Companies, freelancers, the self-employed – they all have to write invoices. However, freelancers often do not know the 10 components of an invoice. This can have serious consequences, because on every invoice, with an amount of more than 250.00 €, the legally determined 10 components of an invoice are necessary. However, it is recommended to integrate these components into the invoices – regardless of the amount.

The 10 components of an invoice

  1. The full name and address of the company (Billing address)
  2. The tax number or the value added tax identification number (USt-IdNr. / VATIN)
  3. The full name and address of the customer
  4. The issue date/date of invoice
  5. The invoice number
  6. The time of the delivery/service
  7. The quantity and nature of the delivery or the scope and nature of the service
  8. The price for the delivery/service after taxes
  9. The applicable VAT rate
  10. The applicable VAT amound

Invoice templates & example templates

Die 10 Bestandteile und Pflichtangaben einer Rechnung

10 Components of an invoice – Additional information

Please note that you as a company or freelancer as well as your customer can be clearly identified by name and address! This means that the full name and correct address always belong on the invoice. It is not correct to mention only the name and the place. You always state the VAT ID number when it has been issued to you. If you do not have a VAT ID number, you must at least use the tax number issued by your tax office. However, not the new ID number. The invoice numbers must be consecutive. This makes them easy to trace. If you assign a customer number for each customer, you can allocate the invoices more easily. The date of delivery or service is also one of the 10 components of an invoice. Specify the month when the service/delivery was completed, if the services extend over several months. Always enter precise descriptions for the type of delivery or service! This is the only way the tax office can check which VAT rate applies. Commercial designations and abbreviations are permitted. Important: If you calculate deliveries or services that are taxed at both 7% and 19%, you must state the respective net amounts separately. Price reductions in the form of rebates or discounts must also be shown. If you are not subject to VAT, please be sure to state only the gross amount!

10 Components of an invoice – Special Circumstances

You must indicate tax-free sales. A note on the exemption regulation is sufficient. Alternatively, you can add the note “intra-Community supply” to the invoice, for example. Small businesses do not have to refer to the exemption from sales tax.

Failure to provide the required details on an invoice can have devastating consequences for your business.

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