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The switch to electronic invoicing: what companies need to know

Electronic invoicing will be mandatory for companies in Germany from 2025. However, there are transitional regulations due to the high expected implementation costs. This means that companies must be able to receive electronic invoices by January 1, 2025 at the latest. By January 1, 2027, all companies with a total turnover of 800,000 euros in the previous year must only create and send invoices in electronic form. From January 1, 2028, this will then apply to all companies.


Who is affected and what exceptions are there?

The new regulations for issuing e-invoices apply to the following recipient groups:

  • The recipient is a company based in Germany
  • Property-related services, both to private households and companies
  • The recipient is a legal entity that is not an entrepreneur

However, there are exceptions for invoices with amounts up to 250 euros, tickets and tax-free transactions.

Which formats are accepted?

According to a letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance, two formats are recognized for electronic invoicing: XRechnung, which is based on XML and provides all invoice information in structured form, and the ZUGFeRD format, a hybrid solution that contains both structured XML data and the invoice image in PDF format. However, other invoice formats can also generally meet the necessary requirements.

Please note: Use of the EDI procedure is still permitted, provided that the information required for VAT can be extracted correctly and completely from the invoice format used, so that the result complies with CEN standard EN 16931.

What needs to be considered when archiving?

There is an obligation to archive electronic invoices in a legally compliant manner for a period of 10 years. There must be no media discontinuity, for example by printing out e-invoices. Companies can rely on document management systems such as cks.DMS for legally compliant archiving.


What are the advantages of the changeover?

The switch to e-invoices is already making companies more efficient in their accounting. Invoice data is processed faster, which saves time. In addition, material costs can be reduced, archiving simplified and input errors reduced.


How can SAP Business One help?

Companies using SAP Business One are already well equipped for the changeover to e-invoices. The software supports both the creation and import of electronic invoices.

Do you have any questions about electronic invoicing? We will be happy to assist you and support you with the changeover.