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E-invoicing in France

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The Rise of Paperless Invoicing in France

E-invoicing has become increasingly popular around the world, and France is no exception. The French government has played an active role in driving the adoption of e-invoicing by introducing regulations and incentives to encourage its use. In this post, Unimaze takes a closer look at the state of e-invoicing in France, exploring the current landscape, challenges, and possibilities. We’ll also tell you why Unimaze is the #1 e-invoicing service provider in France.

E-invoicing in France: A Quick Overview

E-Invoicing/CTC Model

  • B2G: Centralized/Peppol
  • B2B: Post Audit, Clearance/Centralized from July 2024

Mandatory Infrastructure

  • B2G: Chorus Pro/Peppol
  • B2B: Not Applicable

Mandatory e-Invoice Format

  • B2G: UBL 2.0, UBL 2.1, CII 16B, CPP, FacturX, PES, PDF, Peppol BIS
  • B2B: Not Applicable

Issuing Mandate

  • B2G: Suppliers to all contracting authorities
  • B2B: Gradual Roll-Out from July 2024

Receiving Mandate

  • B2G: All contracting authorities
  • B2B: All buyers from July 2024

Digital Signature

Not Required, but common

Archiving Abroad

Allowed under specific conditions

Archiving Period

10 years

E-Invoicing in France: The Timeline

From legal framework to nationwide implementation, here's a timeline of electronic invoicing in France.

  • 2003: The French government establishes a legal framework for electronic invoicing.
  • 2012: The French government mandates electronic invoicing for all public sector contracts.
  • 2016: The French government requires all companies with over 5,000 employees to use electronic invoicing.
  • 2017: The French government expands electronic invoicing requirements to companies with over 250 employees.
  • 2020: The French government introduces mandatory electronic invoicing for all businesses, regardless of size, for B2B transactions.

2023: Starting from 1st July 2024, the French government will require all businesses to issue electronic invoices for B2C transactions.

How E-Invoicing Works in France

Here's how e-invoicing works in France:

  • Creation: E-invoices in France are created electronically and must comply with the technical and legal requirements set by the French government. This ensures that e-invoices are valid and legally binding.
  • Transmission: Once created, e-invoices are transmitted electronically to the recipient through a secure platform. The platform ensures the authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of the invoice.
  • Receipt: The recipient receives the e-invoice and verifies its accuracy. They can also access the invoice history and details online.
  • Payment: The recipient can pay the e-invoice online through secure payment methods.

E-invoicing Standards in France

Electronic invoicing in France is subject to strict standards to ensure invoicing processes' integrity and security.

These standards govern the technical, legal, and financial aspects of e-invoicing and help to ensure that electronic invoices are valid and legally binding.

Here are some of the e-invoicing standards in France:

  • Legal Requirements: Electronic invoices in France must comply with the legal requirements in the French Commercial and Tax Code.

These requirements cover issues such as the invoice format, the information that must be included in the invoice, and the storage and archiving of the invoice.

  • Technical Requirements: E-invoices in France must comply with technical requirements set by the French government.

These requirements include the use of specific data formats, the inclusion of specific data fields, and the use of digital signatures.

  • Interoperability: E-invoicing systems in France must be interoperable, meaning that they must be able to exchange electronic invoices with other systems regardless of the technology or software used.
  • Security: E-invoicing systems in France must have strong security measures in place to protect against fraud and unauthorized access.

This includes using encryption, digital signatures, and secure transmission protocols.

  • Accessibility: E-invoicing systems in France must be accessible to all businesses, regardless of their size or technical capabilities. This means that e-invoicing solutions must be easy to use and affordable.

E-Invoicing Regulations in France

In France, electronic invoicing (E-invoicing) is regulated by several laws and rules that aim to promote digital invoices, simplify administrative procedures, and reduce the risk of tax fraud.

One of France's key regulations for e-invoicing is the General Tax Code, which sets out the requirements for electronic invoicing and archiving.

According to the code, electronic invoices must be issued and received in a structured format that complies with the standards set by the tax authorities. In addition, electronic invoices must be securely archived for at least six years.

Another important regulation for E-invoicing in France is the Finance Act of 2020, which made E-invoicing mandatory for all business-to-business (B2B) transactions between taxable persons as of 1st July 2024.

All French companies must use electronic invoices when invoicing their clients, suppliers, and partners, except in certain circumstances.

