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What details do I need to put on my sales invoices?

You might see quite a few different sales invoices; some might have a date on, others don't; some have VAT on but no VAT number on them. It’s not surprising that  people get confused, so what should you include on your Sales Invoices?

HMRC says that a sales invoice should include:

  • The word ‘invoice’ should appear somewhere.

  • a unique invoice number

  • your company name, address and contact information.

  • the company name and address of the customer you're invoicing

  • a clear description of what you're charging for- what’s been sold?

  • the date of the invoice

  • the amount(s) being charged

  • the date you provided the goods or services (which is also known as the supply date)

  • VAT amount if applicable - (only if you are VAT registered)

  • the total amount owed

If you’re a sole trader, then it must also include:

  • Your name and any business name you use

  • An address where any legal documents can be delivered to you if you are using a business name

Limited company invoices must also include:

If your business is a limited company or LLP, your invoices must also show the full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation and its Companies House registration number and address. If you put the name of one director or member on your invoice, you must include the names of all the directors or members.

If you’re registered for VAT then it must include:

Whether you’re a sole trader or your business is a limited company, if you're registered for VAT, you must include your VAT number on your invoices and comply with HMRC's rules about VAT invoices. These rules state that an invoice must include:

  • an invoice number which is unique and follows on from the number of the previous invoice (if you cancel a serially numbered invoice, you must keep it to show to a VAT officer in the event of a VAT inspection)

  • your business’s name and address

  • your business’s VAT registration number

  • the invoice date

  • the time of supply (also known as the tax point) if this is different from the invoice date

  • your customer's name (or trading name) and address

  • a description sufficient to identify the goods or services supplied to the customer

  • the rate of any cash discount

  • the total amount payable, excluding VAT

  • the total amount of VAT charged, expressed in sterling

For each different type of item listed on the invoice, you must also show:

  • the unit price or rate, excluding VAT

  • the quantity of goods or the extent of the services

  • the rate of VAT that applies to what's being sold

  • the rate of any discount for that item

And if you issue a VAT invoice that includes zero-rated or exempt goods or services, you must:

  • show clearly that there is 0%, or no VAT payable on those goods or services

  • show the total of those values separately

If you make retail sales and you make a sale of goods or services for £250 or less (including VAT), you can issue a simplified VAT invoice. 



Want to know how a 'simplified' sales invoice is different?  I've written a blog post on that:

Do you have have some questions for me? You can book a Zoom call in with me here:

Don't want to pay for a bookkeeper to do it all, but don't want to go alone either?