How to create a paid invoice in France

Last updated 7 February 2024
  1. Introduction
  2. What is a paid invoice and what is its purpose?
  3. Who can pay an invoice?
  4. Is a paid invoice a mandatory requirement?
  5. What information is required on a paid invoice?
  6. What are the alternatives to paid invoices?
  7. Where can you access a paid invoice template?

From deposit invoices to pro forma invoices and paid invoices, there are many types of invoices to be aware of in France. How do you tell them apart? What is the purpose of a paid invoice? How do customers pay an invoice? Find out how in this article, which covers the specifics of paid invoices, such as function, legal value, mandatory information and much more. You can find out more about deposit invoices and pro forma invoices in our articles on these topics.

What's in this article?

  • What is a paid invoice and what is its purpose?
  • Who can pay an invoice?
  • Is a paid invoice a mandatory requirement?
  • What information is required on a paid invoice?
  • What are the alternatives to paid invoices?
  • Where can you access a paid invoice template?

What is a paid invoice and what is its purpose?

A paid invoice is a standard invoice that has been marked as "paid". This means that the business has received full payment for the goods or services provided. This note is added to the original invoice, thus distinguishing it from an invoice where payment is pending. You can either add a "Paid" stamp to the invoice or use invoicing software to add this note.

Issuing a paid invoice is a common accounting practice for instalment payments – a payment method which allows customers to pay for their purchases in several payments over an agreed-upon length of time. The paid invoice provides proof of payment: it discharges the customer's debt to the supplier and makes it easier to manage both the business's invoices and finances.

Note that French banks may ask you for a paid invoice when you apply for a loan.

Who can pay an invoice?

The business generally sends the paid invoice to the customer once full payment has been received. However, customers can also mark an invoice as paid themselves by attaching their bank details (a RIB in France) to the initial invoice, stating that the invoice has been paid. As a customer, you can also ask the business to issue one as proof of payment.

Note that customers are advised to obtain a paid invoice when paying in cash, as without an electronic record, it is difficult to prove that the payment has been made.

Is a paid invoice a mandatory requirement?

A paid invoice is not a mandatory requirement. However, due to its legal value, it is strongly recommended to have one in the event of a dispute. It must therefore be kept for at least ten years. With a paid invoice, the customer can provide proof of payment to a court.

Customers in the construction and public works sector tend to ask for a paid invoice.

What information is required on a paid invoice?

As paid invoices are just standard invoices with additional information, all you need to do is add the following to the original invoice:

  • The word "Paid" on the updated invoice
  • The payment references
  • The payment date
  • The payment method (bank transfer, cheque, bank card or cash)
  • The seller's signature

For the rest of the paid invoice, the same number and the same mandatory information is used as on the initial invoice. Find out more about invoicing rules in our related article to ensure that you are compliant.

What are the alternatives to paid invoices?

If there is no paid invoice, customers can provide proof of payment with a copy of their bank details (RIB in France) showing that they have paid the full amount. Customers can also ask the bank to check that the business's account has been credited. As a last resort, they can contact a bailiff to prove payment of a debt.

Where can you access a paid invoice template?

You can use this paid invoice template to create your own invoice manually, or you can use an integrated invoicing tool. Stripe Invoicing is a code-free solution that automates the customisation of your paperless invoices and speeds up their payment, with most Stripe invoices being paid in less than three days. Stripe's Payment Links solution also lets you generate and send your paid invoices to the customer automatically. To find out how Stripe can help you to optimise your invoicing process end-to-end, contact one of our experts.

Ready to get started? Get in touch or create an account.

Access a complete payments platform with simple, pay-as-you-go pricing, or contact us to design a custom package specifically for your business.