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What information needs to be in an invoice?

You’ve opened your own business – well done! You've finally got a paying customer – hooray!

But now you need to send them an invoice, with all the right information on it … hmmmmm.

There are lots of things you can put on your invoices to make them look great and convey your branding, messages and marketing, but to be HMRC compliant, they MUST adhere to the following rules:

Your invoice must:

  • Say 'invoice' on it

  • Have a unique number. Something like INV000001 (**top tip**, start at a higher number and then it looks like you've been really busy all along and have had lots of customers already!)

  • Display your company name, address and contact information (phone number and/or email address usually)

  • Display the name and address of your customer

  • A clear description of what you are charging your customer for. e.g. 'food' isn't really enough but 'delicious gin flavoured marshmallows' is a good description.

  • The date of the supply of the goods or services

  • The date of the invoice. The two dates might not be the same, e.g. if you provide accounting services from 1-30 June, you may invoice on July 1st. If you're selling goods then the 2 dates are usually the same.

  • The amounts being charged. If there's more than one item on the invoice then it's useful to show the individual item costs and total them at the bottom to show the overall cost.

  • VAT (if you are VAT registered)

  • The grand total of goods and VAT

Sole Traders

Your invoices must also:

  • Show your own name and any business name being used (if different to the name already shown per above)

  • An address where legal documents can be delivered if you are using a business name (if different to the address already shown per above)

Limited Companies

  • If your company is a limited company, you must include the full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation.

  • If you decide to put names of your directors on your invoices, you must include the names of all directors.

I have created an invoice template for you which you are welcome to use if you wish. It's very basic and just waiting for you to personalise it! Invoice Template (this is for non-VAT registered companies)

For VAT registered companies, there are slightly different rules and even these change according to how much the invoice is for. Please contact me if you need more information on this or anything financey. SAY HELLO

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