How to Provide Receipts for Your Small Business

Being self-employed means that you operate a business or provide a service directly, and are your own employer. One important attribute of a creditable, self-employed business owner is providing receipts to customers for all sales and service transactions.

Why Provide Receipts?

Receipts are provided as documented proof that a sale was made or service was provided. They are useful for both the business owner and the customer for record-keeping and tax purposes. As a small business owner you should save your receipts for seven years in case the IRS needs documented proof or has questions regarding your tax return.

Receipt Options

If you are needing to create a receipt, you have multiple options. Free templates are offered to users of Microsoft Office. You can open a Word document and type the word “receipts” in the search feature and your options will populate. Then simply locate the template you desire and populate it as necessary.

If you’re using a computer-based bookkeeping program, you are able to generate a receipt when you log payment of the invoice. If you’re handwriting the purchase of sale into a receipt book, you can create the receipt manually in real time when payment is received.


Receipt Details

Although there is no written standard of what needs to go onto a receipt, you typically should list the date of the transaction, price paid and a short description of the product purchased or service rendered.

Delivery Timing of Receipts

Ideally, receipts should be given immediately upon payment. If you don’t provide one immediately, you should make one and send it out ASAP. They can be given in person, emailed or mailed.


As a small business owner, providing receipts shows that you care about your business and your customers. In addition, retaining your receipts for seven years (per the IRS guidelines) conveys good business sense in general.