Components and mandatory information of an invoice

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  • Mandatory information on invoices

    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 advisable to integrate these components as a matter of principle – regardless of the amount. Have you ever asked yourself: What must be included on an invoice? What must an invoice contain? We will be happy to explain it to you.

Mandatory information on an invoice

Die 10 Bestandteile und Pflichtangaben einer Rechnung

What mandatory information must an invoice contain? It is recommended to include the following 10 components in the invoices.

  • 1

    Complete name and address of the company (billing address)

  • 2

    Tax number or the Value added tax identification number (german: USt-IdNr.)

  • 3

    Complete name and address of the customer

  • 4

    Date of issue / date of invoice

  • 5
  • 6

    Time of delivery / service

  • 7

    The quantity and the type of delivery or the scope and the type of performance

  • 8

    Payment for the delivery / service in net

  • 9

    The amount attributable to the net Sales tax rate

  • 10

    The amount attributable to the net Sales tax amount

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Special cases with information of an invoice – This is to be considered!

You must refer to tax-exempt sales.

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.

Sonderfälle bei Rechnungen

10 Components of an invoice – Additional information

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Reklamation & Beschwerde

Was Sie sonst noch zu Ihren Rechnungen beachten sollten:

  • Notice 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.

  • Use a consecutive invoice number. This makes it easy to trace.

  • If you assign a customer number for each customer, you can allocate the documents 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.

  • 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 discounts or cash discounts must also be shown. If you are not subject to VAT, please be sure to state only the gross amount.

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

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