Legal rules for invoices to US customers

6 replies
I wonder how an invoice to an US customer should be. I live in Europe: in my country no business can pay a good or a service without a legal proof, which can be a receipt for a low sum but generally is a proper invoice which must have well fixed characteristics. If you don't get such an invoice you get in trouble, so as the people who sold you the good or the service without issuing it.

Which are the rules to follow? What about VAT?

Now I'm puzzled. I would like to work for the US market but I don't know how to do things under US law (and I confess I'm also struggling to understand what I should do to comply with the income tax rules in my country......).

Any help?
#customers #invoices #legal #rules
  • Profile picture of the author GMD
    Instead of "wondering", do a little research first. A good place to start is actually looking at invoice templates. For example:

    Invoices - Templates -

    Go through several templates and see what fields/information that they have. Select all those that apply to your business/service and the customize it to your needs and be sure to use the same invoice for all your U.S. based customers.

    As for the tax rules in your country, only you are in the best position to know that and find that information out -- or at the very least let us know where you're based and that way perhaps a Warrior from your country can advise you or point you in the right direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Sales taxes (and VAT is a kind of sales tax) are applied based on the location of the seller (YOU) - not the buyer. Talk to your accountant/tax-advisor.

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    • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Sales taxes (and VAT is a kind of sales tax) are applied based on the location of the seller (YOU) - not the buyer. Talk to your accountant/tax-advisor.
      I'm not sure that is true ... it is more the relationship of where the buyer and seller live. So if I'm shipping or receiving something out of state, I don't pay sales tax to the seller. But if I'm shipping in state and selling retail, sales tax needs to be charged.

      So in most US cases that I'm aware of, it is the buyers responsibility to report the sales tax owed on their state income tax forms on out of state purchases ... if they weren't already charged sales tax. And that is why the push for a national extortio, er, sales tax.

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      • Profile picture of the author danifae
        Thank you to all for your replies.

        @GMD obviously I made a research before posting here, and found many kind of invoices. Thant's why I was so puzzled, because they are so different one from another!

        I also contacted a local accountant, but those who are involved with small businesses don't know much about transactions with foreigners. I suppose I should go to a bigger accountants company!

        Thanks again
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  • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
    A company you are dealing with my want some certain info on the invoice but there are no "invoice rules" in the US and you don't need to collect VAT.

    Just find an existing template you like and fill it in with your details.
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