Mandatory information to be included on an invoice

Mandatory information on an invoice

 

MANDATORY INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED ON AN INVOICE

 

Updated on 31/10/2020


An invoice is one of the elements that provide proof of a transaction. It is very important that it contains all the information required by law, in particular the Commercial Code. In addition, it is an accounting document and serves as a support for VAT duties. An invoice must therefore contain the information required by the tax law.

It should be noted here that the establishment of an invoice is mandatory between professionals 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.

On the other hand, between a company and an individual, the billing obligation depends on the transaction carried out:

  • For the sale of goods, the edition of an invoice is mandatory if the customer requests it;
  • For distance sales, the edition of an invoice is always mandatory;
  • 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.

We are re-editing a former article devoted to this subject already published on our website in order to update it, mainly taking into account Ordinance No. 2019-359 of April 24th 2019 which provides for new mandatory information on invoices.

We will thus present to you:

At the end of our study, we will add a few words concerning electronic invoicing.

 

I - MANDATORY INFORMATION WHEN THE INVOICE IS INTENDED FOR AN INDIVIDUAL

  • Issue date of invoice => Date on which it is established;
  • Invoice Numbering => Unique number based on a continuous chronological sequence, without breaking. It is possible to issue separate series, using for example a prefix per year (2020-XX) or year and month (2020-01-XX). To be included on all pages, if the invoice contains more than one;
  • Purchase order number;
  • Date of sale or service => Effective date of delivery or completion of performance;
  • Buyer Identity => Name, address of the domicile (except opposition objected to by an individual);
  • Billing address if different, delivery address;
  • Identity of the seller or service provider:
    • Name and first name of an individual entrepreneur, possibly followed by his business name;
    • Company name, followed by Siren or Siret number;
    • RCS number for a merchant, followed by the name of the city where the registry office is located;
    • Number in the Trades Directory for an artisan (Siren + RM + number of the registration department);
    • Address of the registered office (and not of the establishment);
    • If the enterprise is a company, mention of the legal form (EURL, SARL, SA, SNC, SAS) and the amount of the share capital.

Please note: if the company is in the process of being registered, the invoice must be drawn up in the name of the company, with the mention “Siret being awarded”.

  • Individual VAT identification number of the seller except for invoices with a total amount less than or equal to €150;
  • Designation of the product or service => Nature, brand, reference, etc.;
  • Services => breakdown between materials supplied and labor;
  • Detailed account of each service and product provided;
  • Catalogue price;
  • Possible price increase (shipping, packing, etc.);
  • Legally applicable VAT rate;
  • Total amount of VAT. If the transactions are subject to different VAT rates, the    corresponding rate must be shown on each line;
  • Discount, rebate or discount acquired at the date to the sale or service, excluding discounts not provided for on the invoice;
  • Total amount to be paid excluding tax (ex. VAT) and all taxes included (VAT included);
  • The date of payment and the penalties incurred in the event of late payment.

It is necessary to specify the discount conditions applicable in the event of payment on a date prior to that resulting from the application of the general conditions of sale, the rate of penalties payable on the day following the date of payment indicated on the invoice and the amount of lump sum compensation for recovery costs due to the creditor in the event of late payment

 

II - MANDATORY INFORMATION WHEN THE INVOICE IS INTENDED FOR A PROFESSIONAL

In the case of invoices intended for a professional client, only a few indications differ from those indicated in the previous paragraph. Thus, we will write in blue characters the obligatory mentions which are different:

  • Issue date of invoice => Date on which it is established;
  • Invoice Numbering => Unique number based on a continuous chronological sequence, without breaking. It is possible to issue separate series, using for example a prefix per year (2020-XX) or year and month (2020-01-XX). To be included on all pages, if the invoice contains more than one;
  • Purchase order number;
  • Date of sale or service => Effective date of delivery or completion of performance;
  • Buyer Identity => Name (or company name), address of the registered office. The address indicated may be that of the secondary establishment of a company when it is this establishment which has a business relationship with the seller and which pays the invoice.
  • Billing address if different, delivery address;
  • Identity of the seller or service provider:
    • Name and first name of an individual entrepreneur, possibly followed by his business name;
    • Company name, followed by Siren or Siret number;
    • RCS number for a merchant, followed by the name of the city where the registry office is located;
    • Number in the Trades Directory for an artisan (Siren + RM + number of the registration department);
    • Address of the registered office (and not of the establishment);
    • If the enterprise is a company, mention of the legal form (EURL, SARL, SA, SNC, SAS) and the amount of the share capital.

