How to create a deposit invoice in France

Invoicing
Invoicing

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is a deposit invoice?
  3. What is the purpose of a deposit invoice?
  4. Is a deposit invoice mandatory?
  5. What information is required on a deposit invoice?
  6. Where can I find an example deposit invoice?

Invoice, pro forma invoice, deposit invoice: commercial activities involve various types of invoice, and companies therefore need to know the differences. While a pro forma invoice is simply a provisional invoice, standard invoices and deposit invoices both have an accounting value. Find out what you need to know about the differences so you can create a deposit invoice that complies with regulations.

What's in this article?

  • What is a deposit invoice?
  • What is the purpose of a deposit invoice?
  • Is a deposit invoice mandatory?
  • What information is required on a deposit invoice?
  • Where can I find an example deposit invoice?

What is a deposit invoice?

A deposit invoice is a financial document that businesses issue to confirm receipt of a prepayment from a customer. Prepayment is a partial amount paid in advance that, once received, is deducted from the total amount payable.

The supplier and customer agree on the prepayment amount together (e.g. 30% of the total). Currently, there are no regulations governing the appropriate amount.

What is the purpose of a deposit invoice?

For a business, prepayment offers a certain financial security when goods or services are ordered (and may cover handling fees or material costs in the event of a default). The deposit invoice also reduces the amount of arrears because it binds the two parties: if one party pulls out of the contract, they risk paying damages and accrued interest. The prepayment benefits the customer too, as it allows them to pay the sum spread out over several payments (which is particularly advantageous in the case of large sums).

Is a deposit invoice mandatory?

A deposit invoice is required as soon as a business receives the prepayment: Article 289 of the General Tax Code states that a deposit invoice is required regardless of the value-added tax (VAT) status of the company or self-employed individual. However, deliveries of goods and services within the EU or of new vehicles are not subject to this requirement.

What information is required on a deposit invoice?

The content of a deposit invoice is almost identical to that of a standard invoice. The document must state that it is a “deposit invoice” and must include the invoice number (following the same chronology as the standard invoice). The invoice's date of issue and the amount of the original quote or purchase order must also be stated.

In addition, the contact details of the business (name, company, company enrolment number, SIREN number and business address) and of the customer (name, company name and invoicing address) must be mentioned in order for a deposit invoice to be valid. For commercial transactions outside France, each party's intracommunity VAT number must also be included.

Furthermore, the deposit invoice must include a description of the services or goods sold, including the amount before taxes. For companies subject to VAT, the VAT rate, VAT amount and total price including all taxes ("toutes taxes comprises" or TTC) are required. For products or services not subject to VAT, their exemption must be mentioned on the invoice with the wording: "TVA non applicable, art. 293 B du CGI" (VAT not applicable, art. 293 B of the French Tax Code).

Finally, the payment method and due date must be included on the deposit invoice.

Note: The information required on a self-employed person's deposit invoice is the same as that required on a standard deposit invoice. Read our article on how to create a self-employed invoice to find out the specific information required on an invoice for a one-person business (or "microbusiness").

Where can I find an example deposit invoice?

You can find an example deposit invoice online or use Microsoft 365 to create and configure your deposit invoices. You can also use an invoicing system that is fully integrated with your existing processes, such as Stripe Invoicing, to simplify and speed up your invoice creation and customisation for all types of invoice (without having to write a single line of code).

To find out more about the advanced invoicing tools that Stripe offers, contact a member of our team.

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