An invoice is a commercial document that outlines the buyer's obligation to pay a seller for specific goods or services. Invoices include essential information (such as itemized pricing and when the payment is due) that gives businesses or individuals insight into the exact nature of the transaction that is taking place.
Essentially, an invoice represents a legally binding commercial contract. It outlines an obligation for the buyer to pay the seller in exchange for the specified products or services.
Its main function is to itemize and record the specifics of this transaction between seller and buyer. For example, suppose goods are being purchased via a form of credit. In that case, the invoice will lay out the terms of the commercial transaction and provide information regarding the available payment methods.
Standard invoice, commercial invoice, pro forma invoice, VAT invoice… Various types of invoices exist to meet a range of use cases, but essentially they all fulfill the same function: ensuring correct and timely payment for goods or services rendered.
An invoice should provide clear documentation to give a complete picture of the specifics of the transaction that it relates to. Because of this, several essential elements should always be present on your invoices.
Let’s take a closer look at a well-designed invoice:
A great invoice does more than simply provide the necessary record of a transaction; it also represents an important touchpoint with your customers.
Whenever payments are involved, businesses should aim to do all they can to gain the customer's trust. Providing a generic, unbranded invoice does not convey much of this to new buyers.
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An invoice is a real opportunity to give an impression of your brand. By paying attention to the design of your invoice, you can keep things consistent and trustworthy. Your invoicing becomes a positive part of your customer relationship and not just a financial necessity.
Looking for fully compliant invoices that still showcase your brand’s personality and style? Try Sufio and give your customers an invoice they’ll want to keep.