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All about the Commercial Invoice and Its Purpose in Business

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2021-08-23 21:34:54 • Filed to: Invoice • Proven solutions

Today, we can easily perform international business thanks to modern telecommunications. Sellers in one country can interact with buyers in another one. This creates trade that benefits both parties. Buyers and sellers rely on a commercial invoice to identify the goods that are bought or sold.


Free Commercial Invoice Template

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what is a commercial invoice

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What is a Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a legally recognized document that describes the activity between a buyer and a seller. It contains detailed descriptions of the goods that are bought or sold. A commercial invoice indicates the total amount of money that a buyer should pay. Hence, the seller knows the full amount of money to expect.

A commercial invoice is divided into strategic sections which contain specific types of information. Together, these sections provide a comprehensive description of the transactions involved. Many multinational companies utilize invoice templates such as the UPS commercial invoice, the Mersk commercial invoice and the Dhl commercial invoice. They generate this document because it is used by officials to determine customs duties. Despite customizing their own invoice templates, the information contained within is usually quite similar. Here is more about the commercial invoice and how to generate it with the assistance of software.


What to Include in a Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice contains a number of specific, important sections. They include:

• The Vendor

This is the person, company or organization that is selling the goods that are involved in the transaction.

• The Importer of Record

This is the party, person, company or organization that is responsible for any duties or taxes that are associated with the transaction.

• The Consignee

This is the location that the shipment of goods is being delivered to.

• The Full Description of Commodities

This is a comprehensive description of all the goods that are involved in the transaction. It also includes the individual components that are used to make these goods.

• The Quantity and Value

This is a detailed description of the amount of every item that is being transported. This description also includes the broken down values as well as the associated units of measurement.

• The Currency

This is the denomination of the legal tender being exchanged in the transaction.

• The country of origin

This is the country that the goods were manufactured in. Quite importantly, it is not the nation that they are being transported from.

These sections of a fedex commercial invoice provide basic information about the goods that are involved in international business transactions. This data assists with delivery of goods as well as clearance at customs.


Creating Commercial Invoices Easier with FreshBooks

FreshBooks is an accounting software that can help you to run your enterprise easily, securely and with rapid results. This tool can help you to perform automation of your business processes. Hence, you can put less focus on accounting and much more on running your business.

Try Freshbooks for Free >>>

fedex commercial invoice

This software has an easy-to-use interface that is highly intuitive. As such, you can easily utilize its tools and create professional commercial invoices. The software has a suite of powerful capabilities. By using them, you can automate activities such as expense organization, invoice creation, scheduling, payment reporting and client interaction. This software is based on the Cloud infrastructure. Therefore, you can access it at any time from your smartphone, tablet or desktop anywhere in the world.

How to Make a Commercial Invoice with FreshBooks

It is very easy to create a commercial invoice using FreshBooks. There are two main paths that you can use to accomplish this. These are the FreshBooks Dashboard and the New Invoice section.

1. From the FreshBooks Dashboard

The process of creating a new invoice can begin from the FreshBooks Dashboard. In this section, there are two methods of creating the document. They include:

  • Click upon the “Create New” button.
  • Select “Invoice” so as to arrive at a “New Invoice” screen.
ups commercial invoice

2. From the “New Invoice” Section

You can also create an invoice by going directly to the Invoices section. From here, you can simply click on the “New Invoice” button that is located in the top right of the window. After clicking on it, you will be taken to a screen where you can enter the details of your commercial invoice. This information can be entered in specific parts of the commercial invoice template. They include:

dhl commercial invoice
    • Accept Credit Cards:

In this section, you can customize the commercial invoice so as to capture credit card payments.

    • Customize Invoice Style:

This section enables you to tailor the appearance of your invoice. You can specify a template and pick from the Simple or the Modern invoice style. You can also pick the theme color of your commercial invoice. Here, you can pick the banner color. You can also pick the color of the headings. Examples of these are the Invoice Number, Description and Rate. In addition to that, you can pick from Helvetica and Garamond fonts. You can also customize the commercial invoice and make it recurring.

    • Invoice Transaction Details Sections:

After customizing the appearance of your commercial invoice template, you can proceed to enter the details of your transaction. This is done in sections such as:

      • Company Name, Phone and Address: In this section, you enter the contact and identification details of your firm.
      • Logo: Here, you can enter your company's logo so as to make the commercial invoice look more professional.
      • Billed To: In this part, you can add your Client. It is possible to add a new Client or add an existing one.
      • Date of Issue: While editing the blank commercial invoice provided by the FreshBooks software, you can identify the date of invoice issuance by editing this part. In most cases, you do not have to make any changes because this part updates itself automatically.
      • Due Date: This is the date by which your invoice should be paid. This date is very important because Late Reminders and Fees are calculated based on this date. The Due Date is recalled based on the last invoice that you created. This includes customized Due Dates as well.
      • The Invoice Number: This is a number that uniquely identifies every single invoice that you issue. In this section, you can enter this number. It can include digits and letters as well.
      • Reference Field: This is a field that identifies additional information such as purchase orders (PO) for you commercial invoice. In the Reference Field, you can enter up to 25 unique characters.
      • Description, Rate, Qty, Line Total: In this section of the commercial invoice, you can enter details about the specific products or services that are involved in the transaction.
      • Notes: In a business transaction, there could be extra information involved. The Notes section of the invoice contains these details. Every invoice has unique notes that are not carried over to the next one.
      • Terms: In large business transactions for example international shipping, there could be some taxes involved. Tax categories normally have unique numbers. Examples of these are VAT and GST. These are entered in the Terms section of the ups commercial invoice. Furthermore, you can enter details about bank transfers or PayPal email addresses. By entering payment guidelines in this section, it becomes possible to inform your clients on the most appropriate method of payment that you prefer.
      • As a professional tip, the Notes section is ideal for comments or shipping details while the Terms section is ideal for entering data that you need to remember in future.

Once you have entered the details indicated above in the commercial invoice sample, you can proceed to select a client. After doing so, the FreshBooks software provides you with a number of new details. They include:

      • Send Late Reminders: This software allows you to send a total of 3 reminders for late payment to your Clients. If you desire, you can enter a specific message to every reminder.
      • Charge Late Fees: By using this feature, you can identify a specific amount of late fees to be charged once X number of days have elapsed after the Invoice Due Date. This can be a percentage of the overall value of the Invoice or a flat fee.
      • Currency and Language: In this part of the commercial invoice, you can set up a currency for the transaction and a specific language. Within the FreshBooks software, you can pick from English or French.
      • Taxes: In this part of the invoice, you can specify an amount of Tax on the transaction total.

Having customized your commercial invoice, you can proceed to pick a final option. It can be:

commercial invoice pdf

Save: This option provides you with a chance to store the invoice in its current form for later editing. It is saved in commercial invoice pdf format.

Send: This option activates an email preview. After viewing it, you can make changes or add specific email addresses. Furthermore, you can add personalization details for your Client. After tailoring the commercial invoice to your liking, you can send it out.

After creating and saving or sending the commercial invoice, you can go back to the Invoices section.

FreshBooks makes it very easy to create invoices for your enterprise. It is a versatile, acclaimed and easy to use software for businesses today!

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Elise Williams

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