To facilitate the adoption of electronic invoicing, the French government has launched several initiatives and platforms, including Chorus Pro, a centralized E-invoicing platform for businesses and public entities.

Chorus Pro allows businesses to create, send, and track electronic invoices, while public entities can use the platform to process and pay invoices.

Benefits of Electronic Invoicing for Companies in France

Electronic invoicing has emerged as a popular solution with many benefits as businesses in France continue to look for ways to improve their financial management and streamline operations.

Here’s what it means to adopt e-invoicing for French businesses.

  • Improved Cash Flow: Electronic invoicing allows faster payment processing, enhancing your company's cash flow. You can also track invoice status in real time, making it easier to follow up on overdue payments.
  • Reduced Administrative Burden: E-invoicing streamlines the invoicing process, reducing the administrative burden on your team. This can free up time for more important tasks, such as business development and customer service.
  • Simplified Tax Compliance: Electronic invoicing in France must comply with specific regulations, such as using standardized invoice formats. Electronic invoicing software can help you stay compliant and simplify the tax reporting process.
  • Improved Supplier Relationships: E-invoicing can help improve supplier relationships by reducing payment delays and disputes. It also provides greater transparency and visibility into invoice processing, which can improve communication and collaboration between you and your suppliers.
  • Enhanced Data Management: Electronic invoicing software can help you manage and analyze invoicing data more effectively, providing insights into your company's financial performance. This can help you make more informed business decisions and identify areas for improvement.
  • Better audit trail: E-invoicing provides a clear and detailed audit trail of invoicing activity, making tracking and investigating discrepancies or errors easier.

Let Unimaze Help You Get Started With e-Invoicing in France

If you want to streamline your business operations and improve efficiency, e-invoicing is the way to go.

And if you're in France, Unimaze can help you get started.

As a Peppol access point and e-invoice service provider, Unimaze has the expertise and technology to make the transition to electronic invoicing as smooth as possible.

Say goodbye to paper invoices, lost or delayed payments, and manual data entry errors.

With Unimaze e-invoicing solutions, you'll enjoy faster processing times, increased accuracy, and a more sustainable way of doing business.

Plus, our team of experts is available to provide support and guidance every step of the way.

So why wait? Let Unimaze help you take your invoicing to the next level. Book a Meeting with one of our experts today to start your transition.

e-Invoicing in France FAQs

Is e-invoicing Mandatory in France?

Yes, e-invoicing is mandatory for some types of transactions in France.

From 1st July 2024, businesses registered in France and subject to VAT must issue electronic invoices for B2B and B2G transactions (Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government).

This mandatory e-invoicing aims to simplify administrative procedures and reduce the risk of tax fraud. Therefore, businesses must comply with France's relevant regulations to avoid potential penalties or legal issues.

How Do I Invoice in France?

If you need to invoice a client in France, there are several important steps to follow to ensure compliance with local regulations:

  • Include All Required Information: In France, invoices must include specific details such as the date of issuance, a unique invoice number, the names and addresses of both the seller and buyer, a detailed description of the goods or services provided, and the total amount of the invoice.
  • Use The Correct Format: Electronic invoices must be issued in a structured format such as XML, EDI, or PDF/A-3 invoices must be in a specific layout with mandatory information printed in a certain order.
  • Ensure Compliance with VAT Rules: Invoices must include the applicable VAT rate, the amount of VAT charged, and the VAT identification number of both the seller and buyer.
  • Send The Invoice to the Correct Address: Invoices must be sent to the buyer's registered office or a designated electronic invoicing platform, depending on the agreement between the parties.
  • Keep Accurate Records: Invoices and related documents must be kept for at least six years in case of a tax audit.

You should seek the advice of a tax professional or a specialized e-invoicing service provider such as Unimaze to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and make the invoicing process as smooth as possible.

Do Invoices in France Need to Be in French?

Yes, invoices issued in France must be in French or in a bilingual format that includes French. This requirement is based on the French Language Law, which aims to promote and protect the French language in all areas of public life, including business transactions.

In some cases, invoices may be issued in another language besides French, but only if the contract or agreement between the parties specifically allows it. However, the French version of the invoice must always take precedence in case of any discrepancies or disputes.

It is important to note that if you are conducting business in France, it is recommended that you have a good understanding of the French language to communicate effectively with your clients and comply with local regulations.

Alternatively, you can use the services of a professional translator or a specialized e-invoicing service provider such as Unimaze to ensure that your invoices are correctly translated and formatted following local requirements.

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