How to write a correct invoice
As an entrepreneur, you send invoices to your customers for the services or products you provide. The looks of these invoices aren’t really of any importance, but there are some things that must always be included. In this blog, you can read how you create a legally valid invoice and when you should send it.
When to send an invoice
As an entrepreneur you’re obliged to send an invoice if you do business with other entrepreneurs. You must also invoice legal entities that are not entrepreneurs, such as foundations. Do you only supply products or services to private individuals? Then you are, in principle, not obliged to draw up an invoice. The invoice must be sent no later than the 15th day of the month following the month in which you performed the work. This means, for example, that all invoices for November must be sent out by 15 December at the latest.
What needs to be on the invoice
You’re free to get as creative with the design of your invoice as you want, e.g. to put a logo on it, to use certain colours, to choose a font. However, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration is strict about which information must be included. Every invoice must at least state the following information:
● The full name and address of both you and your customer
● Your Chamber of Commerce registration number
● Your VAT identification number
● The invoice date and a unique invoice number. Invoices must be consecutively numbered.
● The goods or services provided and when they were provided
● The amount you charge, excluding VAT
● The applicable VAT rate and the VAT amount
Of course, there are always exceptions. For example, you’re allowed to state less information if your invoices do not exceed €100 including VAT. At the same time, you have to provide more information when you send invoices to customers abroad. A complete list of these exceptions can be found on the website of the Dutch Tax and Administration.
Even though there are no rules about what your invoice should look like, it is of course important that it’s clear. This way your customers can see at a glance what is expected of them. It’s therefore not recommended to go all out with bright colours and weird images. Below are a few tips for the finishing touches of your invoice:
- Include your logo
- Mention your IBAN and the payment term at the bottom of the invoice
- Save space for a note or personal message
- Use the footnote to state your default details again
- Use a payment link so that customers can pay quickly and easily
Spending some time to create a format and layout for your invoices will later save you a lot of hassle and will prevent errors. There are plenty of examples of clear invoices online, and of course you can also use e-invoicing!