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The e-invoicing obligation from 2025

Everything you should know about e-invoice right now

  • What exactly is e-invoicing all about?

    The German government is currently planning digitization in the B2B sector and, along with it, the introduction of the
    E-invoice. Up to now, the obligation to prepare them existed only in business relationships with public authorities or other institutions.

  • From 2025, e-invoicing will now be extended to the B2B sector. Prepare yourself and your company in good time. Check which requirements must be met and find out here what exactly an e-invoice actually is.

Definition: What is an e-invoice?

Many people are already talking about e-invoicing on a regular basis, but some entrepreneurs may not yet be clear about what exactly an e-invoice actually is.

An e-invoice is more than just a digital invoice that is created on a computer or using software and then sent by email.

An e-invoice, also known as an electronic invoice, is a digital form of invoice that is created, transmitted, received and processed electronically. In contrast to traditional paper invoices, the entire e-invoice process takes place electronically, without physical documents. The e-invoice uses electronic data formats to exchange information between business partners.

E-invoicing offers various benefits, including faster processing of payments, more efficient processing, cost savings and improved traceability. The standardization of data formats facilitates the automation of invoice processes, which can lead to a reduction in errors and a more effective use of resources.

There are various standards and formats for e-invoices, depending on the country and industry. Well-known standards include ZUGFeRD (for Germany) and PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine) at European level.

More about the ZUGFeRD or XRechnung format

Worin liegt der Unterschied zwischen Freiberufler und Selbständigkeit

Gradual introduction of e-invoicing

Even in 2025, e-invoicing will not be introduced overnight and become a mandatory part of the company.

A current plan stipulates that companies must have created the basis for receiving e-invoices by 2025. Many companies are currently already working with an electronic format such as ZUGFeRD or XRechnung. Authorities and other institutions are already obliged to receive e-invoices.

There will probably be an obligation to create the e-invoice from 2026.

invoice online easybill

Are there any mandatory details for the e-invoice?

Basically, the structure of the e-invoice does not differ from an ordinary invoice in PDF format according to § 14 of the UStG paragraph 4. However, so that you can claim your input tax deduction without any problems, we would like to point out the mandatory components of the e-invoice once again:

  1. Full name and address of service provider and recipient
  2. Tax number or VAT ID of the service provider
  3. Consecutive invoice number, which is assigned once by the creator
  4. Invoice date
  5. Quantity and designation of the individual goods or, in the case of a service, also the date of the service rendered
  6. unit price, tax rate and the tax amount and total price of the supply or service
  7. in the case of a tax exemption, a reference to the same
  8. in case of issuing the invoice by the recipient of the service, the indication “credit note” must be applied
  9. if necessary, reference to the tax liability of the recipient of the service

More Information about XRechnung

Warum muss eine xrechnung geschrieben werden - einfach erklärt

Questions around the e-invoice

What do I have to consider as a biller of an e-invoice?

Always ask the public sector customer for the necessary routing ID to specify in your electronic invoice. You should also ask about the delivery method, whether the e-invoice is to be received by e-mail or via an online portal with an upload function.

What do I need to consider regarding file size and scope (attachments)?

Most providers offer a maximum size of 15 MB. In a few exceptions, it can also be 10MB. Check this before you create the e-invoice. Attachments are usually supported with up to 200 pages.

Does the statutory retention period of 10 years also apply to e-invoices?

Yes, and as an electronic invoice it must also be stored electronically. The statutory retention period of at least 10 years applies here. The invoices must remain legible over the aforementioned period and be stored in an audit-proof manner.

Does easybill support the creation of an e-invoice?

easybill currently supports the creation of invoices in ZUGFeRD format and as XRechnung. XRechnung 2.3 can currently be used as the basis for e-invoicing.

Invoicing programm for e-invoices?
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