How to Create Self-Employment Pay Stubs

How to Create Self-Employment Pay Stubs

If you’ve ever wondered how you can prove your income when self-employed, look no further.

Many independent contractors and the self-employed struggle to figure out how they can prove their income whenever they want something like a loan. Fortunately, you can produce pay stubs for yourself that act as legal documentation of your income.

Pay stubs are simple to make and don’t require a lot of information. They outline your income better than a check, and they provide much more information than a bank statement.

Keep on reading to learn how to make self-employment pay stubs!

What Are Self-Employment Pay Stubs?

Pay stubs are some of the most common documents that people receive when getting paid. Unlike a check or bank statement, pay stubs show a variety of details relating to one’s income. You’ll find information about both deductions and additions, something you can’t with a check.

While pay stubs are generally used as a way to keep track of one’s income, they’re also used when applying for loans. Lenders want to see proof of income before approving someone, so providing them with pay stubs will give them an in-depth look at how much someone earns.

These are the common loans people request with pay stubs:

  • Mortgages
  • Car loans
  • Lines of credit

An employee would usually receive their pay stub from an employer. However, it’s possible to produce self-employment pay stubs that provide just as much information. In most cases, you can come up with a pay stub that shows more details about your income because you’ll be able to customize what goes on it.

When you go to file taxes, you can refer to the pay stub to ensure that you’re inserting the correct information. This is where knowing the deductions becomes important because things like Social Security taxes and local taxes need to be registered.

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How to Make a Pay Stub

Making a pay stub isn’t a difficult process, but you’ll need to pay attention to the details that you’re using. Pay stubs are legal documents, so everything must be correct. Understanding how to do this will make filing taxes easier and you can save on fees that would come with hiring an accountant.

Employers provide their employees with pay stubs every pay period. In the case of someone that works for themselves, they’d need to set up a system.

Someone that gets paid upon completion of a project should produce a pay stub after each project. If you have a contract that lasts several months and you’ll be paid throughout it, then make a pay stub each time you’re paid.

You can load up any spreadsheet program and start making a pay stub template, but it’s best to handle all of the calculations before starting. Some of the common things people use are Google Docs and Excel Spreadsheet. Aside from making a pay stub, you can use these to organize your numbers.

Gross Pay

Your gross pay is essentially how much you’ve earned in a pay period before deductions. Gross pay doesn’t include money taken out for taxes, so you’ll want to ignore them for this step. You can easily find your gross pay by dividing your annual salary by the number of times you’ve been paid.

Someone self-employed will have various numbers each year because they typically won’t have a consistent income. If you’ve only been paid two times in a year, then you’ll divide your annual salary by two.

So if you’ve earned $40,000 in a year and have been paid twice, then your gross pay would be $20,000.


A deduction is anything that comes out of your paycheck. These include, but are not limited to, Social Security taxes, local and state taxes, and money towards a retirement plan.

Figuring out how much you’ll need to deduct can be tricky, so you should resort to the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide. You’ll find information about all the necessary taxes that you’ll need to pay. Depending on where you live, you may not have to pay local taxes.

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Keep in mind that the amount you’ll have to deduct will vary depending on your marital status and whether you’re the head of the household.

Net Pay

Net pay is the total amount of income after deductions are made. When you take your gross pay and subtract the money that’s going towards taxes, you’ll come up with the net pay. For example, your net pay could be $17,000 if your gross pay is $20,000.

Choosing Between an Online Generator or Spreadsheet Program

Although you can use a spreadsheet program to make a pay stub, it may be more convenient to find a pay stub generator online. You wouldn’t have to worry about formatting anything and it would tell you what information needs to be filled.

However, using something like Google Docs would let your share the templates between multiple users. Anything uploaded and made up Google Docs will stay in the cloud, so you can access it from any device. You’ll essentially have to choose between efficiency versus accessibility.

Start Making Self Employment Pay Stubs Today

Now that you know how to prove income when self-employed, you can start making pay stubs! Self-employment pay stubs can be made within minutes providing that you’ve made all of the necessary calculations. These documents are crucial if you’d like to show proof when self-employed.

Before starting on your pay stub, start calculating your gross pay, deductions, and net pay. Be sure to include your personal information when filling out the pay stub, such as your name, address, etc.

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