Invoice requirements

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

If you provide products or services in the Netherlands, you have to provide your business clients with an invoice. You are also required to send an invoice if your customer is a legal entity which is not an entrepreneur, such as associations and foundations. Your invoices must meet a number of legal requirements.

If you supply goods or services to private individuals you do not always need to provide an invoice (see below in Rules on invoices for private individuals).

What do you need to state on your invoice?

If you run a business based in the Netherlands you have to include a number of basic details on your invoice:

  • your VAT identification number
  • VAT amount
  • invoice date
  • your name and address
  • the name and address of your customer
  • your Dutch Business Register number (KVK-nummer)
  • which goods or services were supplied
  • the quantity of goods or services
  • when they were supplied

Invoices must be numbered sequentially. You must rectify invoices that do not fulfil these requirements. This is particularly important for VAT purposes: if your invoices do not meet the requirements, your buyer will not be entitled to a VAT deduction.

If you provide goods or services to another EU Member State, you must also indicate your customer’s VAT identification number.

Invoices must be sent by the 15th day of the month following the month during which you supplied the service or product. Your customer must pay the invoice within the payment term.

Simplified invoices

If your invoice's total amount does not exceed €100 (VAT included), or if it is an invoice to rectify a previously send one, the requirements are less strict (in Dutch). In that case invoices only need to contain the following details:

  • name and address
  • VAT amount
  • invoice date
  • goods or services supplied
  • in the case of a rectified invoice: a reference to the initial invoice.

Please note you are not allowed to send simplified invoices if you supply:

Rules on sending invoices to private individuals

If you supply services or goods to private individuals (in Dutch), you do not need to provide an invoice, unless:

  • You are a wholesaler in food, tobacco products, dental raw materials or equipment and at least 80% of your customers are entrepreneurs
  • You sell a new or nearly new vehicle to a customer in a different EU country, stating the registration number.
  • You are involved in distance selling.

Exemptions to meeting invoice requirements

You do not need to meet invoice requirements if you are an:

  • entrepreneur in the taxi and public transport branch
  • entrepreneur who supplies exempt goods (unless you are partially exempt, in which case you have to meet invoice requirements for those goods which do require an invoice)
  • entrepreneur who has agreed that the customer provides an invoice (for instance at auctions)

Minimum retention period of invoice records

You must keep invoices relating to immovable property for 10 years and all other invoices for 7 years. You can issue, receive, and store your receipts and invoices in electronic format. Note that electronic invoices must contain the same information as the original paper invoices.

Expiration date invoice

It may be that you send your invoice only after some time. If it is sent to another company and it is not more than 5 years old, they still have to pay the invoice. It expires 5 years after the end of the payment term, after which your customer no longer has to pay. If you sell products to consumers, your invoice expires after only 2 years. But if you sell services and travels to consumers, the time limit is 5 years. If you send your customer a reminder before the end of the time limit, it will start again. This is called 'interrupting'.

Electronic and digital invoicing

You can send a paper invoice by post, or you can send an electronic or a digital invoice (e-invoice).

Electronic invoicing or e-invoicing is done through accounting software or a portal. In this case, your e-invoice is sent directly through an automated system to your customer. You must ensure your customer has agreed to accepting an e-invoice first. There is no obligation to do so. E-invoicing, also known as e-billing, is an accepted method of invoicing throughout the European Union (EU).

If you send a digital invoice, you send an invoice as pdf by email. Electronic and digital invoices must satisfy the same requirements.

Send electronic invoices to government bodies

If you carry out work for the Dutch central government, you are obliged to send an e-invoice. You can submit an e-invoice online by using the organisation's electronic letterbox Digipoort, your accounting software or the central government's suppliers portal. All government organisations (such as ministries, municipalities, provinces and non-departmental public bodies) are obliged to be able to receive and process e-invoices.

E-invoice helpdesk

Do you supply goods or services to the Dutch government and do you want to send e-invoices? You can consult the e-invoice helpdesk's infographic (in Dutch). This infographic helps you decide which method of e-invoicing is suited for your company.

International invoices

If you do business with companies in other EU Member States from within the Netherlands, there are additional requirements for invoices regarding goods and services (in Dutch). For more information contact the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. As far as electronic invoices are concerned, EU Member States may have their own additional requirements.

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration provides more information on Dutch tax laws when doing business outside the EU (in Dutch).

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst