When you send an invoice that meets all US invoice requirements, it makes your business appear like an American business to your US clients. It also helps your client to process it fast, because it will have all the required information. For you, that means little or no back-and-forth and getting paid promptly.
There are quite a number of things to consider with US invoicing, and these ensure a secured process. With the rapid growth of the global digital economy, new business markets are expanding at quite the same rate, and the digital trend has proven to be of benefit to users, tax collection, and even the government as a whole.
E-invoicing has assisted government authorities to facilitate compliance and tracking fraud more efficiently.
As your business grows, a surge of customs regulations, as well as indirect tax ones like the VAT (Valued-added tax) and GST (goods and services tax), bound to be encountered along supply chain stages.
These are indirect taxes that are imposed on a subnational level as The United States does not have a national sales tax system, each American state has the authority to impose its own sales and use tax subject to constitutional restrictions in the US. Penalties are imposed for failure to timely file a return and pay due taxes. Some states offer special, indirect tax rules which are a type of exemption for occasional or bulk sales.
Read on to learn the minimum requirements when invoicing US clients.
- US Invoice Requirements
- US Invoice Format
- How to Extract PDF Invoices to Excel using Zapier
- Frequently Asked Questions
USA Invoice Requirements
An invoice can be used to declare the value of goods or services, and to determine custom duties when shipping. Therefore, the information you provide must be accurate and verifiable.
W9 Form with Your First Invoice
You need to send your first invoice with a W9 form if you are a foreign contractor or business entity. You do not need to attach it to subsequent invoices.
Some businesses may require that you fill and send them a W-9 form before they process your invoice.
Your US client needs the W9 form to file tax returns, and it is necessary that you provide them with one.
Name of Your Company and Business Address
Your invoice must have your company name as well as the business address. Your company name and address must match the details in the W9 form. Otherwise, your client may request you to revise your invoice.
Your Client’s Name and Business Address
You need to include your client’s business name and address in your invoice. This name must be the one that will be on the 1099 tax form, which is sent to the IRS and a copy to you.
If you offered your services at an address that is different from your business address, then you should include that address in your invoice. The address can be included as an alternate address when filing tax returns.
A project address is not necessary if you are delivering products only. Instead, you will provide your client’s shipping address. The shipping address should match the one that the client sent you in their purchase order.
Date, Invoice Number, and Payment Terms
Your invoice should have a date when you created it, a unique number, and the payment terms you expect the client to adhere to. The payment terms are important because they may determine how fast they will pay you.
The date and invoice numbers are important for matching the invoice with the PO, filing, and future reference.
Due Date of the Invoice
The client can choose to pay before the due date or pay later if the terms you set allow them to do so.
You can describe the service rendered, or give the reference number of the product you shipped to the customer in the description.
You can give the number of hours and minutes you worked, or give the measurements of the product you delivered. The date should be in the mm/dd/yyyy format, while the measurement should be in US units, not the metric system.
Amount in USD
In the case of services rendered, the invoice should have the amount by the line of service, as well as the total amount due.
If the invoice lists products delivered, it should include the total amount per product, the total sales tax amount, the sales tax used in the calculation, and the total amount in USD.
Your invoice must include the correct payment information, which your US customer will use to pay you.
Credit Card – Provide a separate form, and preferably a link to your payment processor.
Wire Transfer and ACH Transfers – Provide bank name, address, account number, and routing number.
US Invoice Format
That is the basic US invoice format for invoicing US clients. If you are going to be invoicing your clients regularly, you do not have to memorize everything.
Also, important to know is those invoice requirements usually vary from state to state, and sales tax obligations are significantly influenced by the presence of your company in the state, a standard invoice should always include Company tax ID, registration numbers, the buyer and seller information.
The invoice number is needed for the ERP system referencing. The unit price for goods and services, EIN (employee identification number), as well as a correct description of goods or services, should also be included.
It is imperative to employ accuracy as an invoice that contains wrong information such as billing higher than the contracted rate, billing for services that have not been provided is usually constituted as fraud. The legality of the invoice needs to be taken into account before any transaction is conducted, and your invoice must reflect the accurate amount due.
For electronic invoices, it is important also to include the level of detail issued in paper records to be equivalent. Since there is no sales tax in the US, there’s no standard rate. It ranges from 2.9% to 7.5% at the state level. Local governments of 35 states impose additional sales tax that ranges from 1% to 5%.
Every entity that is involved in the business of selling actual personal property at retail taxable service is required to register for VAT/GST and other indirect taxes with the state to acquire a sales tax license before making sales or issuing any service.
Sales and use tax returns are required to be filed either annually, semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or semi-monthly dependent on state requirements. Its frequency is basically based on the taxpayer’s sales volume and the amount of tax that the taxpayer collects periodically, exchange rates also vary by jurisdiction.
The US tax administration requires clients to collect information from vendors annually which is why the W9 form is issued as a requirement. It is important to consider the best invoicing practices as this will reflect your company’s standards.
How to Extract PDF Invoices to Excel using Zapier
Here you will learn how to convert invoices in PDF into Excel using PDF.co and Zapier integration.
The following file will be used as a sample PDF invoice:
Here are the key steps:
- Start with Creating a Zap
- Connect Google Drive to Set up a New File
- Test Your Trigger
- Add PDF.co App and Event
- Setup the Action
- It’s Time to Test the Action
- Test Result
Step 1: Start with Creating a Zap
- Use your Zapier account details to log in and start the workflow
Step 2: Connect Google Drive to Set a New File
- Now you just connect Google Drive to your workflow, so that the New File in Folder is set as a trigger. You can set My Google Drive for the folder from where the document is taken. And you can select a folder where the output will be stored.
