Invoicing – what should you include on an invoice?
All Limited Company contractors will usually issue invoices to their clients for products or services supplied. Some aspects of invoicing are legally required, for example, if both the contractor and the customer are registered for VAT, by law an invoice must be issued for every single transaction. In addition there are several pieces of information which must be included in all invoices, regardless of the business set-up. For Limited Companies, and those who are VAT registered, there are also other items which must be included in the invoice details in order to be legally compliant.
What minimum information should be included on an invoice?
Some of the items listed will be obvious, but others are less so. It’s worth taking a look to ensure that your own invoices contain all legally required information displayed.
- The word ‘invoice’ must be clearly displayed
- Each invoice must have a unique number (the invoice number)
- Your company name, address and contact information
- The name and address of the client your are invoicing
- A description of what you are charging for (the product or service rendered)
- The supply date(s) of the goods or services
- The date of the invoice
- The total amount the client needs to pay
- When the customer needs to pay (your payment terms)
Although not legally required, you may also want to include information such as your business bank account details and any client reference, to help make it easier for them to pay you.
What additional information should Limited Company invoices include?
Limited Companies must also include the following:
- Company registration number
- Address of the company’s registered office
- The full company name, exactly as it appears on the company’s certificate of incorporation
- Any business name(s) used in your business
- The address that legal documents can be delivered to if you’re using a business name
- You do not have to add the names of directors, but if you do so you must include the names of all the directors
What additional information is needed on invoices for VAT registered companies?
It’s clearly very important to have the right information on any invoices which involve VAT. Invoices of this type must, at minimum, show the company’s VAT registration number and the rate of VAT charged. Other items which should be included will vary slightly. This will depend on whether you are using the Cash Accounting Scheme and whether you are trading nationally or internationally. Speak with your Intouch accountant if you need further advice on this.
Should you get company stationery?
It’s generally worth making the effort to have corporate stationery for your invoices and other documentation. Having your own corporate logo helps project a professional image to your clients and it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive to achieve. Creation of simple invoice designs is easy to do. You can use everyday desktop publishing or there are sources of free invoice templates available which can be adapted to your needs. Many invoices are emailed rather than posted now, so it may not even be necessary to go the expense of getting them professionally printed.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.