Invoicing in France

4 January 2023

Companies or entrepreneurs, here are some explanations on the invoicing of your commercial operations in France and abroad. The invoice is an essential element containing information concerning the goods or services provided to a private or professional customer.

Invoicing in France : Mandatory information

In order to be valid, an invoice must contain several compulsory mentions:

  1. The date of issue of the invoice: date of sending;
  2. A numbering: this one must follow a chronological order and without rupture; most often it contains a prefix corresponding to the year and the month (ex: 2021-11-XX); this number must appear on all the pages of the invoice;
  3. Date of sale or service: date on which the sale took place or date on which the service was provided;
  4. Identity of the buyer:
  • For a private individual: Name/First name; delivery address; telephone; customer number; billing address (if different from delivery address)
  • For a professional: Name/first name of the contact; address of the head office; billing address (if different from the head office); Siret number (if applicable)
  1. Identity of the seller or service provider:

Company name; name of representative contact; address of registered office; SIRET number; legal form; amount of share capital

  1. Number of the purchase order
  2. VAT number if the amount ex VAT exceeds 150€.
  3. Product description: quantity, brand, reference, price
  4. Service performed: time required, labor, material supplied, price
  5. Ancillary costs: transport, installation, delivery
  6. Date on which payment must be made
  • The discount conditions applicable in case of payment at an earlier date than the one resulting from the application of the general sales conditions,
  • The rate of penalties payable on the day following the date of payment indicated on the invoice,
  • The amount of the fixed compensation for collection costs due to the creditor in case of late payment
  1. Total amount to be paid without and including VAT
  2. Legal guarantee of conformity of 2 years: for certain goods bought in store
  3. Price reduction: promotion, discount, rebate, promotional code
  4. Legal VAT rate


Invoicing in France : What are the VAT rates applicable in France?


Standard rate: 20%. Majority of sales of goods and services: applies to all products or services for which no other rate is expressly provided

Reduced rate :

10 %

Applicable to unprocessed agricultural products, firewood, housing improvements that do not benefit from the 5.5% rate, certain housing and camping services, fairs and exhibitions, games and fairground rides, entrance fees for museums, zoos, monuments, passenger transport, waste treatment, restaurants.
Reduced rate: 5.5%.

Most food products, female hygiene products, equipment and services for the disabled, books on any medium, gas and electricity subscriptions, supply of heat from renewable energy sources, supply of meals in school canteens, ticketing for live performances and cinema, certain imports and deliveries of works of art, work to improve the energy quality of housing, social or emergency housing, home ownership.


Specific rate : 2,1 % Reserved for medicines reimbursable by social security, sales of live butchery and charcuterie animals to non-taxable persons, television licence fees, certain shows and press publications registered with the Commission paritaire des publications et agences de presse.

Finally, there are specific mentions to be found in this list:

Invoicing in France : Is the use of an invoicing software mandatory ?

An invoicing software is a common tool in a company, just like an e-mail tool. In principle, it is not mandatory to use an invoicing software as long as your estimates and invoices respect the criteria imposed by the law.However, in practice, using a software is a considerable time saver, and becomes a necessity in certain cases.

In order to improve the control of financial flows and the resulting VAT, the European Union has issued directives to enforce more traceability.

With the 2018 anti-fraud law, the obligation of an invoicing system now concerns taxable persons subject to VAT, excluding the basic exemption regime, invoicing to individuals and recording cash receipts with a software or a cash system (Article 286 of the CGI).

How to edit an invoice with a foreign currency ? 

You have international customers?

It is possible to issue an invoice in a foreign currency under certain conditions: The currency must be internationally recognized and meet the criteria of the ISO 4217 standard.

Then, the currency must be convertible into Euro.

On the invoice, the exchange rate must appear in addition to the other mandatory information. This will be the rate negotiated between the parties involved, i.e. the reference rate in terms of parity between the euro and the foreign currency used for the payment. The invoice may also be written in a foreign language, provided that a copy is provided in French in case of an audit by the French tax authorities.

If you plan to set up a business in france, don’t neglect the aspects of invoicing in France.Finally, the invoice must be integrated into the company’s accounts in euros, using a conversion rate that may or may not be equal to the exchange rate used for the transaction.

The Team Roche & Cie

Professionals or individuals, French or international, since 1948, Roche & Cie has been assisting clients from all horizons. 
+33 (0) 4 78 27 43 06