The Rechnungsfuchs Blog - Tipps for Expats in Germany
🇬🇧 German Invoices for Expats.
by Darius Mann
How to compose a compliant invoice in Germany ?
"How do I properly write an invoice?" is one of the first questions you ask yourself
when you are newly self-employed. Because self-employment is hardly taught
anywhere. Even a degree in business administration does not provide a complete
insight into the practice of being self-employed.
In this article, you will learn how you can correctly and legally issue an
invoice as a sole proprietorship. You will also learn what to look out for and
what to follow in practice.
Mandatory information on an invoice
An invoice is a formal document about the provision of a service to your customer.
Furthermore, you determine the method of payment and other modalities.
This information is mandatory on an invoice in Germany:
1. Invoice issuer (legal form, address, managing director if applicable)
2. Invoice recipient (legal form, address, contact person if applicable)
3. Invoice number (consecutive, unique invoice number)
4. Goods or Services ( VAT )
5. Sales tax (amount and, if applicable, small business regulation)
6. Price (net and gross, for small businesses gross=net)
7. Invoice date ( When will this invoice be issued? )
8. Date of performance (when was the service rendered?)
9. Payment period (usually 14 days)
10. Payment method (usually bank transfer)
General information on an invoice
Your general information on your outgoing invoices includes your legal form,
including the legal representative of the company (e.g. managing director GmbH or
owner of a sole proprietorship). Furthermore, the address of the recipient and the
issuer is mandatory.
In addition, if you are a GmbH, UG or e.K. indicate the commercial register
number and location of the commercial register.
Variable information on an invoice
The variable mandatory information on an invoice includes the invoice date and the
service date (or delivery date). The service date is the date of service provision.
The invoice date is the date of invoicing. The payment deadline that you set begins
from this date.
Furthermore, a consecutive, traceable invoice number is a must.
A form might be: XXX-YY , 2022-01. The first number is simply the year and the next
number is the number of the invoice from that year. The invoice number must be
traceable. Similar to bank statements, there must be no gaps.
Furthermore, you must clearly describe and clearly price your service.
If you are subject to VAT, you must state the VAT rate. That is 0%, 7% or 19%.
You must also add sales tax to your price. ( The Rechnungsfuchs generator does this
automatically for you ). If applicable, you must cite the use of the small business
Payment deadline and method of payment for your invoice
And finally, you must indicate the method of payment of your invoice.
How should your customer pay the bill? This is usually done by bank transfer.
Simply enter the IBAN and the name of the account holder.
For Germany you can do leave out the BIC.
Finally, it is important to specify the payment deadline. How long does your
customer have to pay the bill? The normal case is 14 days. If your customer has
not paid within the period you specified, you can issue a reminder.
That's it already. These are the mandatory details of an invoice. It is best to
use the Rechnungsfuchs invoice generator for professional and legally