Guidelines to paper invoices in North America & Europe

If you have an agreed exception that allows you to submit paper invoices, you must ensure that your invoice is compliant with our general guidelines, and all country specific requirements. A clear and complete invoice will help avoid inefficiencies and ensure timely payments.

Any invoice not complying with requirements will be returned to suppliers, who will need to cancel the non-compliant invoice and issue a new invoice. This will reset the payment due date.

Please refer to this sample invoice (PDF | 2MB) and the following guidelines, to ensure that your invoice contains all relevant information required for processing. Please note, this invoice is for most countries, but there are exceptions which are also listed below.

Invoicing guidelines and country specifications

Please do not commence your work until you have received a Purchase Order (PO)/Direct Order (DO) number.

Invoices must not be submitted until goods or services have been delivered.

You must include the following in your invoice which can be found on the PO:

  • PO number (or schedule agreement number if applicable)
  • Supplier name and address
  • Bill to address
  • Supplier number
  • Unilever VAT registration number
  • Unit price, quantity, description and currency as set out in the PO (e.g. if the order is in kg the invoice should be in kg, if the currency is EUR the invoice should be in EUR)
  • In addition, please do not consolidate multiple purchase order lines into one line on the invoice (for example, if the PO has service rate on line 1 and expenses on line 2, do not consolidate them as one entry on the invoice)
  • Ensure that freight costs are clearly mentioned on the invoice in a separate line
  • Material number (in case of goods orders)
  • Net, tax (amount and percentage) and gross amount
  • Invoice number, date and description
  • Your bank details (including SWIFT and IBAN numbers if applicable)
  • Your tax registration number (e.g. VAT) and the amount/rate of VAT (where applicable)
  • Delivery note/receipt/remittance number with delivery date and delivery address for goods (not services)
  • The date must not precede the date on the DO/PO/MO
  • Exchange rate
  • Ensure the invoice is compliant with any additional local fiscal requirement

Please note:

Unilever has a ‘No PO, No Pay’ policy, which is designed to ensure that all payments are accurately authorised and recorded. You must ensure you have a valid Purchase Order (PO) number before you submit an invoice for payment, which must be included on the invoice copy.

It is key that the PO is obtained from Unilever requestor prior to the start of services or provision of goods, hence the invoice date must not precede PO date.

Effective 1st December 2017, Suppliers will receive payments from Unilever via bank transfers only.

If you are an existing supplier and haven’t yet registered your bank account details with us, please contact your Unilever procurement focal before 30th November 2017 to do so.

Bank account details will be mandated for all new contracts effective 1st June 2017.

Select the relevant country below for additional country specific requirements.

Country exceptions

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