A proforma invoice is a common form used in both domestic and even more commonly in international trade to provide buyers as well as in the event of international trade the appropriate import/export authorities, where additional details may be required for customs, with required information about shipment. The proforma invoice template is a document issued to customers requesting payment for a product or service before the product is delivered, or the service rendered. It is popular in the realm of shipping, as it gives customers a chance to inspect the purchased item before paying for it in full. Proforma Invoice Template – Proforma invoices help to decrease any confusion that may occur when a buyer makes a transaction with a seller. When a buyer purchases goods or services, the seller sends an abridged invoice called pro forma invoices. Apr 21, 2021 Pro Forma Invoice Example If the parties have already completed a sale, a commercial invoice records it. If the transaction has not yet occurred, the selling firm may use a pro forma invoice. A pro forma invoice works as an invoice draft; it lets customers know the final price and allows vendors to proceed with the work. Pro forma invoices are typically sent ahead of the completion of a service or delivery of goods. They give buyers a final sale price and sellers a better indication of future payment.

Why Do You Need a Proforma Invoice

Small business owners and independent sellers often use a proforma invoice to declare the value and specifications of the deliverables. Automating your invoicing has profound advantages for a business as well as underlying benefits for the buyer and seller. Here are some of the benefits of using a digital proforma invoice:

✔ Ensures that the buyer and the seller are on the same page.
✔ Prevents any conflict and dispute between the buyer & the seller.
✔ Since it’s not the final invoice, a proforma invoice saves you from needless admin if any change occurs in the price and deliverables.
✔ Portrays you as a proactive, professional, and trusted seller.
✔ Helps in estimating the final cost and net profit on the promised goods and services to prevent you from audit problems.
✔ Provides the necessary details to the buyer about the products or services, time-line, & estimated cost to set clear expectations.
✔ Serves as a medium of clear communication b/w both parties.
✔ Helps in sustaining smooth workflow and managing the cash flow in a business by disregarding any money-losing mistakes.
✔ Use freeivoicebuilder.com to upgrade your invoicing process.
✔ Functions as the primary source for the seller to create an official invoice after the sale is confirmed.

Download free for Microsoft® Excel® and Google Sheets

Create a proforma invoice using our free template listed below. A pro forma invoice is very similar to a sales quote because it is used to formally define the value of a trade prior to shipping or the actual completion of the sale. In business, the term pro forma is often used to indicate a planned transaction or statement. It may be similar to a confirmed purchase order and may be legally binding, depending on the circumstances.[1]

Proforma Invoice Template

for Excel, OpenOffice, and Google Sheets


Proforma Invoice Example

Proforma Invoice Example Template

ExampleDownload⤓ Google Sheets

Other Versions

License: Private Use (not for distribution or resale)


'No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet' - by Jon Wittwer and Brent Weight


Vertex42's Proforma Invoice Template will help your company generate professional looking invoices. The template is designed for both domestic and international trade, with the same look and feel as our quote template and sales invoice.

Proforma invoice example for ink companyInvoice

This is a common form used in both domestic and international trade, where additional shipping details and the currency need to be defined, as well as details required for customs. We've designed our Pro Forma Invoice Template with this in mind. If you are doing business domestically, you might want to try one of our other invoice templates. See below for more information.

How to Use the Pro forma Invoice Template

The template follows a typical pro forma format. Simply download and fill out your business and customer information. Then begin filling out details of the proposed transactions including shipping details, payment terms, additional fees, costs and sales terms. Use the tips below and the info to the right of the form for help with specific sections.

Sometimes you'll need to include additional lines of details regarding a particular product. Probably the best approach is to just enter the details on separate rows. If your item description is longer than a single line, increase the height of the row. The text is designed to wrap, but because the cells are merged, the row height doesn't adjust automatically. If you want to include a Return inside the cell description, press Alt+Enter.

If the pro forma will be used for customs, fill out the Reason for Export and sign the document. Otherwise, you might simply delete those sections.


  • Make your price quote, proforma and commercial invoices similar in layout and appearance so that you can quickly transfer information from one to the other to minimize paper work.
  • If you are shipping freight, you should be familiar with the terms FOB, CIF and C&F
  • Shipping internationally can be confusing and full of different fees. Make sure to do adequate research or seek professional assistance.
  • Make sure to include your company letter head at the top. This is required in some countries.

Why Use a Proforma Invoice?

Proforma invoices are most useful when two companies are doing business together for the first time and for import/export transactions. Below are some of the advantages:

  • Details, Details, Details – A pro forma has all of the details of the transaction so that the customer knows exactly what they will be paying, leaving no room for surprises. This can help companies close deals because it helps customers become more comfortable about the complete terms of the deal.
  • Enabling Payment – A proforma invoice is often used by the buyer to secure credit for the purchase of the goods or services. In the case of international business, this credit is often issued as a Letter of Credit, typically required before the goods will ship. Without this invoice, many international transactions would never occur.
  • Crossing Borders – In many countries, a pro forma can be used to secure customs paperwork, consular invoices and to determine shipment values for calculating custom duties and import taxes. With this invoice, all of this necessary paperwork can be processed before the shipment leaves the suppliers, decreasing total transit time.
  • Expedite Invoicing – Once a pro forma has been finalized, a commercial invoice is quickly finalized and dispatched to the customer for payment.

Related Content

References and Resources

  • [1] Pro Forma at wikipedia.org - Information about the meaning of 'pro forma'.
  • Government Information on Exporting at trade.gov - Great collection of information and resources on exporting from the United States.
  • Importing into the US at cbp.gov - A publication form the US government with help on importing into the U.S. Check out page 38 for information on Pro forma Invoices.
  • International Trade Administration at trade.gov - U.S. Government site with articles, links and guides for conducting international trade.
  • International Business Resource Desk at msu.edu - A great resource on international business resources and issues maintained by Michigan State University.
  • Trade Port at tradeport.org - A collection of information and resources for businesses seeking to conduct international trade (with a focus on California)
  • Industry Canada at ic.gc.ca- Canadian Government site with a collection of resources and guides for doing business with Canada.

Proforma Invoice Example

Important Disclaimer - The information on this page and the template are for educational and illustrative purposes only. You should consult the appropriate laws and professionals before using this information, or using the template in your business practices.
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