An invoice is one of the elements that provide proof of a transaction. It is very important that it contains all the information required by law, in particular the Commercial Code. In addition, it is an accounting document and serves as a support for VAT duties. An invoice must therefore contain the information required by the tax law.

The invoice is a detailed note of the services or goods sold. To be valid, it must include a number of mandatory information, under penalty of a fine.


Mandatory general information for all invoices :

  • Issue date of invoice: Date on which it is established,
  • Invoice Numbering : Unique number based on a continuous chronological sequence, without breaking. It is possible to issue separate series, using for example a prefix per year (2014-XX) or year and month (2014-01-XX). To be included on all pages, if the invoice contains more than one,
  • Date of sale or service: Effective date of delivery or completion of performance,
  • Buyer Identity: Name (or company name): Address of the head office of an enterprise or of the domicile of an individual (Except opposition objected to by an individual),
  • Identity of the seller or service provider:
    • Name and first name of an individual entrepreneur (possibly followed by his business name),
    • Company name (followed by Siren or Siret number),
    • RCS number for a merchant, followed by the name of the city where the registry office is located
    • Number in the Trades Directory for an artisan (Siren + RM + number of the registration department)
    • Address of the registered office (and not of the establishment)
    • If the enterprise is a company, mention of the legal form (EURL, SARL, SA, SNC, SAS) and the amount of the share capital.
  • Individual VAT identification number of the seller and the professional customer, only if the latter is liable for VAT (self-liquidation), except for invoices with a total amount less than or equal to € 150. Mention of the VAT number is optional for professional customer for operations carried out in France.
  • Designation of the product or service
    • Nature, brand, reference, etc.
    • Services: breakdown between materials supplied and labor
  • Detailed account of each service and product provided,
  • Catalogue price,
  • Possible price increase (shipping, packing ...),
  • Legally applicable VAT rate
  • Total amount of VAT. If the transactions are subject to different VAT rates, the corresponding rate must be shown on each line,
  • Discount, rebate or discount acquired at the date to the sale or service, excluding discounts not provided for on the invoice,
  • Total amount to be paid excluding tax (ex. VAT) and all taxes included (VAT included).

Warning :

In addition to the penal sanction of up to € 75 000, an undertaking which does not comply with these obligations is liable to a fine of € 15 per missing or inaccurate statement for each invoice, limited to 1/4 of its amount.


If the invoice is addressed to a professional:

  • Payment date or time limit:
    • Date on which settlement is to take place,
    • Discount conditions in case of advance payment,
    • In case of no discount, mention on the invoice: (Discount for prepayment: none)
  • Delay Penalty Rates,
  • Mention of the lump sum indemnity of 40 € for collection costs, in case of late payment.


Special mentions

  • "Member of an approved association, payment by check is accepted" (If the vendor or service provider is a member of a management center or an approved association),
  • 'VAT not applicable, Art. 293 B of the CGI », (If the seller or service provider benefits from the VAT-based franchise (for example: self-contractor), invoice is exclusive of VAT,
  • "Autoliquidation" Clearly indicate that it is a "no-tax" amount. If works are carried out by a subcontractor of the on Building sector behalf of a contractor subject to VAT, the subcontractor no longer declares VAT and the main contractor declares it (autoliquidation de la TVA),
  • Indication of the insurance taken out for the activity, the details of the insurer or the guarantor, the geographical coverage of the contract or of the guarantee.


Mentions in the tax law

  • In case of exemption, reference to the text of the CGI or to a provision of Directive 2006/112 / EC setting out the reasons for the exemption,
  • When the purchaser or lessee makes the invoice on behalf of the taxable person, indication “Autofacturation”,
  • Where the taxable person applies a special scheme, an indication of this regime:
    • Régime particulier des agent de voyage,
    • Régime particulier des biens d’occasion,
    • Régime particulier des objets d’art  etc…
  • Characteristics of the new transport vehicle in the case of delivery of a new means of transport to another Member State of the EEC.


In conclusion, we offer below an example of a standard invoice. This invoice will of course have to be modified or completed to suit the particularities of your activity. You can contact us if you need more precisions.


example invoice.JPG