Step 3: Test Your Trigger
- In order to run a test, click the test trigger button.
Step 4: Add PDF.co App and Event
- Look for and choose the PDF.co app, and PDF to Anything Converter event. That is how you convert your PDF file to a different format.
Step 5: Setup the Action
That’s how you set up the Action to allow it to work correctly:
- Choose XLS spreadsheet for Output Format .
- Choose Web Content Link for PDF URL.
- Figure out your desired Excel file name.
Step 6: It’s Time to Test the Action
- After all the settings are introduced properly, please run the test by clicking on the test and review button.
Step 7: Test Result
- Great! Our test was a success, please copy the URL and paste it into your browser to download the Excel file.
That’s how you can easily extract PDF invoices to XLS format using Zapier and PDF.co integration.
Here’s the converted Excel document:
Frequently Asked Questions – Invoicing in the US
Here are some of the questions that answer possible questions you may have as you create an invoice. These can help you decide between creating an invoice template and using invoicing software.
How Do You Invoice Your Customers?
You invoice your customers by creating an invoice document and sending it to them. The invoice will have the word “Invoice” as the letterhead, a unique invoice number, your contact details, their contact details, a summary description of what you are invoicing, and the date of supply of goods or services.
Other important details are the date of the invoice (typically the date you created it), Tax Identification Numbers, the number of goods or type of service, the amount payable, payment terms, purchase order number (PO) that corresponds to that invoice, and means of payment.
How Do I Make My Invoice Look Professional?
You can make an invoice look professional by using invoicing software. Those have special templates tailored for different industries. However, if you want to do it yourself, formatting it with your brand colors, and including the required invoice details will do the trick.
How Do You Number Your Invoices?
You can number your invoices sequentially or chronologically, and include a project or product or customer identifier, date, and a sequential number. That allows you to easily look up or search for that invoice, and to refer to it in case of a dispute. Furthermore, somewhere in the invoice, you must include the PO number.
What Invoice Number Should I Start With?
You can start with any arbitrary number, but you must maintain a sequence after that. For instance, if you want to send your invoice to PDF.co, on 25 August 2020, and it is the first invoice for your business, then your invoice should have some of that information.
Therefore, you can number that invoice as follows: PDFCO 08252020 00001, and if there is another invoice for us on the same day, you will number it as PDFCO 08252020 00002.
In that format, PDFCO is the client identifier, 08252020 is the date, and 0000X is the sequential number.
Is Invoice Number The Same As Account Number?
No, an invoice number is different from an account number. An invoice number identifies the invoice document, while the account number identifies the bank account number.
Is Invoice Number And Order Number The Same?
An invoice number is different from an order number. The order number refers to the Purchase Order, which the customer sent you when they ordered goods or services you supplied.
What Does an Invoice Need to Include?
Typically, a valid invoice must contain some details. In particular, this information includes transaction, buyer, and seller details. Like most places around the world, an American invoice should have the following details for it to be considered legal.
- A heading that shows the name “invoice.”
- Name and details of the buyer.
- Name and details of the seller.
- Quantity of goods and services involved in the transaction.
- Description of goods and services involved in the transaction.
- Date of transaction.
- Price of goods and services sold.
- Payment details.
- Information like shipping details, purchase orders, and tax identification numbers.
Depending on the seller and the transaction type, an invoice may contain more information. Additionally, international requirements may require an American company to include other details not mentioned here.
What Invoice Number Should I Start With?
In most cases, every business has its unique invoice numbering system. This convention allows an entity to manage its accounts. Therefore, before an enterprise selects an invoice numbering scheme, they must find a system that is suitable for their business. Likewise, they will want to choose a simple scheme that is easy to manage. For this reason, many businesses prefer selecting a sequential numbering system. Choosing such a scheme makes account management easy and consistent. Regardless of what system an institution adopts, it must use an invoice numbering system that prevents errors and minimize confusion. Other popular schemes include the affixation of month, year, or date at the beginning or end of the invoice number.
US Invoice Legal Requirements
In every country, there exist legal requirements for an invoice. As such, the US is no exception to this requirement. Although regulations may differ in states, below are basic invoicing requirements across the country.
- Date of transaction.
- Details of the seller.
- Details of the buyers.
- Description of goods and services involved in the transaction.
- The cost, taxes, and shipping charges involved in the transaction.
- Tax identification number.
- Payment details and terms.
However, each state or country may have different legal requirements. Therefore, business owners should ensure they inquire about the invoicing regulations within their locality.
GAAP Invoice Standards
GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which is adopted by several American regulatory agencies. As such, GAAP generally provides guidelines on how to treat invoices. Under this standard, accounts record invoices under accounts receivable before payment. Once payment is made, the invoice is moved to the received cash category. Furthermore, this standard requires accurate recording and tracking of invoices for credible financial reporting. Therefore, GAAP requires accurate record-keeping of payment terms, amounts, dates, and invoices.
For a business to ensure compliance with GAAP, it must have a standard invoicing system. The best way to achieve this is to create and maintain an invoicing template.
When talking about invoices, it is essential to consider taxes. The W9 form is a document closely associated with the invoicing process. As such, this document is used to collect tax numbers from vendors and contractors. However, the details collected using W9 are not an invoicing requirement. Yet, it is a requirement before payments are made to vendors and contractors. In particular, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) puts this as a requirement for entities to comply with tax rules and regulations. For a business to get tax details from vendors or contractors, all they need to do is to ask them for a copy. Alternatively, an enterprise can get a copy of this document directly from the IRS website and give it to the vendors or contractors. Once the document is completed, a copy must be submitted to the IRS.
Contact us and we can help you create a customer invoicing solution for different clients from the US, and around the world.