Questions around Invoicing if non-VAT registered

Getting paid is one of the most important things in business, here are a few pointers to ensure that you are paid on time.

If you don't have an automated solution, a well-formatted invoice can make the difference to ensure you get paid quickly avoiding complication from incomplete or unclear information.

A well-designed invoice will send a good impression to your clients and customers. A page with errors and unclear layout can make you appear unprofessional and is something to avoid.


What should be included in an invoice?

A standard (non-VAT) invoice must include:

1. ‘Invoice’

The document should show the  word ‘invoice’ to differentiate it from a quote, credit note or receipt.

2. A unique invoice number

The number must be unique to each invoice (without duplicates) for clear identification and you must keep a record of the numbers and references used. Using a sequential numbering system is the easiest way to manage this. The reference can contain letters as well as numbers.

3. Your company name and address

This can be different for sole traders and limited companies, but you must show clearly your trading name, business address and also, where you can be contacted by the customer, in case of query or dispute.

4. The company name and address of the customer

This is standard procedure on all invoices (except simplified VAT invoices) but is important for customers who want to claim back any VAT that has been charged.

5. A description of the goods/services

A clear description of the goods and services being invoiced for, with each service or item on a separate line.

6. The date of supply

Known as the ‘supply date’, this is when the goods or services were issued. The supply date may be different to the invoice date but is usually within 30 days.

7. The date of the invoice

Date of when the invoice was generated and not when the goods were supplied.

8. The amount of the individual goods or services to be paid

If you have a list of items in the description, then each one should be marked with an individual amount.

9. The total amount payable

The total of all goods listed on the invoice.

You should also include:

10. Payment terms

Usually defined in your Terms and Conditions and agreed by your customer. These are your terms for the length of time to pay and should be marked at the bottom of the invoice. 

11. Purchase order number

If your customer provides you with a purchase order number, then this should be clearly shown on the invoice. Some customers may also require that the name of the contact person is shown on the invoice.

Asking for a purchase order is recommended as once generated this is a legally binding contract between yourself and your client/customer.

12. How to pay the invoice

List the different ways that an invoice can be paid and include the bank account references. 

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