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Poll: Do you include your terms and conditions in your invoices?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:19
SITE STAFF
Nov 1, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you include your terms and conditions in your invoices?".

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Markus Perndl
Austria
Local time: 20:19
Italian to German
+ ...
No Nov 1, 2015

No, why should I? Terms and conditions have to be agreed before accepting a job, afterwards they are not valid.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 1, 2015

If it's a bill for hours, my invoice will contain the number of hours and rate; if it's per word, the number of words and the rate. Also the taxes deductible (income tax, VAT) and my contact details. That's all.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, not in the invoice! Nov 1, 2015

I drafted a very simple T&C (pricing, time of delivery and terms of payment) printed on my proposal. When I am first contacted by a direct client, I always send one. For agencies, I tend to agree (or not) to theirs…

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:19
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Nov 1, 2015

Because all terms and conditions are agreed upon before we start doing business.

How would you feel if your customers/clients repeatedly stated theirs in detail in their POs whenever they placed an order with you? Not exactly conducive to working on a friendly basis, is it.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:19
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I restate our agreement Nov 1, 2015

I negotiate rates, payment term and method before taking the assignment.

Being in Brazil, I keep the financial costs apart from what I am actually charging for my work. In many/most other countries, the difference would not be significant.

To give a general idea on interest rates, figures for APR in the USA are numerically close to MPR (monthly) in Brazil. Therefore a client overseas will have some considerable financial advantage if they pay me COD.

Receiving an international bank transfer in Brazil costs me less than US$ 20 in fees at the present currency exchange rate, regardless of the amount involved; I'll cover that. Meanwhile, if I receive via PayPal, the gross amount will be deducted by 10% before it reaches my bank account in BRL.

While my rates are fixed, I give my clients the freedom to choose their financial options.

My invoice is an electronic form, which I convert into a PDF file before sending. It lists six payment method options with their check boxes, and there is a field immediately under the total amount, labeled "For payment by:". Sometimes I check more than one option (if their financial cost is equivalent), and sometimes I leave the payment term blank, e.g. for a constant client who settles our account every other Friday.

I assume that not always the person who hired me will be the one making the payment, so my invoice restates our agreement. This will give the "payer" clear instructions without having to ask any questions.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:19
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other, basically no Nov 1, 2015

I state the payment terms, 30 days net, or whatever else I have agreed on with the client. Largely for the benefit of my accountant, so that he need not worry about reminders after 30 days if, exceptionally, I have agreed on 45 days.

I do sometimes attach the client's PO if they sent one, or the mail where we agreed on terms and conditions, especially if it is a new client.

I only discuss other T&Cs - professional liability, confidentiality, use of CATS, the Cloud, MT or whatever, if there is anything unusual.



[Edited at 2015-11-01 17:28 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:19
French to English
Yes Nov 1, 2015

Julian Holmes wrote:

Because all terms and conditions are agreed upon before we start doing business.

How would you feel if your customers/clients repeatedly stated theirs in detail in their POs whenever they placed an order with you? Not exactly conducive to working on a friendly basis, is it.


Exactly. It's all agreed beforehand. However, it is a legal requirement in France that invoices bear the payment deadline, the penalty rate in the event of late payment and the cost of recovery. I admit that I do not add the last two, which I used to do however in some small print at the bottom of the page.


https://www.service-public.fr/professionnels-entreprises/vosdroits/F31808


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Impractical in my case Nov 1, 2015

The way it works here is that invoices and POs are often routed separately. The POs are for the project managers who handle the assignment, check on deadlines, reviews, etc. The invoices go to Accounting or the Accounts Payable person in charge of disbursing them.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No but... Nov 1, 2015

The most important bits are there:
Delivery date
Invoice date
Payment due date
Total to pay
Payment method(s)
Tax details.

What other T&C are relevant at invoicing?


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Invoicing according to country of residence's laws Nov 1, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The most important bits are there:
Delivery date
Invoice date
Payment due date
Total to pay
Payment method(s)
Tax details.

What other T&C are relevant at invoicing?


Sheila's comments reminded me of a more protracted method of invoicing in other countries, namely Argentina: if you are a practicing translator invoicing more than XXX (amount of money) a year, you have to get a government tax ID and use a certain invoicing form because it contains VAT information.

I don't know about other countries with VAT tax regimes, but Argentina is notorious for using the VAT in a capricious way.


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 20:19
English to German
+ ...
Other Nov 1, 2015

It depends on the agency/client.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:19
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, Nov 2, 2015

Although the terms were agreed in advance, a standard invoice should contain all applicable information about the terms agreed. There is usually a standard field in the invoice for that exact purpose, so it's a commercial practice to mention them therein.

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Commercial practices Nov 2, 2015

Mario Freitas wrote:

Although the terms were agreed in advance, a standard invoice should contain all applicable information about the terms agreed. There is usually a standard field in the invoice for that exact purpose, so it's a commercial practice to mention them therein.


Mario, commercial practices vary from country to country. There is no should involved, unless it's in a specific market or country.

I know of some translators who prefer not to issue invoices in the case of some clients because those clients manage everything in an online project management system.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Paper trail Nov 2, 2015

Markus Perndl wrote:

No, why should I? Terms and conditions have to be agreed before accepting a job, afterwards they are not valid.


That truism would be of course be enforced in practice by agreeing to those terms in writing. Hence, keeping a paper trail is essential.


 
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