To combat delays of payment, two new mandatory particulars must appear on invoices under administrative penalties : The invoicing adress of the buyer and the number of the purchasing order.

New mandatory information

Order No. 2019-359 of 24 April 2019 amending Title IV of Book IV of the Commercial Code relating to transparency, restrictive practices and other prohibited practices, harmonizes and clarifies the invoicing rules through new Article L.441-9 of the French Commercial Code.

The main change is the addition of two new mandatory information that will need to be placed on invoices as of October 1st

  • the billing address if it is different from the customer’s address;
  • and the purchase order number when it has been previously established by the buyer

The mention of the address makes it possible to send the invoice directly to the competent service and to prevent it from being transferred from service to service. The addition of the purchase order number, meanwhile, facilitates and speeds up the processing of the invoice since it has been already validated by the buyer. He can thus find the service concerned and give his approval to the accounting department.

Reminder of the other mandatory information

For the record, the other mentions that must appear on your invoices are the following:

  • Identification of your company
    Company name, address, individual VAT identification number, RCS registration number (SIREN number) followed by the city where the clerk is located where the company is registered, the legal form of the company, the amount of the share capital.

  • Client’s name and address
    In the case of intra-Community trade, also indicate your customer’s VAT identification number.
  • Mention of the term “invoice”
    or “credit note” in case of a cancellation of sale.
  • Issue date of the invoice
  • Chronological and unique number of the invoice
    The numbering of invoices must meet an essential legal obligation: it must be characterized by an uninterrupted sequence of figures in order to prevent the creation of invoices “a posteriori”.
  • Product designation (brand, reference, etc.) or service
  • Date of sale or service delivery
    actual day of delivery or end of performance of the service.
  • Prices and VAT applicable:
    – Detailed breakdown, in quantity and price excluding taxes, of each service and product supplied
    Optional if the service has been the subject prior to its execution of a detailed and descriptive quote accepted by the customer and consistent with the service performed. It must then be referred to this quote on the invoice.
    – Mention of discounts and rebates granted
    – VAT rate and VAT amount
    – Total amount to be paid excluding and including VAT
    – Where applicable, mention of the VAT option (debits)
  • Scheduled settlement date and penalties for late payment (including collection fee)
    Example of mention: “In accordance with the provisions of Article L.441-6 of the Commercial Code, in case of delay or non-payment, will be payable without a reminder is necessary and from the day following the date of settlement appearing on the bill : . a lump sum compensation for dunning costs of 40 € . and late fees, at an annual rate of three times the legal interest rate. “
  • Discount conditions in case of advance payment

Penalties for non-compliance

Professionals who do not comply with these new obligations face administrative penalties: up to 75,000 euros for a natural person and up to 375,000 euros for a legal person.

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