The billing is a critical business process for any company. It is necessary to follow strict legislation to edit and transmit invoices in compliance with the applicable rules . This file provides you with a summary of the invoicing obligations: what must be invoiced? what are the formal rules to follow? when to invoice and how to send invoices? Can I rectify, cancel or delete an invoice?
What is invoicing? What is the point?
Invoicing consists in establishing a detailed note of the services or goods sold. This document, which is equally important from an accounting as well as a commercial point of view, records the conditions of purchases and sales of products, goods or services rendered. In the case of the liberal professions, the invoice is called a “bill of fees”. It must meet the same rules as invoices. An invoice must be drawn up in English, drawn up in two copies in paper or electronic format, and include all the mandatory information.
The obligation of invoicing between professionals
Between professionals, the establishment of an invoice is mandatory for any purchase of products or any provision of services provided. The invoice must be made in two copies, one for the seller and the other for the buyer.
The billing obligation between a professional and an individual
Between a company and an individual, the billing obligation depends on the transaction carried out:
- For the sale of goods, the issuance of an invoice is mandatory if the customer requests it,
- The issuance of an invoice is mandatory in case of distance selling
- For the provision of services, the issuance of a note is mandatory when the amount including tax exceeds 25 euros or if the customer requests it.
Mandatory information in invoices
Each invoice must include several mandatory information you can find good examples at nuTemplates, identification of the company, identification of the customer, number, and details of the goods or services invoiced, price, VAT, method and time of payment, etc.
We address this point in detail in this publication: mandatory information on invoices.
Numbering rules for invoicing
The numbering of invoices must be carried out by a unique number based on a continuous chronological sequence and without break . Each invoice has its own number, it is impossible to have two invoices with the same number. The company must not be able to issue invoices retrospectively.
We discuss this subject in detail here: how to correctly number your invoices?
It is possible to provide a prefix at the start of the numbering to facilitate the classification of invoices, such as for example a year, a year and a month or any other identifier (to identify an establishment for example). When the numbering is planned over a period (year, year and month, etc.), the numbering starts again from zero at the start of the new period.
Rules for transmitting invoices to customers
The company must send the invoice to the customer as soon as the sale or service is completed. However, there are several specific cases where it is possible to issue a periodic or deferred invoice. In principle, companies send their invoices to customers in paper format by post or hand them over directly. It is also possible for professionals to send them electronically if the customer accepts this method of sending. This process is interesting for companies, which dematerialize their invoicing process.
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