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What is e-invoicing and what do you need to know about it? The key points right here!

Business woman with laptop and calculator

Starting in March 2024, the Belgian government will take steps toward expanding mandatory digital invoicing for all public contracts, with B2B relationships to follow starting from 2026. This expansion is part of a larger plan of digital transformation and efficiency in the public and private sectors. So the fact that e-invoicing is going to play an important role in business is no longer a secret. In this blog, we will explore all the important aspects of e-invoicing and show you how it can streamline your business operations.

What is e-invoicing?

E-invoicing, or electronic invoicing, is the electronic preparation, sending and receiving of invoices and goes beyond simply sending digital copies of paper invoices, for example in PDF format. 

So, an invoice that you send to your client as a PDF file is not an e-invoice. Indeed, digital invoices or e-invoices must be formatted according to a defined structure with fields that must comply with UBL-standards (Universal Business Language). E-invoicing includes a structured electronic format that ensures efficiency and accuracy in your invoicing processes. As such, the mandatory use of e-invoicing should also increase transparency and reduce errors.

The legal requirements for e-invoicing in Belgium

Belgian legislation introduces step-by-step obligations for the use of e-invoicing, starting with government contracts (Business to Government or B2G). E-invoicing was already mandatory with respect to public contracts for an amount of €215,000 or higher, since October 2022. In April 2023, the threshold was lowered to contracts to €30,000 or higher. From March 2024, the threshold will be adjusted again and e-invoicing will become mandatory for all government contracts starting from 3,000 euros (excluding VAT). So do you invoice the government for an amount equal to or higher than 3,000 euros? Then you are obliged to do so via e-invoicing! 

From January 1, 2026, all taxable B2B companies will also have to switch to e-invoicing. With regard to B2C relations, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty.

Why switch to e-invoicing now?

Although e-invoicing for B2B relationships won’t be mandatory until Jan. 1, 2026, it’s not a bad idea to consider making the switch now anyway. After all, this switch brings several benefits such as:

  • Improved efficiency and faster processing.
  • Fewer errors because manual data entry is no longer required.
  • Reduction in the cost of printing, sending and storing paper invoices.
  • Acceleration of payment processes.
  • Improved environmental sustainability by reducing paper use.
  • Improved customer service through easier invoice management and tracking.

Switching to e-invoicing can initially seem complicated and especially a lot of work, but with the right tools and a clear plan, the process is simple. A user-friendly software solution that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems is key. It is important to choose a system that not only meets current legal requirements, but is also flexible enough to implement any future changes.

Conclusion

E-invoicing is not only a trend, it has become an indispensable part of modern business operations. Moreover, as of March 2024, it is also an obligation in B2G relationships for orders from €3,000 (ex. VAT). 

Despite the ambiguities that remain regarding B2B and B2C transactions, the move to e-invoicing is a strategic move for companies. It brings efficiency, saves time and ensures that invoices comply with legal requirements. 

Choosing the right invoicing program is essential to making this transition smooth, offering benefits such as effortless e-invoice creation, an overview of all invoices and their payment status, and the ability to send invoices from within the program itself.


Want to learn more about how e-invoicing can transform your business or do you have other questions? Contact us and we’ll connect you with a partner accountant.

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