How to Make a Commercial Invoice?

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A commercial invoice process is a legal documentation process between the buyer and the seller, importer, or exporter that shows the details of goods and for a shipment. It serves as an agreement document used between both parties and is always detailed.

Business owners with global customers need to make a commercial invoice for customs purposes when they ship out products. A complete description of what is being shipped can be used to generate commercial invoices.

Easy Steps to Create a Commercial Invoice

To create commercial invoices, these are applicable steps for you to follow:

  1. Download a Commercial Invoice Template

    To create commercial invoices for your organization, first of all, you need to download and personalize a suitable template for a commercial invoice for your businesses. You can also opt for an international invoice template that makes work easier to create an invoice. A typical example of a commercial invoice format is used by FedEx, or the United States Department of Commerce.

  2. Type in the Seller’s Correct Details

    Include your businesses’ contact information that could be reached, like company name and address, email address, and phone number.

  3. Type in Customers Details

    The next thing to do is identify how to fill out a commercial invoice. It is made possible by entering the correct information of the buyer or the company patronizing your business. Information to be included are the contact name, and address (official location) of the buyer or company’s contact details, shipping address if it is not the same as the billing address. You can also have the customs official address or location.

  4. Put a Unique Invoice Number

    All your invoices should have unique identification in the form of invoice numbers and harmonized tariff codes or either. The best way to number an invoice is through sequential identification. Your first invoice number should be 001, and other numbers on the sequence will follow.

  5. Add The Customer’s Reference Number

    Aside from having an invoice number on the export documentation, add a reference number to the invoice before sending it. The buyer reference number on a commercial invoice is provided, so you can identify the customer you’re dealing with when there’s a complaint or when there’s the need for the buyer or company to contact you.

  6. Add Your Sale Terms

    Sale terms are any information on the risk and cost you and the buyer is taking when going into business. When there’s a complaint on sales by the buyer, the initial agreement on terms of sale will serve as legal proof for you as the buyer because the seller’s details have been notified beforehand. But you also need to include it in the commercial invoicing templates.

  7. Include Your Payment Terms

    To avoid issues of payment, let the customer understand in the invoice what your policies and terms of payment are. Have the terms of sale that have been agreed upon by you and your customer.

    It can appear on the purchase order, applicable taxes, customs duties, and total value, but your payment terms on the commercial invoice samples will serve as a friendly reminder.

  8. Include Your Preferred Currency

    On the invoices, let the person be aware of what is the purpose and currency you want to be paid with for the total value. It should have been agreed before going into business with the buyer, so there won’t be confusion or delay in payment.

    If you live in the USA and you’re selling to a customer who lives overseas, your preferred currency will be US dollars. You also need to mention bank details like an international bank account number (if available) to guide customers to make the payment.

  9. Indicate The Shipment Method

    Your commercial invoices must indicate how you’re shipping the products over to your customer, maybe by surface shipping, air, or ocean.

  10. Indicate The Quantity

    Your commercial invoices should mention the product details in the quantity of purchase, per unit value, and total shipment weight.

  11. Fully Describe The Items

    A complete and detailed description of all the shipped items is to be written in the billing document used. This bill should consist of the appropriate measurement and name of items, type of packages they’ll be delivered in, the container type if applicable, total weight, unit value, and quantity of the items.

  12. Add The Unit Of Measurement

    The measurement of the items should be expressed in the same unit throughout, including the weight of each item and overall net weight.

  13. Include The Price And Value

    The grand prize of all the goods sold in the shipment should be written out as well as the total commercial unit price of the products.

  14. Note Package Signs And Marks

    Marking or symbols on the shipment details should be noted in the commercial invoice form. If the boxes or number of packages are much, you can name and label them to help the client understand better.

  15. Add Additional Costs

    In case there’s an occurrence of miscellaneous cost, include it in the invoice form with clear descriptions and a packing list. Miscellaneous things like maintenance, security, and transportation cost should also be noted.

Why the Commercial Invoice Issued?

A commercial invoicing process is useful for the following situations:

To understand the condition and details of the goods being bought and sold between the buyer and seller.

  • The buyer needs a commercial invoice to send a payment for the goods bought.
  • If an insurance claim is made by the buyer against the goods that are already insured, a commercial invoice is a legal document to prove them wrong or right.
  • For the goods to be cleared by the buyer’s country customs officials, a commercial invoice needs to be presented to them.
  • The true value of goods and services is assessed with commercial invoices, and it is most needed by government officials for custom duties.

Is a Commercial Invoice Needed to Ship Documents?

Commercial invoices are only useful for the supplier who is creating an invoice for the exports of goods and services with commercial value. For clarification sake, typed or written commodities, do not have commercial values and are regarded as documents.

Any commodity that is regarded as documents needs no commercial invoice for shipping and doesn’t need any shipping documents that is the reason for export. Only products with commercial value require a commercial invoice for customs purposes.

Try Our Free Online Invoice Generator Today!

Whether your business is in construction, landscaping, consulting, photography, auto repair, or the medical field, invoicing takes way too long. That’s why we’re here. InvoiceOwl makes your invoicing faster and simpler so you can get paid promptly and without the hassle.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.

United Kingdom