No paid invoicing plans $0.49 + 3.49% of transaction amount

Why we chose it: Square offers a free mobile credit card reader for use at your brick-and-mortar place of business as well as a basic free invoicing and billing platform.

Pros
  • Free credit card reader for in-person transactions
  • Free instant transfers to your Square Checking account
  • Protects sensitive data through standard encryption
Cons
  • No invoice customization
  • High payment processing fees on "card on file" transactions
  • No surcharge-free ATM network with Square Checking

Many businesses service both in-person and remote clients. A retailer with a brick-and-mortar storefront may ship products nationwide in addition to charging customers in store. Or a tax preparer might set up a pop-up tax prep shop during tax season, charging clients in the office while also serving others remotely. If you also have a hybrid business model, Square may be the best free invoicing software for you.

For your in-person customers, Square will send you a free mobile credit card reader that you can set up easily on a mobile device using the Square Point of Sale app, which is available for both iOS and Android.

And for remote clients, Square offers a free, basic invoicing and billing platform that features automatic payment reminders, standard invoicing reports and no limits on number of clients or invoices. Unlike some other free platforms, however, Square’s free invoicing plan doesn’t offer invoice customization.

Similar to Wave, you can get free instant transfers to your Square Checking account if you sign up for Square Checking. However, unlike Wave, Square doesn't have a network of surcharge-free ATMs to choose from.

Highlights

  • Strong support for in-person businesses: Square sends brick-and-mortar businesses a free mobile credit card reader that easily integrates with the Square Point of Sale app on any mobile device.
  • Quick payouts: You can get your Square payouts deposited to your Square Checking account instantly rather than having to wait the standard two to three business days.
Invoice limits Payments integrations Price for paid plans Payment processing fees
None Square itself is a payment processor; no other integrations available $20 per month $0.10 + 2.6% of transaction amount for contactless and other card-present transactions. $0.30 + 2.9% of transaction amount if invoice payment keyed in by client. $0.15 + 3.5% of transaction amount if invoice paid using card on file

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Other companies we considered

Here are a few free invoicing and billing software products that, while still worthy of mention, have some limitations that we felt were a little too strict for the average user.

Hiveage

Pros
  • Supports multiple currencies
  • Offers unlimited invoices
  • Three other paid plans available
Cons
  • Free version limits invoices to five saved clients

Hiveage is a basic billing and invoicing software that supports multiple currencies and unlimited invoices. In addition to its free version, it has three paid versions ranging from $16 per month to $42 per month. However, we didn’t include Hiveage in our top picks because its free version is limited to invoicing only five saved clients, which is prohibitive even for a modest freelancing enterprise.

Invoicely

Pros
  • Allows time and expense tracking
  • Has a real-time currency conversion feature
Cons
  • Allows only five monthly invoices and three saved clients
  • Free version only supports PayPal as payment gateway

Invoicely is another free billing and invoicing software that we excluded from our quick reviews because its free version is severely limited, allowing only five monthly invoices and three saved clients. Additionally, the free version only supports PayPal as a payment gateway. Besides its free plan, Invoicely has three paid plans ranging in price from $9.99 per month to $29.99 per month.

Free Invoice and Billing Software Guide

Invoicing and billing software is arguably one of the most important tools you have in your small business owner’s toolshed. Logistically, it's the mechanism by which your business receives money from your clients.

Without a streamlined, automated system for communicating to clients how much they owe you and when they must pay you, your business will struggle to stay on top of collections. That’s why it’s important that you pick the best invoice and billing software that meets your business needs.

In this quick guide we give you a better understanding of what to look for when it comes to making that choice.

Main things to know before choosing free invoice and billing software

Here are some of the main things to know when choosing a free invoice and billing software.

Choosing a payment gateway

One thing to keep in mind is that software such as PayPal, Wave and Square require you to use their own payment processing services to accept online payments.

Other free invoicing and billing software — like Zoho and Invoice Ninja — are just invoicing and billing tools, and you will need to set up an account with a separate payment gateway to actually charge clients.

If you really want to cut costs when selecting a payment gateway, it could be a good idea to look at your most recent sales and compare how much each payment processor would charge you in fees.

There are other things to consider besides fees, of course, but if you’re going to be looking at significantly more processing fees by using a particular payment processor, you may want to choose a free invoice and billing software that supports integration with that processor instead.

Invoicing limitations

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a free invoicing and billing software is the software’s own invoicing limitations.

For example, some software limits you to a certain number of invoices per year, and others limit you to a certain number of stored clients.

Anticipate your business needs — and growth — to ensure that any software limitations are suitable to your organization now and in the near future.

Future needs

Speaking of growth, keep in mind that if your business scales beyond its current needs, you may eventually need to upgrade to a paid invoicing and billing service.

Obviously, it’s easier to upgrade the paid version of an invoicing software than it is to transition your business to an entirely new software. With this in mind, you may want to reference your three-, five- and even ten-year business goals to determine if the free invoicing and billing software you're considering has paid plans you can upgrade to as your business grows.

Other things to keep in mind

While these are the universal factors to keep in mind before choosing a free invoice and billing software, you should also consider factors that are specific to your business as you make your selection.

For example, do you have clients from around the world? If so, the software you choose should support multilingual and potentially multicurrency billing and invoicing. And if your business uses particular branding like a signature font or colors, you probably want software that allows you to easily customize the look and feel of your invoices.

