Under French law, invoices submitted and paid in France must contain specific information about the French commercial code. We’ve summarised the contents required in 6 short, easily digestible chunks for you.
1. Personal & professional information
The following information is required on all invoices:
Your ‘Entreprise Individuelle’ or ‘EI’
Your telephone number
Your website (if you have one)
Your email address
Your SIRET registration number
If you’re a ‘commerçant’ you’ll need to add your RCS number
If you’re an ‘artisan’ add your RM and department number
You only need to write your VAT number down if you claim VAT
2. Client details
You’re required to add your client's name, business name, client's SIRET if they have one, and address to every invoice processed in France.
3. Invoice number
You’ll need to add the date the invoice was issued clearly. Please note that the invoice date is different to the invoice number and both should appear on the invoice. By law, there must be a clear order on your invoice that helps to label your invoices sequentially from the start, so that they’re easier to find, file and refer to.
4. Nature of the service / product
This is a short sentence that should indicate precisely the description of the products sold or the services provided. It should include the quantity with the unit price and the total price excluding VAT (including VAT if it applies). Your invoice must state HT (Hors Taxes which translates to “excluding VAT”) & TTC (Toutes Taxes Comprises translates to “including VAT”). If TVA doesn’t apply to you, it should appear as 0% and both prices show as the same.
An example of how the structure of TTC should look on an invoice is:
Total HT 1000€
TVA (20%) 200€
Total TTC 1200€
An example of how the structure of HT should look on an invoice is:
TVA non applicable, art. 293 B du CGI
5. Payment terms
You must include:
The date the payment is due
The date of execution of the sale or the service provided
The total amount excluding VAT and the following words: «TVA non applicable, art. 293 B du CGI». Please note that this only needs to be mentioned if you are not VAT registered.
If you are VAT registered you must include the total price with and without TVA.
These terms are important, particularly in the event of a non-payment. It means you can indicate the penalty rate and the date from which it will be applied.
6. Insurance number
If you carry out a craft activity for which professional insurance is compulsory (like decennial insurance for building craftsmen or professional civil liability for all self-employed entrepreneurs) then you must mention who your insurer or guarantor is and the geographical coverage of the contract of guarantee.
We hope you found this clear, succinct and helpful. If you’re more of a visual learner, we’ve included an image of a correctly presented invoice for you to check against your own to help you make sure you’re not missing any important information.
It's important to note that as a micro you are not obliged to use an official invoicing system, but you must keep track of invoices emitted and payments made. With this being said, you can find some great free tools on the internet to help with your invoicing. Now - go get paid!