To help reduce delays in the payment of invoices, the French government has modified Article L. 441-9 of the French commercial code, by Ordinance N° 2019-359 of April 24, 2019, taken pursuant to the EGalim law N°2018-938 on Oct. 30, 2018. The new requirements are as follows:

Date of issuance of invoices: The French commercial code now provides that invoices shall be issued "on the date of delivery or completion within the meaning of paragraph 3, I of Article 289 of the French tax code (Code général des impôts)."

This amendment reconciles the requirements in commercial law and tax law by providing a unique date of issuance, and thus strengthens legal certainty for economic operators.

New mandatory indications: Must now be included on the invoice:

  • in case the address for invoicing differs from the regular address of either seller or customer, such addresses should be indicated on the invoice;
  • in case a purchase order number has been issued by the buyer, such purchase order number shall be indicated on the invoice.

These new mandatory indications aim at reducing late payments by facilitating the processing and payment of invoices.

An administrative penalty of up to €375,000 for legal entities replaces the criminal fine in case of failure to comply with French invoice legal requirements.