It seems like a simple task; creating and sending out an invoice. Yet we often see that invoices do not meet all the requitements of the Dutch Tax Authorities, which could question the validity of the invoice. So how do you effectively approach this? The following steps are required:
Step 1. The construction
Basically you can determine the layout of your invoice yourself. Nowadays this can be done digitally. There are various online invoicing-programs with which you can easily create a digital invoice, for example E-boekhouden, Teamleader or Exact Online.
Step 2. Filling in the required data.
An invoice is essentially a bill for a product or service that you have provided to a customer. It is therefore very important that all data is filled in correctly. Always ensure that the following data is stated on an invoice:
- Your company details, this includes:
- Company name (or tradename, as long as it corresponds to the address registered with the Chamber of Commerce)
- Company address
- VAT number
- Bank account number
- Company details of the customer, this includes:
- Company name and/or name of the addressee
- Company address
- Important contact details
- An invoice number; each invoice must be assigned a unique number, preferably one with consecutive numbers.
Step 3. Filling in products and/or services
An invoice must include a solid description of the products and/or services that you have supplied to a customer. Always ensure that the following data is stated on an invoice:
- A clear description of the services and/or products provided.
- The number of products or hours that you have supplied and/or provided.
- The date (or term) on which you provided the products and/or services.
- The price(s) for your products and/or services both incl. and excl. VAT: Start with the net. amount (Excl. VAT), then the full amount and the VAT percentage (0%, 9%, 21%) and finally the total amount (incl. VAT).
Step 4. Optional
- For accessibility, telephone number, email address or website can be noted on the invoice, but this is not mandatory.
- For your own administration, the debtor number or order number can be noted on the invoice, again this is not mandatory.
- If you want to receive the amount within a certain time, a payment term can (in consultation) be added on the invoice. If there is no payment term stated on the invoice, the generally accepted term of 30 days is taken into account.
- Any discount(s) must be noted on a separate line on the invoice.
Always check whether the address and all other details of both you and the customer are stated correctly. If necessary, consult the Chamber of Commerce for these details.
Once sent, an invoice cannot be adjusted. If there is incorrect information stated on the invoice, the entire invoice will have to be canceled and a new one re-sent, or compensated with a credit nota (a document with which a supplier states that he will refund a customer an amount).
Always ensure to file your invoice discreetly. In the Netherlands, company documents must be kept for at least 7 years. Both paper and electronic archiving will suffice. However, we recommend to always have multiple back-ups.
Good luck with your billing!