Familiar with the word ‘Invoice’?

Well, an invoice is an official document that shows a succinct account of the billings for a product or service. An invoice is usually issued by enterprises and businesses, to their clients, after these clients have placed an order on some of their products or services. The invoice can be sent via mail, or as a hardcopy through the post or dispatchers.

Invoice Requirements in Germany

Here in this text, I will be listing out some necessities that a properly constructed; legally correct, an invoice should contain. But before I get into that, below is a list of some general information about an Invoice.

  1. Invoices are designed to be stored for 10 years
  2. An invoice does not require the appendage of any signature, it the client’s, or the company.
  3. Invoices that are prepared for small-businesses do not require VAT.
  4. Whatever be the case, On your invoice, do not make the mistake of leaving out the bank details of the company, as well as your term of payment.
  5. Not all invoice are the same, there are rules that guide the drafting of different invoices. For instance, invoices for small orders (not exceeding 250 €) do not get as complex as some others. They have fewer requirements.

Several Invoice Requirements

An invoice should contain the following details:

  • Date of issuance of the Invoice
  • A unique, sequential number
  • The VAT number of the supplier
  • The Full address of the supplying company and the buyer.
  • A detailed and comprehensive description of the goods or services.
  • Provides quantities of goods, if applicable
  • The taxable value (net value) of the supply
  • The rate of the VAT applied, and the actual amount of VAT
  • Details to support zero VAT
  • The date of delivery of goods or service (This is if the date of supply is different from the date of issuance of invoice)
  • The total, gross value of the invoice

All of the above-listed detail is important in a basic Invoice, but as I mentioned, invoices vary along the lines of the size of purchase, and the size of the supplying company. So below I’ll be listing few cases of Invoices whose requirements vary slightly from the above-mentioned.

Mandatory invoice details for small amount invoices up to 250 €

  • The Full name and the address of the supplying company
  • The date of the Invoice
  • Details on the type of good or service, and the amount of good
  • The total amount including the VAT amount
  • Information on the applicable VAT rate
  • Indication of tax exemption if need be

Invoices for small-sized businesses

  • No indication of VAT on invoices.
  • Invoice must include the statement- ”According to Art. 19 VAT Law this invoice does not contain VAT”.

 Invoices to clients abroad

  • Cross-check to see if the requirements for a tax-free intra-community delivery or tax-free intra-community service are fulfilled.

Invoices to a very large extent have to be accurate and precise, they can determine whether or not a client will eventually close the transaction deal. It gets tricky, especially for small enterprises or start-ups. So attention should be paid to avoiding irrelevant mistakes.