7 minutes

What Business Owners Must Understand About Invoices In Singapore

As a business owner, it is essential to understand the Singapore invoice requirements when issuing invoices as part of your daily accounting operations. Invoices are crucial for billing customers and tracking business transactions, ensuring you receive payment for the goods or services. 

In Singapore, businesses must comply with Singapore invoice requirements set by the government. This article will discuss the different types of invoices and customer invoicing requirements that must be followed to comply with Singapore’s regulations.

Singapore Invoice Requirements: What is an Invoice?

In Singapore, issuing invoices as part of daily business operations is crucial to comply with Singapore invoice requirements. An invoice is a document issued by a seller to a buyer that specifies the details of goods or services provided, the quantity, and the amount to be paid. 

In Singapore, a tax invoice is a necessary document that is the primary source for supporting an input tax claim. The invoice specifies the details of goods or services provided, the quantity, and the amount to be paid.

In addition to the required details mentioned above, Singapore invoice requirements state that tax invoices must include the GST registration number of the seller, the customer’s name and address, and the date of supply.

The tax invoice must also clearly indicate the GST amount payable and the total amount payable.

Singapore Invoice Requirements: Types of Invoices in Singapore

In Singapore, businesses can issue different types of invoices depending on the nature of their transactions.

1. Collective invoice

A collective invoice is a record that includes one or multiple invoices. Businesses may use collective invoices when they sell various goods to customers over different periods. Customers who make frequent purchases are typically the ones who receive collective invoices.

2. Commercial invoice

A commercial invoice is an official export document that serves as proof of sale between a buyer and a seller. Its primary use is for customs clearance purposes, where the declared value of the imported goods is used to determine and assess the applicable duties and taxes. Businesses typically use commercial invoices when exporting goods to other countries.

3. Credit invoice

A credit invoice is a document issued by a business to a customer to provide a refund or a discount. It is also used to rectify any errors made on a previous invoice. Alternatively, companies may use a credit memo for the same purpose.

4. Debit invoice

A debit invoice is a document sent by a business to a customer to increase the amount owed by the customer. It is commonly used when a buyer misses the deadline for early payment discounts.

5. E-invoice

Electronic or e-invoices are invoices that businesses send to customers through electronic channels. Small businesses and freelancers commonly use e-invoices to bill their clients. Compared to traditional print invoices, e-invoices are faster and easier to generate.

6. Expense report

An expense report is a document an employee submits to their employer to seek reimbursement for expenses incurred during work-related activities.

7. Final invoice

A final invoice shows the total amount a client owes to a business. Before issuing this invoice, it is crucial to discuss and agree upon all terms and any modifications that may be necessary. The final invoice typically includes records of previous transactions and the payment amount due.

8. Interim invoice

An interim invoice is a document businesses send to their clients regularly during a project to keep them updated on the amount owed. This type of invoice is beneficial for large or extended projects where the work may be ongoing. The interim invoice gives clients a summary of the work completed and the corresponding amount due.

9. Miscellaneous invoice

Miscellaneous invoices are documents that a seller issues to a buyer when the customer owes money for additional services, such as setup or shipping charges. These invoices are commonly used for quick financial transactions or to adjust previously issued invoices.

10. Mixed invoice

A mixed invoice is a type of invoice that includes both debit and credit charges on the same document. This type of invoice can result in a total amount that is either positive or negative, depending on the balance of the costs.

11. Past due invoice

A past owing invoice is a document businesses send to clients who have delayed paying the amount owed. Sometimes referred to as an overdue account notice or an interest invoice, it includes the total amount due and any interest or late fees that may have accumulated.

12. Pro forma invoice

A pro forma invoice is a preliminary or estimated invoice that businesses issue to committed clients, requesting payment for goods or services before they are provided or supplied. Pro forma invoices are commonly used by international businesses to expedite the customs clearance process.

13. Purchase invoice

A purchase invoice is a document provided by a business to a client after the conclusion of a transaction. It itemizes the services or items purchased and indicates the amount the client owes to the company. The purchase invoice also proves the transaction’s validity between the customer and the business.

14. Recurring invoice

A regular invoice is a document an organization delivers periodically to the same customer for repeat transactions. This type of invoice benefits businesses undertaking large projects and billing their clients regularly.

15. Sales invoice

A sales invoice is a document sellers use to inform buyers of the amount owed for goods purchased. The invoice includes payment terms to help clients plan their payments and serves as a record of the sales transaction, which is essential for financial records.

16. Self-billing invoice

A self-billing invoice is a document the buyer can generate to show the seller’s debt. The two parties agree on the terms before creating the invoice, and it is beneficial for businesses with long-standing relationships with their clients.

17. Standard invoice

A standard invoice is the most common type of invoice businesses create using invoicing software. It is a versatile invoice that can include all the necessary information, such as the details of the goods or services provided, payment terms, and contact information for both the seller and the buyer.

18. Timesheet Invoice

An invoice is a document organizations use to bill clients for hours worked by their employees on a particular project. This type of invoice is typically based on the timesheet records of employees, which are used to determine the amount owed by the client.

