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Updated on 13 May 2021  9.00 AM IST | 4 min read

What is Proforma Invoice?

Proforma invoice is a document issued by the seller/exporter to the buyer/importer in order to confirm the buyer’s intention of purchasing the order. It is a preliminary sales invoice send by the seller to the buyer in advance of shipment or delivery of goods/services. This invoice contains products/services details such as product quantity, description, value, shipping details and charges of the products/services. It is a sales order created before placing the order for which no entry has been made in the books of accounts. It is issued before the tax invoice and it is not same as tax invoice.

When is Proforma invoice used?

A Proforma invoice is created before the actual sales transaction happens. A supplier issues a Proforma invoice in case when buyer of the product requests him to provide a document for goods/services yet to be delivered. For ex - A car customer firstly agreed to the price of car mentioned in the Proforma invoice but pays the price when the final tax invoice is received by the customer. Prices may differ between Proforma invoice and final tax invoice.

What Is Included In Our Package?

Eligibility Consultation

Document Preparation

Application Drafting

Government Fees

Purpose of issuing Proforma Invoice

There are many purposes of issuing Proforma invoice and they are as follows –

  1. To provide cost estimation of goods yet to be delivered or services yet to be rendered to the buyer.
  2. To provide the details about the goods/services to the buyer in advance which includes goods to be shipped, cost of the goods, shipping time etc. so that the buyer understood what he or she can expect.
  3. It is very useful for the companies who are doing business together for the first time.
  4. It provides information to the buyer that at how much price seller is willing to sell the good/services.
  5. It is just for the information purposes and should not be recorded as accounts receivable by the seller and accounts payable by the buyer in books of accounts.
  6. No payment has been made by buyer after receiving Proforma invoice as it is not a final tax invoice. It should contain the phrases “Proforma invoice” and “This is not a GST invoice”.

Contents of Proforma invoice

A Proforma invoice should contain the following information –

Unique invoice number

Address of the supplier

Address of the prospective buyer

Description of goods and services with their quantity & cost

Proposed sales terms

Validity of the Proforma invoice

Proposed payment terms

Any certification required by “Customs authorities”

Authorized person signature from supplier’s company

Elements covered under Proforma invoice

The following elements are covered under Proforma invoice –

Invoice header

Make sure the header of the invoice should be correct and contains the words “Proforma invoice”. In addition to it, kindly include your business name and logo so that your invoice will be easily recognized and found in case it gets lost. The Proforma invoice should be printed on the letterhead of the company and include your contact information such as mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, website as well as country along with invoice creation date, invoice requested date, expiry date etc.

Contact information of the buyer

It is very important to add the information of the person to whom you are sending the document i.e. buyer. Buyer contact information includes mailing address, phone number, company name and e-mail address.

Invoice date & number

A Proforma invoice should contain a unique invoice number and in a sequential order. For ex – If an invoice number is “Invoice#00817”. Then, your next invoice number should be #00818 and so on. You can easily keep track of invoices if they are in sequence. You must know that to whom you are sending the invoice, when you sent it and what is the payment due date.

Reason for Export

Supplier or seller must provide a reason for export in the Proforma invoice. Mention the reason that you are exporting these items whether for sale, repair, sample, return or gift. In case the export is temporary, put “Temporarily exported” in the field reason for export.

Shipment information

In the next step, make sure to add the mode of transportation (air, car, train) along with the total number of packages and the total gross weight of the shipment.

Items charges Breakdown

Kindly be specific when you are adding the products/services. You must include the following –

  1. Assign a line item to each good you are selling
  2. Type a detailed description about the product you are selling to the buyer
  3. Number of units (Quantity)
  4. Price per unit of each line item
  5. Total cost


After calculating the total cost, apply the taxes on the total amount and send the full amount to the buyer (including taxes) which he or she has to pay for the goods & services. Taxes part should be clearly and separately defined on the Proforma invoice.


Make sure to include additional information at the bottom of the page. For ex – Your return policy or guarantee etc.


Lastly, Thanks your customer for doing business with you. This gesture may favour you in a long way.

Benefits of Proforma invoice

There are many benefits of Proforma invoice and they are as follows –

  1. It helps in tightening the export sales as both buyer & seller agreed to the terms of the contract of sales invoice.
  2. It serves as a legal binding agreement between buyer & seller
  3. It checks and minimizes error
  4. It only includes all relevant and useful information regarding the export transaction
  5. It is a universally accepted form of invoice format in the export industry.

Proforma invoice Format for GST


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Due Dates

  • Monthly GSTR 8 (Summary of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) and deposited by e-commerce operators) for Apr 2021

    May 10th ,2021
  • Monthly GSTR 7 (Summary of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and deposited) for Apr 2021

    May 10th ,2021
  • GSTR 1 for Apr 2021 (turnover more than INR. 1.50 Crore)

    May 11th ,2021
  • GSTR 6 (Details of ITC received and distributed by ISD) Monthly Filing Due Date for Apr 2021

    May 13th ,2021
  • Last date of depositing the sixth instalment of advance tax (if liable to pay any) for FY 2020-21 for individual and corporate taxpayers

    May 15th ,2021
  • GSTR 3B for Apr 2021 (Annual Turnover of more than Rs 5 Cr in Previous FY)

    May 20th ,2021