Invoices are a comprehensive price quote or offer to purchase, presented in an invoice format. Product sales transactions typically use a proforma invoice to gather more information than is usually gathered in a simple quotation. Proforma invoices are highly relevant in international transactions, where they lend an extra level of credibility
The first export document you create is usually the proforma invoice. Potential buyers express interest in your product with a written letter of inquiry that explains their needs as well as requesting a formal or informal quote. You should prepare a proforma invoice upon receiving that request.
A proforma invoice in export business can be used to obtain a letter of credit to pay for the goods or to secure financing, if necessary. It is similar to a commercial invoice and acts like a quote. In case that the proforma invoice is well done and comes to order, it is very similar to the final commercial invoice. As long as the payment will be made by letter of credit, that means all of the quotation costs are fixed and can’t vary beyond what is allowed by it.
Pro forma in Latin means “in terms of form.” The meaning of a word depends on its use and its purpose. As well as those that conform to a specific convention or doctrine, it can be applied to formalities performed or documents issued for purely formal purposes.
How does a proforma invoice work in export business?
A proforma invoice in export business needs to be issued by the Exporter prior to production start. When the invoice is checked for accuracy, the importer signs it. A signature of the Exporter’s terms and conditions must be forwarded to the importer, who must accept them. The Proforma invoice is signed by the importer and Exporter when the order is confirmed. The invoice is one of the most influential parts of a deal, which is why it is important to prepare it carefully.
Benefits of the proforma invoice in export business
- An export blueprint outlines every step of the export process. Once you’ve filled it out properly, it contains a wide range of key details that you’ll need for creating many of the export forms, including the final invoice.
- The document is voluntary and is the most preferred exporting method. A proforma invoice is recommended to be included whether one is requested or not.
- Every proforma invoice should have an expiration date. Be sure to keep in mind that material and manufacturing costs can change, and transportation and exchange rates can fluctuate when preparing a proforma invoice. These costs and other fluctuations may be the responsibility of the Exporter, depending on the international business terms you have agreed upon with your buyer.
- This is an excellent tool for negotiating with international customers. Proforma invoices should generally be as similar as possible to commercial invoices.
Items included in the proforma invoice
This is usually included on a typical proforma invoice:
- Payment terms
- Price of products
- Expiration date
- A description of the goods, as well as the HS number. This number is used to determine taxes and duties.
- Information on how and where the goods will be delivered, including the origin and destination.
- Terms of shipment are normally defined as terms in Incoterms 2020.
Items included in an international proforma invoice in export business are much more detailed:
- Terms of payment
- Terms of sale
- Delivery point
- Currency of sale
- Expiration date
- Name of the seller and buyer in addition to their addresses
- The validity period for quotation
- Price of each item
- Buyer’s reference number and date of inquiry
- Insurance and shipping costs
- Total charges that the customer should pay
- List of products that are requested with a brief description