Proforma Invoice Template
Create a proforma invoice using our free template listed below. A pro forma invoice is very similar to a sales quote because it is used to formally define the value of a trade prior to shipping or the actual completion of the sale. In business, the term pro forma is often used to indicate a planned transaction or statement. It may be similar to a confirmed purchase order and may be legally binding, depending on the circumstances.
Proforma Invoice Templatefor Excel, OpenOffice, and Google Docs
(not for distribution or resale)
"No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet" - by Jon Wittwer
Vertex42's Proforma Invoice Template will help your company generate professional looking invoices. The template is designed for both domestic and international trade, with the same look and feel as our quote template and sales invoice.
This is a common form used in both domestic and international trade, where additional shipping details and the currency need to be defined, as well as details required for customs. We've designed our Pro Forma Invoice Template with this in mind. If you are doing business domestically, you might want to try one of our other invoice templates. See below for more information.
How to Use the Pro forma Invoice Template
The template follows a typical pro forma format. Simply download and fill out your business and customer information. Then begin filling out details of the proposed transactions including shipping details, payment terms, additional fees, costs and sales terms. Use the tips below and the info to the right of the form for help with specific sections.
Sometimes you'll need to include additional lines of details regarding a particular product. Probably the best approach is to just enter the details on separate rows. If your item description is longer than a single line, increase the height of the row. The text is designed to wrap, but because the cells are merged, the row height doesn't adjust automatically. If you want to include a Return inside the cell description, press Alt+Enter.
If the pro forma will be used for customs, fill out the Reason for Export and sign the document. Otherwise, you might simply delete those sections.
- Make your price quote, proforma and commercial invoices similar in layout and appearance so that you can quickly transfer information from one to the other to minimize paper work.
- If you are shipping freight, you should be familiar with the terms FOB, CIF and C&F
- Shipping internationally can be confusing and full of different fees. Make sure to do adequate research or seek professional assistance.
- Make sure to include your company letter head at the top. This is required in some countries.
Why Use a Proforma Invoice?
Proforma invoices are most useful when two companies are doing business together for the first time and for import/export transactions. Below are some of the advantages:
- Details, Details, Details – A pro forma has all of the details of the transaction so that the customer knows exactly what they will be paying, leaving no room for surprises. This can help companies close deals because it helps customers become more comfortable about the complete terms of the deal.
- Enabling Payment – A proforma invoice is often used by the buyer to secure credit for the purchase of the goods or services. In the case of international business, this credit is often issued as a Letter of Credit, typically required before the goods will ship. Without this invoice, many international transactions would never occur.
- Crossing Borders – In many countries, a pro forma can be used to secure customs paperwork, consular invoices and to determine shipment values for calculating custom duties and import taxes. With this invoice, all of this necessary paperwork can be processed before the shipment leaves the suppliers, decreasing total transit time.
- Expedite Invoicing – Once a pro forma has been finalized, a commercial invoice is quickly finalized and dispatched to the customer for payment.
References and Resources
-  Pro Forma at wikipedia.org - Information about the meaning of "pro forma".
- Government Information on Exporting at export.gov - Great collection of information and resources on exporting from the United States.
- Importing into the US at cbp.gov - A publication form the US government with help on importing into the U.S. Check out page 38 for information on Pro forma Invoices.
- International Trade Administration at trade.gov - U.S. Government site with articles, links and guides for conducting international trade.
- International Business Resource Desk at msu.edu - A great resource on international business resources and issues maintained by Michigan State University.
- Trade Port at tradeport.org - A collection of information and resources for businesses seeking to conduct international trade (with a focus on California)
- Industry Canada at ic.gc.ca- Canadian Government site with a collection of resources and guides for doing business with Canada.