Singapore Invoice Requirements: What to Include in an Invoice

When creating an invoice, specific Singapore invoice requirements must be met. The following information must be included in a tax invoice:

  • The title ‘tax invoice.’
  • The supplier’s name, address, and GST registration number
  • Name and address of the customer
  • Invoice date and number
  • Description of the goods or services provided
  • Quantity and price of goods or services provided
  • Total amount owed, including GST
  • GST amount and rate
  • Total amount payable, excluding GST

Based on Singapore invoice requirements, the tax invoice should include information on zero-rated, exempt, or other supplies if relevant. Each type of supply’s gross amount payable must be indicated separately.

Singapore Invoice Requirements: What is the Process of Invoicing Customers?

Invoicing is a vital business process that involves creating and sending a document to customers, specifying details of the goods or services provided, the quantity, and the payment amount.

Based on Singapore invoice requirements, it also serves as a transaction record and helps ensure payment for the goods or services provided. Here are the typical steps involved in the process of invoicing customers in Singapore:

1. Collect all the necessary information

Before a business owner can create an invoice, they need to collect all the necessary information, such as the name and address of the customer, the goods or services provided, and the amount to be charged.

2. Create the invoice

The business owner can use a software program or template to create an invoice that includes all the necessary information per the Singapore invoice requirements, such as the invoice number, date, description of goods or services, price, and GST details (if applicable).

3. Review the invoice

Review the invoice to ensure that all the information is accurate and complete and that it complies with Singapore invoice requirements.

4. Send the invoice

After reviewing and approving the invoice, it should be sent to the customer through an agreed-upon method such as mail or email.

For relevant supplies subject to customer accounting to GST-registered customers, a customer accounting tax invoice must be generated instead of a standard tax invoice.

5. Follow up on payment

After sending the invoice, follow up with the customer to ensure payment is made on time.

6. Record the payment

Once the payment is received, record it in the accounting system once it is received and mark the invoice as paid.

7. Keep records

Keep a copy of the invoice for records and compliance with Singapore invoice requirements.

8. Follow up on overdue payments

If the payment is not made on time, follow up with the customer to request a price and consider sending a reminder or charging interest on late payments if necessary.

How We Can Help – Our Accounting Services

Understanding the Singapore invoice requirements and invoicing process is crucial for any business owner in Singapore. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your invoices are accurate and compliant with local regulations. 

Premia TNC offers accounting and bookkeeping services to help business owners with their invoicing needs.

Our team of experienced professionals can guide you through the process of creating and issuing invoices that comply with Singapore invoice requirements, ensuring that you get paid for the goods or services you provide.

Due to their limited time and resources, business owners often find managing invoices overwhelming. By outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping needs, you can focus on growing your business while leaving the financial paperwork to us.

Our services are tailored to meet your needs, whether you need help creating invoices, tracking payments, or managing your financial records. We use the latest software and technology to streamline the invoicing process, making it more efficient and accurate.

If you need help with Singapore invoice requirements or need help with your invoicing process, contact Premia TNC today. Our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the complexities of invoicing and ensure that your business runs smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should an invoice for Singapore be formatted?

Based on Singapore invoice requirements, the tax invoice must contain the title ‘tax invoice’ and the supplier’s name, address, and GST registration number.

Additional details include the customer’s name and address, invoice date and number, description and quantity of the goods or services provided, the total amount owed (including GST), GST amount and rate, and the total amount payable (excluding GST).

A simplified tax invoice requires only three details: business name, billing address, and GST registration number.

2. Is it possible to issue an invoice in Singapore without having a registered company?

Yes. According to Singapore invoice requirements, individuals in Singapore who are not operating as a company are not required to seek prior approval from the tax authorities to issue a private invoice.

In contrast to company invoices, private invoices are not subject to strict formal requirements and can be customized as desired.

3. How can an invoice be considered legal?

According to Singapore invoice requirements, a buyer’s signature on an invoice is one way to confirm a transaction and legally bind the invoice. By signing the invoice, the customer indicates their acceptance of the invoice and the goods or services provided.

This serves as evidence of the agreement between the buyer and seller and can be used to resolve any disputes that may arise.

4. How should one proceed in case of lost records?

According to Singapore invoice requirement, insufficient documentation may result in the disallowance of your input tax claim. In case of losing the supporting documents for the export of goods or international services, standard-rated supply should be considered.

GST must be accounted for based on the current rate. Failure to maintain adequate documentation to support your GST declaration may also attract penalties.

5. Can I issue documents other than tax invoices for my sales in Singapore?

When selling to another GST-registered business in Singapore, all companies must issue tax invoices. This is necessary for the customer to claim the GST incurred based on the tax invoice.

A simplified tax invoice with fewer details may be issued if the value of the supply does not exceed $1,000, according to Singapore invoice requirements.

On the other hand, if the sale is made to an end-consumer who is not GST registered, a receipt can be issued instead of a tax invoice. However, ensuring that a serially printed receipt is given for each sale transaction is essential.

6. Can a tax invoice be issued for my zero-rated supplies, or can it be omitted?

According to Singapore invoice requirements, you can provide a tax invoice or any other type of billing document, such as a commercial invoice, for your supplies that are zero-rated.

owever, if you decide to issue a tax invoice for your zero-rated supplies, it is required to indicate on the invoice that 0% GST rate charged.

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