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What is a commercial invoice?

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This guide explains what a commercial invoice is and where you can find it in Sage 50cloud Accounts.


After Brexit, to make the import/export process easier you may want to provide a commercial invoice or a commercial sales order. They help shippers and customs authorities assess duties, taxes and suitability for transportation in and out of the country.

Let's take a closer look at commercial invoices and orders and see where to find it in your software.


What does a commercial invoice or order show?

There's no legal format for a commercial layout, it simply contains the most common information needed when completing the most common import and export formalities. The following information is normally included in a commercial layout:

  • Your company address.
  • The receiver's address.
  • For each item being shipped, the commodity code, also known as the tariff code or harmonised code, and a description of the goods.
  • Total net weight (kgs).

     NOTE: The weight on each product is the Net weight exclusive of any packaging. If you need the gross weight added to the invoice you would have to do this manually as there is no way to calculate this easily using Sage 50cloud Accounts. For example, you sell 10 items, but these might be sent in one box of 10, or two boxes of 5.

  • The International Commercial Terms (Incoterm) that the goods are being moved under. There's no legal set of Incoterms but the most common are those maintained by the International Chamber of Commerce and these were updated in 2020.  
  • The reason for export.
  • The value of the goods in the relevant destination jurisdiction’s currency.
  • Your VAT and EORI number.
  • Space for the vendor’s agent’s signature.
  • Total Number of Packages - manual entry or a use an analysis field to add a custom field.

Generate a commercial invoice or order

In Sage 50cloud Accounts v27.1 and above you can create commercial invoices and orders. These contain fields from your software such as country of origin, weight and commodity code from your product records and EORI number from Company Preferences. View example >

  1. Click Invoices and credits or Sales orders as required.
  2. Select the relevant invoice or order, then click Print.
  3. Click Layouts then select the commercial layout as follows:
    Invoice layoutA4 Commercial Invoice - Plain Paper (Print or Email)COMINVPLAINA4
    Sales order layoutA4 Export Sales Order - Plain Paper (Print or Email)EXPSOPPLAINA4
  4. Click Preview, Print or Email as required and follow any on-screen prompts.

That's is, the invoice or order is generated with the additional commercial invoice information.

Not using Sage 50cloud Accounts v27.1?

If you haven't yet installed the latest updates and you have Sage Cover Extra or Sage Cover Premium or Essential Cover Plus or Essential Cover Expert, you can download and install the commercial layouts pack:

  1. Click the download link: Download commercial layouts pack >
  2. Click Sign In, enter your Sage website login details, then click Log In.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

The A4 Commercial invoice - Plain Paper (Print or Email) layout is then available within Invoices and credits when you click Print.

Customise your commercial template

You can make changes to your invoice layout to meet your business requirements.

  • Add your company logo. Read more >
  • Add a text box, such as your company bank details. Read more >
  • Show additional data fields on your layout. Read more >
  • Move or resize the information on your layout. Read more >
  • Add a custom field to you invoice, for example you could use one of the analysis fields in the invoice for total number of packages. Read more >

For information on the other changes you can make, you can view our help guide.

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