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A quote invoice (also called a “sales quote”) is a document used for providing potential clients with the total monetary cost that they can expect to pay for a product or service. It is most commonly used for services that incorporate variable material costs that are heavily dependent on the client’s specific request or project.

What should be included in a Quote?

A quote is structurally similar to an invoice and requires much of the same information. It is recommended that a company issue multiple quotes to convey different options for the client. This can include adding/removing services or altering the payment terms. Small businesses and contractors should be sure to include the following information in a professional quote:

  • A breakdown of each cost
  • The parties contact information
  • A quote number for tracking jobs
  • Work beginning & end dates
  • Time to respond to the quote (example: “Must be accepted within three (3) days”)
  • Payment terms (e.g “Net thirty (30)”)
  • Accepted payment method(s)

Quote vs an Estimate

A quote, in comparison to an estimate, is the final, true cost that a client would be required to pay. Before a quote is issued, a company will conduct an in-depth breakdown of the work that would have to be done, what parts or materials would need to be ordered, and the required mark-up to allow for sufficient profit. An estimate, on the other hand, is rough and does not need to represent the final cost to the client.