International Trade

A pro forma invoice is similar to the actual commercial invoice sent to a customer requesting payment for goods and services. The difference is that a pro forma invoice is provided to a potential buyer before a deal is finalized. It is designed to allow you, the seller, to outline your commitment to sell a certain quantity of products or services for a specified price. The pro forma acts as a price quotation, telling the prospective buyer what you are offering and spelling out the terms of the sale. The pro forma invoice can also be used to support buyers' requests for credit from their financial institution, as well as by customs officials to calculate duties and taxes.

Step 1

Determine the price and sales terms of the prospective deal you have tentatively arranged with the buyer. Factor in all of the additional costs you might incur as the seller, particularly if the products sold will be exported to another country. Include shipping or other transportation, warehousing, insurance, taxes, and customs fees and duties. This information is regarded as a binding offer to sell goods or services under the specified terms, so make it as complete and accurate as possible.

Step 2

Create your pro forma invoice using a price quotation or commercial invoice format. Be sure the words "Pro Forma Invoice" are clearly printed at the top of the page. Include full name and mailing addresses for you (the seller) and the recipient of the invoice (the prospective buyer), along with the date the invoice is created. If the agreement is only valid through a certain date, include that date as well, using a phrase such as "Terms valid through March 31, 2013" or "Terms subject to change after March 31, 2013."

Step 3

Outline clearly the exact items or types of service covered by the pro forma invoice. List each item or product separately and specify how many of each item you are offering. Include any other necessary descriptive details, such as size, color, model number or other specifics relevant to the sale. If you are selling balls, for example, you might list "Child's ball, red rubber, 2-inch diameter, 12 each" as one line on your invoice. For shipments going outside the U.S., include the country of origin -- where each product is manufactured -- to satisfy customs and import/export requirements.

Step 4

Specify the financial and shipping terms of the proposed agreement. The pro forma should make clear the type of currency to be used -- U.S. dollars, euros, Swiss francs -- as well as terms of payment. In addition, you should include a per-unit cost for each item and a total for each type of item. For the red children's ball, the complete entry on the pro forma invoice would read as follows: Child's ball, red rubber, 2-inch diameter, made in U.S.A.,12 each @ $1.50 = $18.00.

Step 5

Sign and date your pro forma invoice. Your signature block should include your full name and title or position within the country, so the recipient can be confident you are in an authorized position to make the sales offer.

Client Testimonial

One of the best China lawyers based in Shenzhen! I appreciated this Shenzhen lawyer's service because they helped me achieved my goals, though it was a tough mission. They are English speaking lawyers, so there are absolutely no communication barrier you likely encounter elsewhere. What impressed me is these Shenzhen lawyer's quick response and professional service, two characteristics which I treasure most. Although the Shenzhen lawyers are based in south China, they represent clients across the country, so you can also call them China lawyer! - Johnson youporn sex teen tube