Since the software products we’ve covered are all free, testing them out before committing to one will only cost you a bit of time. And if you choose to test out multiple products, consider sending invoices to your personal email address so you can experience exactly what your clients will be seeing when you invoice them.

What features do I have with the free version of invoice software?

Here are some features you’ll get with the free version of most invoice software:

  • Saved client information
  • Recurring billing and invoicing
  • Tax calculations
  • Multi-currency support

The free version of some invoice software may offer things like invoice customization, payment reminders and dashboard reporting.

Factors that you will likely not get in the free version of an invoice software include additional users, accounting reports and project tracking.

How does a free invoice and billing software work?

Free invoice and billing software work by sending out an email to a client or customer that includes an invoice for the products or services you provided. This communication will include a link for the client or customer to pay you online via credit card, debit card or ACH.

After you sign up for a free invoicing and billing software, you’ll enter your company’s information in the program, including its legal name and address. Then, you can input the different services or products you offer along with their prices. This information will appear on your invoices.

If your free invoice and billing software requires you to integrate with a payment gateway, you will also need to get set up with the payment gateway of your choice.

Depending on the software you are using, you may be able to customize the look and feel of your invoices through various templates. At this point, you should be ready to send your first invoice.

What are the benefits of free invoice and billing software?

Here are some benefits of free invoice and billing software:

  • Tracking and reporting: Without using an invoice and billing software, you’re stuck having to manually track your business’s receivables and collections. Even if you own a relatively small business, staying on top of unpaid invoices and payment dates and communicating with clients can take hours every month. A free invoice and billing software, however, tracks the collections process for you. You may even be able to view your business’s invoices and outstanding receivables at a glance from a tidy dashboard.
  • Professionalism: Instead of opting for a more rudimentary method of communicating to clients that they need to pay you, using an invoice and billing software can help you seem more professional in the eyes of your clients.
  • Automation: Free invoice and billing software can also help you automate some of your processes by sending automatic payment reminders to clients. And if you have clients on a recurring payment schedule, the software can also charge them automatically on those dates.
  • Free: Obviously, free invoice and billing software allow you to free up more of your business’s cash flow so you can invest in other areas of the business.

How can I know if my data is safe using invoice software?

The data about your company that is stored in your online invoicing software is limited to your basic company information and, depending on how your payment gateway is set up, perhaps your company’s business bank account information as well.

While it would obviously be a threat if your company’s information were exposed, the more significant security risk is the exposure of your customers’ sensitive information, in particular their credit and debit card information.

In accepting payments electronically, you or your customers will need to physically key in their credit or debit card into the invoice software, which will then communicate this information either to its native payment processing system or the third-party payment processing system you have integrated with your invoice software.

Whenever you transmit data over the internet, you run the risk of it being compromised, but there are advanced security mechanisms that can significantly reduce the chances of this happening.

The most important security mechanism when it comes to the online transmission of sensitive data is a process called encryption. In this context, encryption is the conversion of sensitive data — such as credit or debit card numbers — into a code that the recipient (in this case the payment processor) can decipher using a special key.

Modern encryption keys are either 128 or 256 keys long, so if you want to make absolutely sure that sensitive data is safe, ask your invoice software what kind of security and encryption measures it takes to safeguard your and your customers’ data.

Free Invoice and Billing Software FAQs

Is it worth paying for an invoice and billing software plan?

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It could be worth paying for an invoice and billing software plan if the features of free invoicing and billing software don't suit your business needs.

For example, most free invoice and billing software only support one user. So if you have a bookkeeper or accountant who handles your invoicing and billing for you, you may want to use a paid software that supports multi-user access.

An alternative, of course, is simply sharing your login information with your bookkeeper or accountant — this method will work even with free software products that don't support multi-user access.

What is the best invoice and billing software for online business management?

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Since online businesses come in many varieties, the best invoice and billing software for your online business management will depend on your online business's specific needs. Several of the top picks featured in this article, including Zoho Invoice and PayPal, could fit the needs of small and online businesses.

Do I need to enter a credit card to sign up for free invoice software?

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No, you generally don't need to enter credit card details to sign up for free invoice software. Typically, the information you'll need to enter to sign up for free invoice software consists of your name, your company's name and your business email address.

How We Found the Best Free Invoice and Billing Software

We used the following factors to pick the best free invoice and billing software:

  • Features: Although a free software may not have all the features you would get with a full-blown accounting platform, they generally have some baseline characteristics. These include automatic recurring billing and invoicing, invoice tracking and reporting, the ability to send customized invoices and an easy-to-use interface. The software on our list have most of these features.
  • Invoice limitations: Although some of the software products on our list have limits with regard to the number of invoices you can send annually or the number of clients you can store in the system, their limitations didn't seem too prohibitive for the typical user we believe each product is best suited for.
  • Security: Whenever you handle and transmit financial information online, security becomes a top concern. That’s why we researched the security processes of our top picks and only included products that have encryption systems in place to ensure that sensitive data and other information is kept secure.

Summary of the Best Free Invoice and Billing Software of 2023

  • Zoho – Best for Small Business
  • Invoice Ninja – Best for Freelancers
  • Wave – Best for Faster Payments
  • PayPal – Best for Ease of Use
  • Square – Best for Businesses With In-Person Component