Invoice format - What is an invoice format?

Invoice format simply refers to the layout of an invoice’s different sections.

An invoice format breaks an invoice down into different parts, allowing you to better arrange it, whilst also ensuring that you include all of the mandatory invoice fields.

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Invoice format vs. invoice template

An invoice format and an invoice template are not the same things. The invoice format just refers to the different parts of an invoice.

The invoice template is then the ready-made form that combines all of the sections together so you can quickly fill out the information about your sale. The invoice template works like a ‘scaffold’ you can use when writing every new invoice.

When creating an invoice, using a simple invoice template will mean you won’t have to worry about remembering how to format an invoice, it will all be pre-organised for you.

How to format an invoice

Every invoice follows the same basic invoice format. It must contain certain sections in order to be considered an official request for payment (and therefore, a binding document in the sales process). Your invoice format must include:

  • Your business name and contact details

  • Your customer’s name and contact details

  • The label ‘Invoice’

  • A unique invoice number

  • The invoice date and date of supply

  • A description of the goods or services and their prices

  • VAT (if applicable)

  • Subtotals and totals

Using an invoice template will make sure you follow a basic invoice format and ensure that these important details are always included in your invoices.

A proforma invoice format and a credit note format include a lot of the same sections. However, they’re named differently and proforma invoices don’t require an invoice number. Invoicing software will help you create proforma invoices and credit notes with the correct formatting.

Invoice number format

Whenever you create an invoice, it needs to be assigned a unique invoice number. Your invoice numbers should be sequential. They may consist of several numbers, or have a code before them, e.g. INV-0087. 

If you use SumUp Invoices, it will automatically assign a new invoice an invoice number, following the numbering sequence you have been using.

Invoice format and invoice design

The invoice format is also closely related to the invoice design. When you design your invoice, you have an opportunity to communicate your brand and promote your business. 

A professional invoice format will include all of the necessary information but also be unique to your company. Some invoicing software will allow you to customise and personalise your invoices while ensuring you include the mandatory information.

Example of an invoice

Below, is a sample VAT invoice format created with SumUp Invoices. All the necessary sections are included.

How to make an invoice in SumUp Invoices

Invoicing software like SumUp Invoices provides a built-in invoice format in a ready-made invoice template.

When you log in to your account, simply select the invoices tab and click ‘New invoice’. Then fill out the information in the boxes, and your invoice formatting will be done for you!

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