Business documents that relate to sales of goods and services are called sales documents. They consist of invoices, notes, bills and receipts issued by the seller, as well as contract notes and settlement notes. The Bookkeeping Act sets out strict requirements for the contents of such documents.
As a minimum, your sales documents must contain the following:
- Date of documentation
- Computer-generated or pre-printed number
- The seller's name and organisation number, followed by the letters MVA if the enterprise is registered in the VAT Register
- The buyer's name, address or organisation number (some exemptions exist for cash sales)
- A clear description of the goods or service
- Nature and scope of the goods/service provided
- Time and place of delivery of the goods/service
- Remuneration and due date for payment
- If applicable, VAT and other taxes VAT shall be specified in Norwegian kroner (NOK).
For limited companies, public limited companies and branches of foreign companies the word 'Foretaksregisteret' (the Register of Business Enterprises) must be stated on the sales documentation.
If you are registered in the VAT register, you must put the letters MVA after the organisation number,
If any of the goods or services are exempt from VAT pursuant to exemption rules in the VAT Act, or fall outside the scope of the VAT Act, each of these categories shall be stated and added up separately on the sales document. Goods/services subject to different VAT rates shall be stated separately.
As a rule, in connection with cash sales from retailers there is no requirement to state the buyers name on the sales document. This does not apply:
- when payment is made in cash of amounts of NOK 40,000 or more incl. VAT.
- in connection with cash payment exceeding NOK 1,000 incl. VAT. when the buyer is an enterprise with a bookkeeping obligation and the goods or services are intended for resale or as direct input factor in production or service provision.
- purchases relating to fuel for use in passenger or cargo transport, regardless of the amount.
If you are a buyer with a bookkeeping obligation, it is up to you to ensure that the documentation requirements are met, and to ask that the name of the enterprise be specified on your document (the purchase document) if the amount paid in cash is NOK 1,000 or more incl. VAT. Regardless of the amount, you must also state the purpose of the purchase or the area of use of the goods/services if the buyer is not specified.
To the extent that necessary information is not stated on the sales invoice, for example if the invoice refers to goods specifications in sub-documentation such as agreements, packing notes, delivery notes etc., the sub-documentation must be attached to the invoice. Alternatively, the invoice and sub-documentation must contain references to each other. Invoices must be issued in at least two copies, one of which shall be retained by the seller.
Invoicing to governmental entities
Government entities require that their suppliers send invoices, credit notes and reminders electronically. The documents must be in accordance with the "Electronic commerce" format (EHF).
An electronic invoice is an invoice that is sent as a file from the biller to the receiver. The file must be in an electronic format in order to be imported directly in the invoice recipient's accounting system and processed electronically. A PDF document is not an electronic invoice.
For businesses that do not have a billing system that supports EHF standard, there are various web invoice services delivering solutions that meet the standard.
As of 1.1.2015, the municipalities and the county authorities must ensure that they are able to receive electronic invoices in accordance with the EHF- format. Eventually, these authorities will require that their suppliers send electronic invoices according to the format.