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In the Netherlands, your invoices (the bills you send) must satisfy a number of statutory requirements. You also send an invoice when you supply goods or services to a legal entity which is not an entrepreneur, such as an association or foundation. If you supply goods to private individuals you do not need to provide an invoice, except in certain situtations (in Dutch).
What do you need to state on your invoice?
You have to include a number of basic details:
- your VAT number
- VAT amount
- invoice date
- your name and address
- the name and address of your customer
- your Dutch Commercial register number
- which goods or services were supplied
- when they were supplied
- the quantity of goods or services
Invoices must be numbered sequentially. You must rectify invoices that do not fulfil these requirements. This is particularly important for VAT purposes, because if your invoices do not satisfy 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 number.
Invoices must be sent by the 15th day of the month following the month you supplied the service or product. Your customer must pay the invoice within the payment term.
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. However, this does not apply to intra community supplies, long-distance sales and the provision of a service within the EU, while the VAT regarding that service has been reverse-charged to the person receiving the service.
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, but they 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.
Electronic 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.
All types of 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. As of 18 April 2019, all government organisations (such as ministries, municipalities, provinces and non-departmental public bodies) are obliged to be able to receive and process e-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.