How to Create a Proforma Invoice

Watch this video to understand how to create a Proforma Invoice document.

Ben Thompson avatar
Written by Ben Thompson
Updated over a week ago

A Proforma Invoice is an important document that is created by the seller of goods. After the buyer has communicated the details of the products they want to order, the seller will create a Proforma Invoice to include all product details, quantities, pricing and delivery information.  It is usually created after a quotation has been sent and when the sales process is moving closer to a confirmed deal.  The Proforma invoice will include the seller’s bank details so that the buyer can arrange payments as required.

The buyer will issue a Purchase Order document, which is a request for the types of products they want to purchase.  A Proforma Invoice and Purchase Order can be issued in any order.  These are important documents that are used to counter check all information to avoid any confusion or problems with the supply and delivery of products.  Any additional information agreed between the buyer and seller can be included on these documents.  Both parties will have to counter sign each document as they represent a legally binding agreement between the buyer and seller.  If there are any disputes relating to the order, these documents will be referred to in a court of law.

Proforma Invoice

This will be created by the seller and it will include the seller’s signature.  The buyer will have to check all information, counter sign and email a copy back to the buyer.


An example of a Proforma Invoice document:


What information is included on a Proforma Invoice?

  • Seller’s company name, address and contact details

  • Buyer’s company name, address and contact details

  • Product Description – including item codes, description, specifications

  • Product Quantity

  • Product Pricing

  • The selling terms agreed (IncoTerm) – Refer IncoDocs’ IncoTerms Graph

  • Invoice Currency

  • Payment Terms – as negotiated between buyer and seller

  • Buyer and Seller Reference numbers

  • Estimated supply lead time

  • Estimated shipping details (vessel name & ETD, if known)

  • Signatures of the Seller and Buyer, including name and dates.

What’s the difference between a Proforma Invoice and a Commercial Invoice?

A proforma invoice is issued as a document to confirm the details of products ordered pre shipment.  The seller will arrange the production and delivery of the products.  During the manufacturing and packaging process, there may be small discrepencies in the quantities of products that are actually supplied.  This is usually due to the quantity of products that the supplier can actually load inside a shipping container.  A Commercial Invoice will be issued after the products have been manufactured and loaded, which will contain the exact information of the shipment.  This document will be used in the customs clearance process upon arrival.

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