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I develop mobile apps and websites, and charge hourly since these are long-term contracts with continuous development. I'm paid at the start of every month.

Some websites/web services I can host for free on Heroku because they're low-tier. But now I'm at the point where I need to pay for hosting (larger instance size, database, etc.); these services are typically billed monthly. Some of these projects can incur non-trivial hosting costs of up to $50/month. If it were $10/year for a domain, I'd just pay it and forget about it, but that's not the case.

Since hosting/tools/services are specific to the client's project, how do I have the client pay for them? My first reaction is to start including a separate invoice for service/tooling bills, alongside the invoice for hours worked on development.

Is including a separate invoice a good idea, or is there a better approach?

Note: I could have the client set up payment directly on Heroku/Amazon/etc. to pay for all of the services individually, but it's a headache to manage. Most of my clients aren't tech-savvy, and setting up accounts/payments with websites they've never heard of before might, quite frankly, scare them. I'd rather just pay for it myself and bill them for it afterward.

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I would merely add a line item to my invoices.

Service ............... $xxx
Service ............... $xxx
Service ............... $xxx
Service ............... $xxx
Hosting ............... $xxx

I don't know why you'd even consider an additional invoice.

It's also customary to mark-up any requirements you pay on behalf of the client to ensure they are maintained. So I'd charge at least (Hosting + 20%) to the client. If hosting costs me $50, then I'd charge the Client a minimum of $60 for hosting.

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Option 1) Encourage them to sign up for their domain and hosting before you take on their project. They are going to need these services anyway once the project has finished anyway so explain that to them the importance.

Option2) Become an affiliate to a hosting package. Many hosts offer affiliate programs for signing people up to them. You may lose money initially but in the long run you will receive money for all the websites you have built with a particular host.

Both of these options are what I was doing for years.

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