What information must an invoice contain?
Invoices are the statements that document your payment requests against your customers. They relate to a sale transaction and indicate the products or services, quantities, and agreed prices for the products or services you have provided to a buyer.
Usually, invoicing is subject to specific international or national rules depending on where the seller and the buyer are located.
For details, see, for example
- VAT invoicing rules for the European Union
- Invoicing and taking payment from customers in the United Kingdom
- Issuing tax invoices in Australia
- What are the requirements, criteria, or format of a commercial invoice for commercial shipments to the USA
A typical invoice contains the following information:
- a unique identification number
- the date of the invoice
- name and contact details of the seller
- tax or company registration details of seller, if relevant, like ABN for Australian businesses or VAT number for businesses in the EU
- name and contact details of the buyer
- a full description of the goods or services provided
- the date of the supply if different from the invoice date
- the unit prices of the goods or services provided
- applied taxes, if relevant, like GST or VAT
- the total amount charged, including, if relevant, a tax breakdown
Depending on your business requirements or any national specifics, you can provide additional information on your invoices. Common additional information may include:
- a purchase order number (or similar tracking numbers requested by the buyer to be mentioned on the invoice)
- payment terms (including payment method, payment due date, details about charges for late payment, etc.)
- in countries where wire transfer is the preferred method of settling debts: the bank account number of the seller and, usually, a reference code to identify the payer, like the KID for Norway or the Finnish Reference Number