how to indicate payment terms on an invoice
Thread poster: Maria Diaz

Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 04:01
English to Spanish
Jul 7, 2003

HI, I want to indicate on the invoice that it is due upon receipt, but that there is a maximum of 30 days for me to receive payment. How can I do this in a polite way?

Can I charge a % if I'm not paid after 30 days? How much is appropriate? On a Monthly basis? What should I call it, a finance charge? Thank you

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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
my two cents Jul 8, 2003

I agree your terms are best negotiated in advance.

That said, the standard lingo for payment terms, at least in the U.S., would be to add "xx days net" next to the amount to be paid (for instance "30 days net" would mean payment is expected within 30 days of date of invoice).

You may also add a reminder to your invoice. Here is some of the standard lingo that appears on U.S. invoices:

"Payment is due upon receipt of this invoice."

"Total amount is due within xx days of the invoice date."

"Overdue invoices are subject to a late payment charge of xx% per month on any unpaid balances."

I suggest a grace period before assessing late payment charges, as a matter of courtesy, and to give yourself a chance to inquire as to the nature of the delay. Say your payment terms are 30 days net, you may want to apply late payment charges after 40 days.

Late payment charges vary between countries/states, and there is usually a maximum allowed by law, so be sure to check. I should warn you late payment charges are no guarantee of getting paid, more of a symbolic penalty for the inconvenience, so having a signed agreement is more important (unfortunately, even an agreement will only protect you from non-payers to a certain point, but better than nothing!).

Hope this helps,


[Edited at 2003-07-08 00:44]

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:01
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
depends on target country Jul 8, 2003

In German I would state: 30 Tage netto. Verzugszinsen 12 %.
In Finnish the last day of the period is mentioned as eräpäivä.
Do as other firms do in the target country.

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how to indicate payment terms on an invoice

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