      Please note: if the company is in the process of being registered, the invoice must be drawn up in the name of the company, with the mention “Siret being awarded”.
  • Individual VAT identification number of the seller and professional customer, only if the latter is liable for VAT. Except for invoices for a total amount excluding tax less than or equal to €150;
  • Designation of the product or service => Nature, brand, reference, etc.;
  • Services => Breakdown between materials supplied and labor;
  • Detailed account of each service and product provided;
  • Catalogue price;
  • Possible price increase (shipping, packing, etc.);
  • Legally applicable VAT rate;
  • Total amount of VAT. If the transactions are subject to different VAT rates, the corresponding rate must be shown on each line;
  • Discount, rebate or discount acquired at the date to the sale or service, excluding discounts not provided for on the invoice;
  • Total amount to be paid excluding tax (ex. VAT) and all taxes included (VAT included);
  • Payment date or deadline:
    • Date on which payment is due;
    • Discount conditions in the event of early payment;
    • If there is no discount, mention on the invoice “Discount for early payment: none”;

It is necessary to specify the rate of late penalties payable in the event of non-payment on the date of payment (late penalties are payable without a reminder being necessary);

  • Mention of the flat-rate compensation of €40 for recovery costs, in the event of late payment.

Note concerning all invoices intended for individuals or professionals: the company that does not respect these obligations is exposed to the following fines:

  • Fiscal fine of €15 per missing or incorrect mention for each invoice, capped at 1/4 of its amount;
  • Fine of €75,000 for a natural person (€375,000 for a legal person). This fine can be doubled in the event of incorrect invoicing, convenience invoices and fictitious invoices.

 

III - SPECIAL MENTIONS

In certain specific cases, the following information should be added:

  • If the seller or service provider is a member of a management center or an approved association => “Membre d'un centre de gestion (ou association) agréé, le règlement par chèque et carte bancaire est accepté ;
  • If the seller or service provider benefits from the exemption on the basis of VAT (auto-entrepreneur for example), the invoice is free of tax => “TVA non applicable, art. 293 B du CGI;
  • When it is mentioned “Autoliquidation”, it clearly indicates that this is an "amount excluding tax". If works are carried out by a construction subcontractor on behalf of a principal subject to VAT, the subcontractor no longer declares VAT and it is the main company that declares it (self-liquidation of VAT);
  • Insurance taken out for the activity - Contact details of the insurer or guarantor - Geographic coverage of the contract or guarantee => This information must be provided by craftsmen or micro-entrepreneurs exercising a craft activity, for whom professional insurance is compulsory (in particular the ten-year guarantee);
  • “Eco-participation DEEE” => this information relates to sales of electronic products or furniture;
  • Eventually, in the event that a recording medium is acquired => “Rémunération pour copie privée (RCP).

 

IV - THE INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR BY TAX LAW

The general tax code adds to the information listed above a set of obligations, the main ones of which are:

  • In the event of exemption, the reference to the relevant provision of the General Tax Code or to the corresponding provision of Council Directive 2006/112 / EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of VAT or to any other statement indicating that the operation benefits from an exemption measure;
  • When the purchaser or lessee is liable for the tax, the words “Autoliquidation“;
  • When the purchaser or lessee issues the invoice in the name and on behalf of the taxable person, the words “Autofacturation“;
  • When the taxable person applies the special scheme for travel agencies, the words “Régime particulier - Agences de voyages“;
  • In case of application of the regime provided for by article 297 A of the general tax code, the indication “Régime particulier - Biens d'occasion“, “Régime particulier - Objets d'art“ or “Régime particulier - Objets de collection et d'antiquité“ according to the operation considered;
  • The characteristics of the new means of transport as defined in III of article 298 sexies of the general tax code for the deliveries mentioned in II of this same article;
  • Separately, the hammer price of the property, taxes, duties, levies and duties as well as ancillary costs such as commission, packaging, transport and insurance costs requested by the organizer from the buyer of the property, for deliveries at public auctions referred to in d of 1 of I of article 289 of the general tax code made by an organizer of public auctions acting in his own name, subject to the profit margin regime mentioned in article 297 A of the same code. This invoice must not mention value added tax.

 

V - ELECTRONIC INVOICING

For an invoice to be produced in electronic format, it is necessary to be able to guarantee the authenticity of its origin, its good readability and the integrity of its content. To do this, the company must use one of the following methods:

  • Use of electronic signature;
  • Use of electronic data interchange (EDI) to upload invoices;
  • Or use of a technical solution other than the electronic signature or in paper form, as soon as controls are put in place by the company and make it possible to establish a reliable audit possibility between the invoice issued or received and the delivery of goods or the service on which they are based.

The mandatory information to be indicated on electronic invoices are the same as those provided for paper invoices.

In conclusion, we offer below an example of a standard invoice. This invoice will of course have to be modified or completed to suit the particularities of your activity. You can contact us if you need more precisions.

 

FBA standrd invoice template