What is UBL?

An increasing amount of European countries request UBL invoices. But what is a UBL invoice? And why should you use it?

In this article we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is UBL?
  2. Summary of UBL benefits
  3. How to make a UBL invoice?
  4. How do you send UBL invoices?

What is UBL?

UBL (Universal Business Language) is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices.

With this file it's possible to send invoice data from one accounting package to another, without having to know each other. Because of this, senders and receivers can communicate with each other without already knowing each other.

Summary of UBL benefits

Sending a UBL invoice therefore has a number of interesting advantages for both the sender and the recipient:

  • 100% recognition - the invoice data is automatically recognized and is extremely accurate.
  • zero errors - human errors are no longer an issue.
  • No more booking deadlines - the UBL invoice ends up directly in the recipient's bookkeeping.
  • Faster payment - customers pay UBL invoices approximatelt 16 days faster.
  • Less manpower required - due to the automatic recognition and processing, less manpower is required within the invoicing process.
  • A lot more efficiency - as working with UBL invoice is faster in cheaper.
  • Less costs - you no longer lose any time (and time = money) by manually processing the invoice.

Do you want to try out e-invoicing yourself? Click here to test it for your company.

Also read: Eneco about e-invoicing: "Less manual work, fewer errors, and faster payments”

How to make a UBL invoice?

We've explained the meaning of UBL and why it's better to use it. But how do you create one? Fortunately, most European online accounting packages are ready for this technical development. This allows you to create UBL invoices in your own bookkeeping program.

After you've created the UBL invoice, you can sent it to your client as as an e-mail attachment. However, for some accounting packages this function isn't the default setting. Be certain that this option is selected 'on'.  

But maybe it's not (yet) possible to create an UBL invoice in your bookkeeping system. In that case we'd recommend you to find and external company that could.

How do you send UBL invoices?

Of course you can send your UBL invoice as an e-mail attachment. But some companies and institutions - especially governmental ones - require a 100% safe delivery. This safety demand elliminates the e-mail method, for which another method is required: the so called Peppol network.

With Peppol you can safely exchange electronic business documents through the highly secured and safe international network. But before you are able to connect to this network, you need to register at a Peppol Access Point.

Requesting a Peppol ID

After registration you need a Peppol ID. You can request this at your Peppol access point.  Once you receive this unique identification number - equal to a phone number - you can send invoices to other businesses and (governmental) institutions connected to the network.

Because we are a Peppol Access Point ourselves, we can help you with this. Feel free to  contact us for more information. Prefer to try it out right away? Click on the button below and try it for your own administration.

Safely send UBL invoices

More information about UBL?

Do you need help with UBL invoices? We are happy to assist. Contact us if you:

  • Need help with the switch to e-invoicing;
  • Need assistance with setting up your account;
  • Want to discuss other e-invoicing matters.

Call us on +31 (0) 20 261 17 91 or send an e-mail to helpdesk@storecove.nl.