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? You’ll find out how in this article, which looks at the specifics of paid invoices: function, legal value, mandatory information, and much more. You can find out more about deposit invoices and pro forma invoices in our articles on the subjects.
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 marked as “paid.” This means that the business has received full payment for goods or services. This note is added to the original invoice, distinguishing it from an invoice pending payment. You can use an ink stamp with the note “paid” on the invoice, or use invoicing software to add the note.
Issuing a paid invoice is a common accounting practice for installment payments (a payment method allowing customers to pay for their purchases over the course of several payments under an agreed-upon term length). The paid invoice provides proof of payment: it discharges the customer’s debt to the supplier and makes it easier to manage the business’s invoices (and finances).
Note that 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 on receipt of full payment. However, customers can also mark an invoice as paid themselves by attaching their bank details (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 it is advisable for customers to obtain a paid invoice when paying in cash, as otherwise it is difficult to prove payment without an electronic record.
Is a paid invoice a mandatory requirement?
A paid invoice is not a mandatory requirement. However, it is strongly recommended in the event of a dispute because of its legal value (it must therefore be kept for at least 10 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?
Since the paid invoice is just a standard invoice with additional information, you just need to add the following to the original invoice:
- The note “paid” on the updated invoice
- The payment references
- The payment date
- The payment method (bank transfer, check, bank card, or cash)
- The seller’s signature
The rest of the paid invoice has the same number and the same mandatory information as the initial invoice. Find out more about invoicing rules in our related article to ensure 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) showing that they have paid the full amount due. 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 one manually, or use an integrated invoicing tool. Stripe Invoicing is a code-free solution that automates the customization of your paperless invoices and speeds up their payment (most Stripe invoices are paid in under three days). Stripe’s Payment Links solution also lets you generate and send your paid invoices automatically to the customer. To find out how Stripe can help you optimize your invoicing end to end, contact one of our experts.