Is it ok to have 40 billable hours per week? Would it seem weird if I bill 40h per week? Most freelancers I read online report 5-6 billable hours per day. What is the standard practice?
To be honest, I don't understand the quandary here.
If you are working 40 hours a week, invoice for 40 hours a week for a client. If you are not working 40 hours per week for a client, invoice for the time you are working.
Or are you asking if it's okay to invoice for 40 hours when you aren't actually working 40 hours? If that is the actual question, then no - again, invoice for the time you are working.
Note that the time you spend managing your freelance business, i.e. handling client emails, sending invoices, responding to inquiries, etc. is not time you should be invoicing clients for. That time amounts to a business expense for you and never a client expense.
If you are working on-site with a client, the U.S. standard is 40 hours. If you are working offsite:
- If your FULL workday tracks along with the regular workday of a client's internal staff, bill eight hours. Day to day, subtract any "irregular" blocks in which you're not working (running errands, doctor's appointments, etc). This is usually acceptable.
- If you're doing piecemeal work offsite, bill for the time you're working.
With all these, you may choose to round to hour, half-hour, or quarter-hour increments. However, in any case where you're actually working over 40 hours, bill for ALL the time worked.
If you are freelancing on an hourly rate then the aim is for every hour you work to be billable. If you work 40 hours, then bill it. If you work 60 hours then bill that, although make sure you can justify it and that your client is ok with you racking up more than a standard weeks hours on the project. They may well have budgeted for a normal working week.