All you need to know before making your first invoices

All you need to know about invoices in Singapore and Hong Kong

Your company is just incorporated, and you are starting your activity in Hong Kong or Singapore, the following step will be to invoice your first customers. We have assembled a guide on everything you need to know to make your first invoice in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The invoicing process is not complicated, we will explain to you what you need to do to ensure your invoices are containing all the necessary details for all the people who will be receiving them.

When to send your invoices to your customers?

The timeline of the invoice preparation may depend on your activity.

You may decide to send your invoice before big projects, to ensure to be paid a substantial part upfront before starting them.

The invoices can be sent after the completion of specific steps or milestones. You can define with your clients the steps, to avoid waiting for the completion of the entire project before being paid.

For deliveries of goods or smaller projects, you may send your invoices after their completion.

If you are proposing recurring services, you can invoice your clients regularly, on a monthly basis for example.

What are the main items to include in your invoices?

You should add the following details to your invoices:

  1. “Invoice” title, on top of the invoice
  2. Logo and company name
  3. Customer details (name, address, contact)
  4. Invoice date
  5. Unique invoice number, we advise using consecutive numbers which is ensuring that each invoice is unique and that no invoice is missing in your accounting
  6. Purchase order or quote number, if applicable
  7. Description of goods or services sold, with the quantity and the unit price to define the total price per item type.
    You can also add the discounts you may offer to your clients.
  8. Invoice total, after adding all the goods or services provided to the client
  9. Payment terms, especially the due date and the bank account details for the payment

What are the legal Requirements for GST-registered companies in Singapore?

When the company is registered to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), there will be additional requirements from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for your invoices in Singapore.

As there is no GST in Hong Kong, the following requirements are only applicable to Singaporean companies.

  • The first one will be related to the “Invoice” mention itself, it must be replaced by “Tax Invoice” as the company is collecting the GST on its invoices.
  • The tax invoice must contain the GST registration number of the company as well.
  • The company must also provide in its invoices the details on exempt, zero-rated, or other supplies, if applicable.
  • The gross amount payable for each type of supply must be stated separately, and the GST amount will need to be calculated and added to the invoice before the total amount payable.
  • When the invoices are made in foreign currency (i.e., not in SGD), the following amounts will need to be converted into SGD:
    • Total amount payable excluding GST
    • Total GST payable
    • Total amount payable including GST

How to prepare your invoices?

There are many ways to prepare your invoices, starting from Microsoft Word to invoicing software. Accounting softwares like Xero can also be used for the entire invoicing process, from the quote to the definitive invoice, and help you to liaise automatically with your customers.

As a bookkeeping services provider in Singapore and Hong Kong, a Xero Gold Champion and Partner of the Year South East Asia, MBiA, under the RBA Group, can assist you to set up your invoicing process while handling with your accounting. Find out more about our accounting-included packages here!

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