How long are quotes valid for in France?

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is a quote and what is it used for?
  3. Why does a quote have a term of validity?
  4. Does the term of validity need to be indicated?
  5. How long is an unsigned quote valid for?
  6. How long is a signed quote valid for?
  7. How long is a signed quote with an advance payment valid for?
  8. What should be done if the quotes term of validity is exceeded?
  9. Can a quote be changed after the term of validity?

Depending on the business, a professional may be required to provide a customer with a quote. This is also the case if the price of a product or service cannot be determined easily, or if the customer requests a quote. But how long is a quote valid for? Do advance payments affect this time frame? And what happens after this time frame? Find the answers to these questions in the article below, which shares everything you need to know about how long a quote is valid for.

What's in this article?

  • What is a quote and what is it used for?
  • Why does a quote have a term of validity?
  • Does the term of validity need to be indicated?
  • How long is an unsigned quote valid for?
  • How long is a signed quote valid for?
  • How long is a signed quote with an advance payment valid for?
  • What should be done if the quote's term of validity is exceeded?
  • Can a quote be changed after the term of validity?

What is a quote and what is it used for?

A quote is a document that is prepared by a professional and sent to a potential customer. It specifies the details of the business proposal, including the type of transaction, the set price, associated costs, the terms of the sale and the quote's term of validity, to name a few. The purpose of a quote is to inform the customer of the details surrounding the transaction.

Once signed, the professional is committed to delivering the product or service in accordance with the terms of the quote. It also commits the customer to paying the corresponding invoice. The customer's signature signifies their acceptance of the offer, which means that they can no longer dispute either the terms of the quote or the price. A signed quote therefore has the same value as a contract and is legally binding on both parties.

Why does a quote have a term of validity?

The term of validity of a quote allows a customer to consider a professional's business proposal and decide whether to commit to it. It is a period during which the terms of the quote (the rates in particular) remain valid and unchanged. During the term of validity, professionals may not modify the content of the unsigned quote and are obliged to keep the proposal as it is.

Does the term of validity need to be indicated?

For certain services or sales of goods, the term of validity must be stated on the quote, including:

  • Works and repairs on buildings and household equipment
  • The sale of products and services intended to compensate for loss of autonomy
  • Funeral services
  • Cosmetic surgery services
  • If the monthly price of a service intended for one person is €100 or more, including all taxes

In all other cases, it is optional but highly recommended to specify the quote's term of validity. You can find out more about the information required in quotes in our article on this topic or on the official French government website. For microenterprises, see our article which looks at the specific details surrounding quotes when you're self-employed.

How long is an unsigned quote valid for?

A quote's term of validity is determined by the professional who issues it. In general, it's good practice to specify a reasonable time frame of one to three months. If no expiry date is specified, an unsigned quote is legally valid for three months.

How long is a signed quote valid for?

To determine the term of validity of a signed quote, you need to look at the performance date that the professional stated in the quote. This date indicates when the term of validity ends for the signed quote, as well as the commitment of both parties.

How long is a signed quote with an advance payment valid for?

An advance payment does not affect the validity of a quote. The term of validity is the same as that of the signed quote – in other words, it corresponds to the performance date indicated in the quote.

What should be done if the quote's term of validity is exceeded?

If the professional exceeds the execution date by more than seven days, the customer has 60 days to request late penalty payments or the complete cancellation of the commercial transaction. However, the professional may be excused from their obligation to perform the service or delivery if the non-performance of the contract is due to exceptional circumstances, such as force majeure, which prevents the performance of the contract. The professional may also be released if the customer does not fulfil their obligation towards the professional, such as in the case of non-payment.

Can a quote be changed after the term of validity?

Once the term of validity has expired, the professional is free to create a new copy of the quote with different sales terms and rates, as well as a different term of validity.

To change your quote, you can either use an online template or opt for an automated billing solution, such as Stripe Billing, which makes it easy to create and process customised quotes with no code required. Contact one of our Stripe experts to find out how we can help you streamline the creation and management of your quotes.

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