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Proforma invoice - What is a proforma invoice?

Definition: A proforma invoice is a document that is sent to a buyer in certain circumstances - usually before all of the invoice details are known.

A proforma invoice is not a true invoice – it is simply a document that declares the seller’s commitment to provide the goods or services specified to the buyer at certain prices.

Proforma invoices are not recorded as an accounts receivable by the seller nor are they recorded as an accounts payable by the buyer.

When proforma invoices are used

If you need to issue a sales document for goods or services you haven't supplied yet, you can issue a proforma invoice to offer goods or services to customers.

Proforma invoices are also often used to declare the value of goods for customs.

Sending proforma invoices

According to the HMRC, proforma invoices are not VAT invoices, and therefore should be marked with the words 'This is not a VAT invoice'.

If the recepient accepts the goods or services offered in the proforma invoice and you in turn supply them, then you must issue a proper VAT invoice within the appropriate time limit.


Here is a sample layout of a proforma invoice created in Debitoor

Proforma invoices in Debitoor

You can create a proforma invoice in Debitoor in a few simple steps. You just need to go to Invoice tab and create the invoice.

When you save it, it will appear in the Proforma folder.