What Is a Proforma Invoice?

Also known as an estimate invoice, a proforma invoice is a pre-advice document and is considered as a preliminary bill of sales used for customs purposes on imports. It is prepared by the seller and sent to the buyer in advance of a shipment or delivery of goods, signifying the commitment on the part of the seller to deliver products or services according to the specifications of the buyer. However, unlike a sales invoice, it does not request payment, hence is not a true invoice.

How to Create a Proforma Invoice

proforma invoice template

1. Present the Header

At the top of your document, present the header with the words "Proforma invoice" so you can easily recognize the document in case it is being piled with other types of document in a sales transaction. You must also include your company logo and name for your branding. Do not forget to also incorporate your contact information, such as your mailing address, phone number, website, email address, and country of origin. Lastly, do not forget to include some important dates, namely the date the invoice was prepared, the date the invoice was requested, and the expiry date.

2. Write Buyer’s Details

Then, write the buyer's details, which include the following: name of the buyer, company name if there are any, mailing address, and phone number.

3. Set Invoice Unique Identification Number

Every invoice of a company must have a unique identification number for reference and security purposes. It allowed to use any number system that you want, but it should be sequential. You must also develop a system to keep track of each of them, so you will easily know who you sent an invoice to, when payment is due, and when the invoice expires.

4. State the Reason for Export

You must state the reasons for export as this is required when you are exporting goods to another country. It can be for sale, repair, return, etc.

5. Create an Itemized Breakdown of Charges

Be specific when you break down the shipment of the details, and make sure that you include the following: a simple list of each good or service being provided, number of items included price per unit of each item and total cost. Do not forget to also include tax, shipping, and other charges and fees, such as shipping and handling costs.

6. Create a Brief Footer

At the bottom of your paper, you can include a footer presenting additional information, for example, your guarantee and return policy on goods sold. In this section, you can also include the reference number and date of injury. You can also take time to thank a customer for transacting with you. Note that if you have additional fields for discounts, estimated shipping date, and many others, you can change the content appropriately according to the specific demands of your business entity.

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