What does the perfect invoice look like?

| Annelien Maurissen

An invoice, one of the most important documents of a company. It is the way to be paid for the goods or services you provide. In addition, it also forms the basis for your accounting and that of your customer. An invoice with all the necessary information ensures that you are paid on time and that you can avoid any disputes.

The perfect invoice

When you have delivered your hard work, it is important to immediately draw up the invoice for this (or at least on the fifteenth of the month following the performance at the latest). Encourage timely payment by being correct and complete. Is something going wrong? Then you can always rely on this document.

What does an ideal invoice look like?

As one of the most important pillars of your business, it is crucial that your invoices contain all necessary information. This is not only important for your own accounting, but also for that of your customer. An incorrect invoice can have serious consequences for VAT administration and the VAT deduction.

What information is required not only to be paid on time, but also to enable correct administration? It also forms the basis when you engage an external party for the collection of unpaid invoices.

  1. The details for your company and those of your customer’s company: name, address of the registered office, VAT number, bank account number and the register of legal entities it is entered in (i.e. the jurisdiction it falls under)
  2. Invoice information: the word ‘invoice’, the invoice date, and the invoice number
  3. Invoice lines, or the information about the goods and services you have delivered
    • The date of the performance, goods or services provided
    • Sufficiently detailed description and quantity of the services
    • Price or rate per item or unit
    • Total price excluding VAT
    • Applicable VAT rate in percentage or indication of the reason for VAT exemption if applicable
    • Amount of VAT
    • Total price including VAT

In the footer of the invoice you can refer to your invoice conditions on your website or on the back of the invoice. Don’t have one? Be sure to state the payment term. This way you prevent your customer from setting a payment term himself.

The standard term is thirty days, unless you specify otherwise in your invoice conditions. There is no minimum term. SMEs usually request immediate payment or within a period of eight to fifteen days.

Download our checklist here and draw up your perfect invoice!