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Electronic invoicing from 2025: What companies need to know

From 2025, electronic invoicing will be mandatory in the B2B sector in Germany. This change, embedded in the Growth Opportunities Act, brings with it new challenges and opportunities for companies. Here is a compact overview of the most important new features.

New definitions and requirements

As part of the ViDA initiative, the EU Commission has planned the introduction of an electronic reporting system to replace the existing recapitulative statements. This initiative is part of efforts to strengthen the digital single market in the EU and promote cross-border business by simplifying administrative processes. In Germany, an amended definition of the term “electronic invoice” will therefore become relevant from 2024, which is based on these European efforts. From January 1, 2025, the law will distinguish between electronic invoices and other invoices.

An electronic invoice, as defined from 2025, must be issued, transmitted and received in a structured electronic format. This format should not only enable electronic processing, but also comply with the European standard. This requirement aims to ensure interoperability and compatibility within the EU, which is particularly important for companies with cross-border business relationships. Interestingly, the law allows a certain degree of flexibility in that the format of the electronic invoice can also be agreed individually between the invoice issuer and recipient. This offers scope for customized solutions that meet the specific needs of business partners, as long as they meet the basic requirements for structure and workability.

This innovation represents an important step towards the further digitalization of business transactions and reflects our efforts to put modern technologies at the service of more efficient and transparent business processes. For companies, this means adapting to the new requirements and adapting their systems accordingly to ensure the smooth exchange of electronic invoices.

Obligation and transitional arrangements

This obligation to issue invoices electronically applies to services between companies based in Germany. This regulation will apply in principle from 2025, but there are transitional arrangements until the end of 2027. These allow companies to adapt step by step. Until the end of 2026, paper invoices may continue to be sent for B2B transactions carried out in 2025 and 2026. This also applies to B2B sales carried out in 2027, but with the condition that the invoice issuer has a maximum turnover of EUR 800,000 in the previous year.

Outlook and recommendations for action

The introduction of electronic invoicing marks an important step towards digitalization and increased efficiency. Companies should therefore deal with the changeover promptly. The Federal Council has proposed postponing the implementation date by two years, which underlines the urgency of the preparations. It is advisable to implement appropriate project structures to ensure timely implementation. Electronic invoicing is increasingly becoming a central component of modern business transactions, and early adaptation is advisable.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.

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