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Government information for entrepreneurs

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E-invoicing government organisations

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you an entrepreneur who invoices government organisations for work you have done? And do you still send your invoices by post or by email using pfds? From 18 April 2019, you may be required to send your invoices as e-invoices.

What is an e-invoice?

An e-invoice is an electronic invoice. Electronic invoicing is also known as electronic billing. When you send an electronic invoice, the required information is given a fixed position using a unique code. This makes it possible to send and process e-invoices automatically. This means manual processing is no longer required. Paper invoices and pdf invoices require processing by hand. Even though a pdf is digital, it is not an e-invoice.

E-invoicing local authorities

As of 18 April 2019, local authorities may require you to send an e-invoice for work you have done. Local authorities include municipalities, provinces and water boards. However other organisations, such as educational institutions and museums, which are required to follow public procurement procedures may also require e-invoices. As of 18 April, these organisations are legally obliged to be able to receive and process e-invoicesExternal link.

E-invoicing the central government (Rijksoverheid)

The central government has already switched to e-invoicing. If you have signed a purchasing contract with the central government since 1 January 2017, you must send an e-invoiceExternal link (pdf). This could be a ministry or government agency.

Are you obliged to send an e-invoice?

If the purchasing conditions of your contract state that you are obliged to send an e-invoice, then you are obliged to do so.

How do you send an e-invoice?

There are different methods for sending e-invoices. Ask your government client which one is required:

  • Via e-mail using an XML-attachment. This is the e-invoice. You create the e-invoice using your accounting software.
  • Via the secure Simplerinvoicing network. Most accounting software programmes can send e-invoices using this network. Check SimplerinvoicingExternal link website (in Dutch) to make sure your software programme is included in its list of affiliated companies.
  • E-invoicing manually using the online portal of an ICT service provider, if you do not have accounting software.
  • Via the central government supplier portal, if you do not have accounting software.
  • Via DigipoortExternal link (in Dutch), if you send many e-invoices to the central government only.

E-invoice requirements and method of sending

Your government client has drawn up specific conditions for sending e-invoices. An e-invoice must also meet the same legal requirements as paper and pfd invoices.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO