E-invoicing in the Netherlands

Electronic invoicing in the Netherlands has been mandatory since January 1, 2017. Since then, all suppliers of central public bodies (ministries and their departments and agencies), must use e-invoicing. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know.

Introduction to e-invoicing in the Netherlands

What does the law say about e.invoicing in the Netherlands? The Dutch regulation, aligned with the European Union, establishes a clear framework for the use of electronic invoices. As is happening in the vast majority of EU member states, e-invoicing is being implemented on a mandatory basis for transactions with public bodies. This affects not only local companies, but also foreign companies working with the Dutch public administration.

How does e-invoicing work in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has decided to implement e-invoicing in the simplest possible way. Unlike other EU countries, the Netherlands has decided to work with the international standard UBL, through the Peppol network. This aspect greatly facilitates the implementation of this type of processes.

1. UBL e-invoicing format, a European standard

The UBL (Universal Business Language) format is a structured format for e-invoicing. It is used to standardize the representation of business document information and facilitate its exchange between organizations and companies.

This format has become an international standard for the exchange of electronic documents, and helps to improve the efficiency of business transactions, reduce errors and promote interoperability between different business systems and countries.

In Europe, this format is used in the context of electronic invoicing and the exchange of business documents. The European Union has promoted the adoption of e-invoices through the Peppol network.

I want to know more about the UBL format

The Dutch government has decided to implement e-invoicing with this standard. This means that public recipients in the country do not accept invoices that are not sent in this structured format.

2. Sending e-invoices via the Peppol network

Peppol (Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine) is an infrastructure used for the secure exchange of electronic documents and supports the UBL format. This means that companies can create invoices in this format and send them via the Peppol network to their business partners and government authorities in a standardized and secure manner. The Peppol network facilitates the expansion of business operations in the European context.

This network simplifies the electronic bidding process and the communication between companies and governmental entities. The combination of UBL and Peppol is used in Europe (and in an increasing number of countries around the world) to support these processes and streamline the exchange of electronic documents.

I want to know more about the Peppol network

Peppol in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has adopted the Peppol network for document exchange. All Dutch government agencies are connected to Peppol, either directly or indirectly.

The local Peppol authority in the Netherlands is the Simplerinvoicing foundation. This consists of some accounting, ERP and e-invoicing software providers. However, the platform ceased to operate on December 31 2020, and switched to Peppol directly.

Any company that needs to issue e-invoices to a Dutch public body must do so via Peppol. This means that it has to register at a Peppol Access Point, which has the capability to generate and send the accepted UBL standard for the Dutch government.

3. VAT identifier

Companies that want to invoice the central government must issue invoices with their NIF. This is not a problem if your company is Spanish, since in Spain this is the only possible identifier. If your company is Dutch, you must issue the invoice with the Dutch tax identifier, which in this case is the OIN.

Implementation of e-invoicing in the Netherlands

As in most cases, electronic invoicing in the Netherlands has been implemented progressively. These are the implementation dates:

  • Year 2017: mandatory for invoicing central public bodies begins.
  • End of 2018: mandatory for all other public bodies other than the central government, such as local governments.

E-invoicing between private companies in the Netherlands

At the moment, the use of e-invoicing between private companies is voluntary. Therefore, the only requirement to do so is that both sender and receiver agree to do it this way.

Send invoices to the Netherlands with B2Brouter

B2Brouter is an international electronic invoicing provider and a certified Peppol Access Point. With B2Brouter you can send and receive e-invoices with private companies and public administrations, European and worldwide.

You only need to fill in a form to generate e-invoices and send them to your customer in one click. The system converts the invoice into the format required by the recipient and processes it through the correct network, without you having to worry about technical aspects.

Send e-invoices to the Netherlands