How to draw up a quote in France

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Saiba mais 
  1. Introdução
  2. What is a quote and what is it used for?
  3. When is it mandatory to give a quote?
  4. What information needs to be included in a quote?
    1. Mandatory information
    2. Legal information
    3. Fines
  5. When can a quote be invoiced?
  6. How long is a quote valid for?
  7. How to create a quote

Although a signed quote constitutes a professional commitment between the supplier and its client, it is not always necessary. Additionally, the structure of a quote and the necessary information included in it vary according to the sector and the service concerned. So, how do you draw up a detailed quote that complies with French administration requirements? This article explains all you need to know to generate quotes without being hit with penalties.

What’s in this article?

  • What is a quote and what is it used for?
  • When is it mandatory to give a quote?
  • What information needs to be included in a quote?
  • When can a quote be invoiced?
  • How long is a quote valid for?
  • How to create a quote

What is a quote and what is it used for?

A quote is a draft agreement drawn up by a professional for a client. This document establishes the nature and price of the goods or service in question, and it becomes binding when it is signed by the client. The quote informs the client of the details and terms of the offer so that they can decide whether they wish to commit to it.

When is it mandatory to give a quote?

A detailed quote is not always required—simply displaying the price is sufficient in some cases. However, a quote becomes mandatory within the context of certain services, particularly those relating to work and repairs in the construction and home equipment sectors. In principle, quotes are free, although they may be provided at a charge within this sector.

All businesses providing removals, vehicle rental (vehicles under 3.5 tons, without a driver and without a purchase option), or funerary services are also required to provide a free quote to their client before fulfilling their services.

Health care professionals working in the optometry and eyewear fields or supplying medical equipment are required to create a free quote in two copies; the professional’s copy must be retained for at least one year.

Aesthetic surgery practitioners must issue a quote to the client if the total of the service is 300 euros or higher, if general anesthetic is required, or if the patient has requested a quote.

Similarly, providers and retailers of products and services facilitating the return home and autonomy of disabled or sick individuals must provide quotes. Quotes are mandatory if the product is custom-made, if it is leased, or if the price is 500 euros or higher, including any applicable taxes. Dental and podiatry services also require a quote when the service cost is high.

Last, quotes become mandatory when a service exceeds 100 euros (including taxes) per month or when the client has requested a quote (regardless of the service price or the sector in question).

What information needs to be included in a quote?

The content of a quote varies according to the business sector in question and the service provided. Check the specific legal information required in your quote on the French administration’s official website.

Mandatory information

Generally, in order for a quote to be valid, it must include the following information:

  • Date on which the quote was drawn up
  • Business’s name and address
  • Client’s name and contact details
  • Service start date and its duration
  • Quantity and unit price of each product or service to be delivered
  • Labor costs and hours (if applicable)
  • Travel fee (if applicable)
  • Total prices, excluding tax and all taxes included for the service or product

The quote must also be dated and signed by the professional before being sent to the client.

Construction work or building repair service providers are legally obligated to indicate the quote’s term of validity and whether the quote is charged. In this case, the cost of the quote must be indicated on the document.

Fines

Mandatory and legal information must be included in your quote, since any missing information may lead to penalties. Fines of up to 3,000 euros may be applied to physical persons, and fines of up to 15,000 euros may be applied to legal entities.

When can a quote be invoiced?

As a general rule, a quote is a document drawn up free of charge by professionals. However, a quote may be invoiced to your client if you work in the construction and repairs sector, or if drawing up your quote requires in-depth studies, a feasibility analysis, or travel.

Please note that some professional activities do not allow for the invoicing of quotes: this is the case for removals, funeral services, optometry products, vehicle rental, and nonspecialist services. In these cases, quotes are provided to clients free of charge.

How long is a quote valid for?

A quote’s term of validity is determined by the professional issuing it. However, if the quote is not signed by the client, the quote is legally valid for a three-month period.

How to create a quote

Creating a quote starts with studying the client’s requirements, in order to accurately cost the service proposed. Once the total has been determined, you can use an online template or manually create your own if you have Microsoft Word or Excel (their models are available for free and can easily be customized). You can also use an automatic invoicing solution, such as Stripe Billing, which simplifies the creation, customization, and processing of your quotes in a single integration with your CRM software. Stripe Billing also automatically creates the corresponding invoice or subscription for any quote accepted by the client. For more information, get in touch with one of our Stripe experts.

Vamos começar?

Crie uma conta e comece a aceitar pagamentos sem precisar de contratos nem dados bancários, ou fale conosco para criar um pacote personalizado para sua empresa.