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.
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.
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)