1. What to include on your invoice
The following must be stated on your invoice:
- Your VAT identification number and the VAT amount;
- Your KVK number (from your registration in the Commercial trade Register);
- The invoice date and number (your invoices must be consecutively numbered);
- The delivery date;
- Your name and address and that of your customer;
- The goods or services you supplied;
- How many goods or hours you charge.
You can find all the invoice requirements on the website of the Tax and Customs Administration.
Is the invoice amount, including VAT, less than €100? Then you can write a 'simplified' invoice (in Dutch), with at least the following information:
- The date you sent the invoice.
- Your name and address details.
- Which goods or services you have supplied.
- The VAT amount.
Your invoice and the GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the privacy law that applies for all entrepreneurs since May 2018. Anyone who works with personal data must comply with the GDPR. You have to be able to prove exactly what you use (potential) customer data for and how long you store the data. You also store personal data in your records. For example, when you process customer information to draw up an invoice, that already falls under the GDPR. Use these 10 questions to determine which actions will help you be GDPR-proof and avoid any fines.
2. Make sure your invoice has a clear layout
An invoice must look clear and well-organised. Your logo and company name need to stand out immediately. At a glance, your customer can see the amount to be paid, the payment term, and your bank account details or payment link. If you invest in the format and layout of your invoice from the start, this will save you time later on. This invoice example from KVK (pdf, in Dutch) helps you create your own invoice format.
(Source: KVK Startersmagazine)
3. Send your invoice right after finishing the job
Send the invoice to your customer as soon as possible after finishing the job. Your work or delivery will still be fresh in their memories. In any event, send your invoice before the 15th day of the month following the month you delivered your product or service. This is called the issue date and is determined by the Tax and Customs Administration.
Example: You completed your assignment on 5 August. Then the invoice must be sent before 15 September.
4. Make sure you are paid quickly
Clearly state when the invoice must be paid. You can do this in advance in your quotation and general terms and conditions. You can offer various payment options: payment in advance, immediately on delivery, or within a payment term. State the payment term clearly in your invoice.
There are entrepreneurs who offer customers a discount if they pay the invoice immediately. You can also use factoring or a debt collection contract, if necessary.
Creating and sending invoices online
You should preferably send an electronic invoice (e-invoice) to your customers. E-invoicing is not simply sending a scanned invoice, but a digital invoice in XML format. Through e-invoicing, your invoice is always sent via a secure server and always correctly received. The data required on an e-invoice is in a fixed place with its own coding. This makes it possible to automatically process e-invoices in your records and in your customer's administration.
Is e-invoicing mandatory?
Entrepreneurs who do business with the central government are obliged to send e-invoices. Municipalities, provinces, and water boards are also able to receive e-invoices. Are you participating in a tender? Then e-invoicing is often mandatory.
Ways to send e-invoices
There are various ways to send e-invoices to local authorities such as water boards, municipalities, and provinces:
- Through the secured network Peppol. Check with the Netherlands Peppol Authority how to use Peppol.
- Through an email with an XML attachment. This is the e-invoice that your accounting software creates.
- Manually via an online portal of an ICT service provider, if you do not use an electronic accounting programme.
5. Save your invoices for at least 7 years
You may scan invoices and receipts and save them digitally. The legal storage period is 7 years. For immovable goods, a period of 10 years applies. The Tax and Customs Administration finds it important that you are able to hand over your records within a reasonable time period. Use a system that suits your business. You must always keep a (digital) copy of the invoices you send.
Do you have a question about financing or money? Contact the KVK Financing Desk by telephone free of charge: 0800 10 14 (in Dutch).