Getting Hold of an Exemplar Invoice Proforma

Hello All,

A bit of advice and perhaps also some examples needed.

I began a small business a few months ago and have finally managed to deliver paid work for a client. now I need to invoice!

I the UK you basically made your invoices up and presented them in whatever format you wanted. So back in the UK my company invoices were in Excel which linked back to a master spreadsheet and from there into my accounts. I would email them to clients along with my bank details for payment.

I have been told by a couple of people that over here things are different - well no shit Sherlock eh - and that invoices need to contain all sorts of information in them to be ruled legal.

So Q is, does anyone have an exemplar invoice proforma that they can let me have so that I can delete and insert my particulars where yours are now? Nothing fancy needed, I don't have materials, etc., I just sell my time. So a really simple example will suffice.

Also if anyone has any info on what format, send electronically or by snail mail, etc. it would be gratefully received.


That is the difference with being an international freelancer whose paperwork is never consistent. Even if I had a UNICEF contract from Kyrgyzstan did not mean it was the same as the one from Azerbaijan and the rest of the stuff correspondingly. Once I had shown example and explained invoice free payment as part of the terms in a couple of contracts they were ready to show me the door and wish me well on my way. I have always been confused by the lack of consistency, they just did not want to know but since the sums worked out to the cent... :-D

Mine had to be right from the word go, Brian, as most of my invoices went to the local CCI and IUT so were ultimately treated/paid by fonctonnaire, the slightest admin/legislative mistake and no payment!

Tee-hee-hee, I have it somewhere already. On the whole I have had a six year easy ride, so I am not really bothered, plus the fact that when they do want to see it all and it is in English they kind of let it go I suspect.

Shaun and Brian, here's the pdf document giving all the relevant details, it's part of the téléchargeable pack launched in 2009 and still available ;-)

If they had properly informed people THEN it might have, but I guess everybody has become entrenched in how things are done. All very self defeating but makes life easier for the bureaucrats because it is never their fault that way.

Yes, in practice nobody checks but you might as well get it right from the start ;-)

Yes sure, but as I said they don't seem that bothered about it or a lot of us who have been AEs since 2009 have not been jumped on. I am quite sure it is the case but in practice?

Hi Brian, Helen is right and you had to give that info way back in 2009 when the scheme started, just looked at my old invoices and it's all there especially the TVA non applicable, art. 293 B du CGI which they were pretty hot on - companies need to know that ;-)

I'm not saying you are wrong. I have been an AE for six years, my OH too. It seems that they give far more information than they used to, but then the goalposts have been on several parts of one playing field. The rules are one thing, the people dealing with them day to day have another take on it. So that our plumber who uses a triplicate sheet pad has the number the page comes with and his stamp on the top sheet he gives customers that has his name, address, phone, fax and email plus SIRET. As he says, he keeps his books straight so that all payments by cheque or direct to his account are accounted for, if people paying cash want paperwork he banks the money but for those who don't he puts in his pocket. He knows the bureaucrats know that, so he simply doesn't push it. It sounds like the work my father used to do on the side as a builder many years ago. Where this goes is that they can make rules until doomsday but enforcing them...

Brian - this was all info given to me by the cci when I registered as an AE earlier this year as part of my legal responsability - that's why I passed the info on

I think that is in a bureaucratic dream world Helen. I certainly do not have the TVA line on mine and neither RAM nor the tax people batted an eyelid, at least did not mention or question it.

Factures etc should have your name address/contact and siret on plus terms of payment (payment on receipt or payment delay ) and if you are an AE you must have this phrase on it

TVA non applicable art. 293B du CGI

Do you believe in walking on water?

Sorry to start that way, but looking through devis, invoices and sundry other stuff with regard to work on our house, installations under warranty and so on I think that it is unlikely we found two even remotely identical thus hinting at any kind of format. That includes from one person. I use artisans particularly because we have obviously used many of them over time, plus things like the boiler and solar panels are separately invoiced with the thing installed and labour, etc.

As far as our own invoices go, cannot talk for herself, but I do as I have always done with only the addition of my SIRET to the electronic (but that can clearly be printed out) version. If it is itemised for any reason when I have to do working time, travel, accommodation, VAT and anything else separately then I simply attach an EXCEL spreadsheet. I have had one year's bookkeeping and all of the associated documents called in one year only by RAM and the the tax people, which in both cases I took in myself. I am cautious enough to include all contracts and draw attention to those that say on them 'invoice free' which is the case for fixed fee contracts. All are also in English which is the language used in the sector I work in for business purposes, French only if work is done in a Francophone country. They accepted that. My OH uses the format she has always used but did originally to business studies, including bookkeeping, before going to university, however that is a very tightly structured Swiss format that nobody dares deviate from. She has had to present her paperwork twice with no questions asked. Apart from her own stuff, she has very similar to me with 90% of it in English, the rest Spanish but no French. No problems.

Anyway, back to why I referred to the many artisans' paperwork. Because they are so inconsistent from something scribbled down with a biro on a standard duplicate/triplicate type pad through to something that all but tells you when the artisan was born and where plus umpteen other details that seem totally superficial, then comparing getting a standard version is truly comparable to believing in walking on water.