What is UBL format?

Do you know what UBL is? The implementation of e-invoicing is a big step forward. Since 2015, e-invoicing is mandatory when exchanging documents with the administration in some regions, and it will be for all companies soon. Therefore, the European Union and Asia are working on the implementation of UBL format, which is becoming more important all over the world.

What is UBL?

UBL (Universal Business Language) format’s purpose is to¬†simplify the automation of financial information exchange through the use of XML language. This language is widely used today, and its standardization simplifies data and information management. The UBL format enables companies around the world to exchange electronic documents. This exchange takes place in the same language, adapted to the fiscal needs of each receiving country.

This format is used to exchange e-invoices and other electronic documents through Peppol, an international network used in Europe. It has expanded to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.

What is Peppol?

UBL format for electronic invoicing

XML format (Extensible Markup Language) is a text format where data or information is represented in a structured way. This allows computer systems to manage and process this data in a very simple way.

As mentioned above, the UBL format is a specific type of XML. Although it is possible to generate different types of electronic documents in UBL format, the e-invoice is the most common document.

How many languages are there to make an electronic invoice?

Currently, there are many languages for creating and sending e-invoices. In the European Union and more and more countries around the world, there is a desire to promote a single e-invoice format, since this simplifies the current invoicing system among all countries.

In general, XML is becoming the structured e-invoice format used. The vast majority of European Union countries have implemented e-invoicing using this format. Other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and it seems that the United States will also implement it. This list will surely grow.This greatly facilitates communication between countries regarding the exchange of e-invoices.

However, it is not always that easy, as some countries have their own format different from UBL: Spain (Facturae), France (Factura-X), Italy (FatturaPA) among others. This means that to exchange invoices with these countries, communication is much more complicated.

To facilitate communication with European Union‘s public administrations, the aim is to promote a single electronic invoicing format. This will simplify and streamline the current invoicing system among all countries involved.

What is expected from the UBL invoice?

In addition to facilitating and simplifying procedures and management, the standardized implementation of the UBL system reduces costs and avoids problems. All organizations, public or private, can communicate with each other using the same language and data structure. In other words, any invoice sent to public administrations throughout Europe has common data, which homogenizes its content and makes it easy to interpret, minimizing the risk of errors and time spent on its management.

This format is already used in many European countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Everything points to the fact that more and more countries around the world will make electronic invoicing mandatory for companies that want to invoice the administration, choosing UBL as the standard format for their e-invoices. Europe is moving towards a common language and format in B2G communications for all EU countries and those that want to follow in the footsteps of the European Union.

How to generate an e-invoice in XML UBL format?

Since it is a structured electronic format, generated in computer language, manual creation of the file is not recommended. Moreover, taking into account that in order to exchange the document it is necessary to register the company in a Peppol Access Point, it is best in this case to work with a service provider that facilitates the creation of electronic invoices in UBL format.

Easily generate your invoices in UBL format

B2Brouter is an online solution specialised in electronic document exchange. It allows you to create and send your electronic invoices in UBL format easily and free of charge, as it is a Peppol Certified Access Point. Don’t worry about the technical aspects, B2Brouter takes care of that.

Sign up and start managing all your electronic invoicing with all your customers and suppliers using all types of formats: UBL, Facturae, PDF, XRechnung, etc.

I want to create an e-invoice in UBL format for free