What should be on an invoice zzp in the Netherlands?
Running your own business as a zzp’er (self-employed person without staff) comes with many responsibilities. One of them is preparing invoices correctly. The invoicing process can be confusing at first, especially if you are not sure what information should be on an invoice. In this comprehensive article, we explore all the essential components of a zzp invoice.
The basic details of you and your client
Every invoice should contain basic information about both the self-employed person and the client. This not only ensures the legitimacy of the document, but also helps both parties keep their records
- Name or trade name of your company
- Chamber of Commerce number (Chamber of Commerce registration number)
- VAT number (if applicable)
- Customer’s name or company name
- Customer address
- Customer’s VAT number if applicable (especially important for business customers)
Invoice specifications: the technical details
Every invoice you send as a self-employed person must be uniquely identifiable. This means you must have a sequential invoice number that is different from other invoice numbers.
What else is important?
- Invoice date: the date the invoice was issued.
- Delivery date or period: when the service or product was delivered.
- Payment term: clearly indicate the time period within which the customer must pay the invoice.
The essence of the invoice: description of goods and services
This is where you state specifically what you have delivered. Whether it is a physical product, a digital service or consultancy, it should be clear what the customer gets.
Some tips for this section:
- Give a clear description of each item or service.
- State the quantity or number of hours (if applicable).
- Indicate the price per item or per hour.
- State the total amount for each item or service.
- Clearly indicate any discounts or additional charges.
VAT: essential on your invoice
If you are liable for VAT, this section is crucial on your invoice. Invoicing VAT correctly is essential not only for your own records, but also for those of your customer.
What should you state here?
- The VAT rate you apply (e.g. 21% or 9%).
- The total amount excluding VAT.
- The total amount of VAT charged on this amount.
- The total amount including VAT.
You may have different VAT rates on one invoice. In that case, you have to make a separate calculation for each rate.
An example: Suppose you sold both a book (9% VAT) and provided consultancy services (21% VAT). Both rates should then be listed separately on the invoice with the respective amounts.
Why is accuracy so important?
A correctly prepared invoice is not only a sign of professionalism, it also protects you from any legal or tax problems. If the tax authorities decide to carry out an audit, you want to be sure that all your documents are in order. A mistake in your invoicing could lead to fines or additional tax assessments.
Moreover, a clear invoice helps avoid misunderstandings with customers. It ensures that your customer knows exactly what they get and what they have to pay, which reduces the chances of late or missed payments.
What about digital invoicing?
In the digital age, many self-employed people choose to send their invoices electronically. This is not only faster and easier, but also more environmentally friendly. The rules for digital invoicing are largely the same as for paper invoices. The most important thing is that the invoice is authentic and with integrity. This means that the origin of the invoice must be clear (who sent it?) and that the content cannot be altered unnoticed.
Finally: stay informed
The regulations surrounding invoicing can change. It is therefore essential to regularly educate yourself and keep abreast of any changes in laws and regulations. This will ensure that your invoices always comply with the latest requirements and that you come across as professional and reliable to your customers.