You need to send the online invoice after completing the work in order to receive your payment.
The fact that you send an invoice – and therefore earn money – is often the result of an excellent quotation. So be sure to put enough time into this business proposal to your prospective customer. Here you can read all the tips and tricks about a good quotation.
Is it necessary to prepare an invoice?
This is always necessary when you are involved with VAT payers, such as companies, the self-employed, non-profit organizations and government institutions. Are you going to work for private individuals – for example, do you sell baby clothing to private individuals via a shopping website? Then an invoice is not necessary. Although there are exceptions to the rule, such as the sale and repair of cars or car parts, services related to removals or furniture storage, work on buildings and their sale.
When should your invoice be sent out?
The rule is simple: as soon as possible after you deliver your product or service. You often have quite a few costs at the beginning of each month. Then it’s a good thing that you have the money for that.
The deadline to send your invoice is the 15th day of the month following your product or service delivery. A tip: set aside one day a month – preferably in the first week – to brush up on your administration.
VAT also has its regularity. This is payable in the month or quarter in which you supplied your product or service. As a result, you must transfer these in that month or quarter. This is done via your VAT return – your accountant knows all about it. For example, the VAT of an advance invoice is due in the month or quarter when your customer paid the advance. Important: Are you delaying preparing invoices? Or do you transfer the VAT too late? Then the government waves with – you guessed it – fines and interest on late payment.
An example makes a lot clear.
- Suppose: on March 25, you paint the facade of your customer.
- You have until April 15 to prepare and send your invoice.
- You include the VAT in the declaration of the third month (if you work with monthly declarations) or of the first quarter (with quarterly declarations).
- Did you send an advance invoice at the beginning of March, which the customer paid on March 20? Then you transfer the VAT in the third month or the first quarter. Did the customer pay at the beginning of April? Then you put the VAT in return for the fourth month or the second quarter.
How much time does your customer have to pay?
Are you sending the invoice to another self-employed person or company? This has 30 days from the date of receipt of the invoice. You can, of course, agree on a different term together. A tip: put that on paper, as with all good agreements.
There is no fixed term for invoices for private individuals. The law refers to a reasonable period, which in practice amounts to one to two weeks. Here too a free tip: determine an appropriate payment term in your general terms and conditions. This way, you avoid misunderstandings and abuses.
Can your invoice deviate from your quotation?
According to the law, offers are made “in the context of” the general terms and conditions. What is in your general terms and conditions is therefore decisive. Accepting a quote – explicitly by signing it, implicitly by having the work carried out – always means that the customer agrees to your general terms and conditions.
Which things are include in correct invoice?
Your invoice will, of course, contain the following information:
- your company names
- your legal form
- the address of your company
- your bank account number
- your VAT numbers
Don’t forget to include the following information on your invoice:
- the customer’s details: official name, address and VAT number
- invoice date and the delivery date of your service or product
- Serial number: the numbers of your invoices must increase continuously; we can already tell you a secret: you do not necessarily have to start with serial number 1. This way, your customer will not notice that he is taking the plunge.
- description of each service
- Unit price: per hour, per piece, per meter,…
- the so-called “taxable amount”: the total amount excluding VAT
- the VAT rate – depending on your activity, this is 6%, 12% or 21% – and the total amount of VAT
- the total price: benchmark + VAT
- The judicial district to which your case belongs. Do you have a company? Then mention the commercial court of your region.
- Any discounts are deducted from the total amount, excluding VAT.
Not required, but recommended:
- your general sales conditions
- an expiration date, in the phrase “please pay for DD/MM/YYYY.”
- a sympathetic thank you, genre “thanks for the trust, it was nice working for you.” Also, always included: a call to follow your business on social media. Or opt for the classic “Are you satisfied? Spread the word. If you are not satisfied, tell me”.
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