How to create Proforma Invoice and Purchase Order Documents for Export

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Template of a Proforma Invoice and Purchase Order document

How Proforma Invoices and Purchase Orders documents are used in Global Trade.

What is a Proforma Invoice Document for Exporting?

First, a Proforma Invoice document is an important document that the seller of goods creates and shares to their buyer.  When the buyer and seller have communicated the details of the products they want to order, the seller will create a Proforma Invoice document to to confirm the new order.

The Proforma Invoice document is usually created after a quotation has been sent and when the sales process is moving closer to a confirmed deal.  It must clearly include all product details, quantities, pricing and delivery information as agreed between the buyer and seller.  The Proforma invoice will include the seller’s bank details so that the buyer can arrange payments as required.

Read the difference between a Proforma Invoice and a Commercial Invoice here.

How to Create a Proforma Invoice Document for Export

How a Purchase Order Document is used in Global Trade

A Purchase Order is the buyer’s official company document that states all of the details of the company’s new order of goods.  The buyer will issue a Purchase Order document to the seller’s company, the seller will confirm the new order with a Proforma Invoice document.  They can be issued in any order.

How to Create a Purchase Order Document for imported goods.

How does a Proforma Invoice work with a Purchase Order?

Purchase Order documents are issued hand in hand.  These are important documents that are used to officially confirm all order and product information to avoid any confusion or problems with the supply and delivery of products.  Any additional information agreed between the buyer and seller can be included on these documents.


Countersigning Proforma Invoice and Purchase Order Documents

Both parties will have to counter sign each document as they represent a legally binding agreement between the buyer and seller.  If there are any disputes relating to the order or supply of goods, these documents will be referred to in a court of law.

Read how importers and exporters digitally countersign Proforma Invoices, Purchase Orders and other Sales Contracts.


Using IncoDocs, buyers and sellers can digitally sign and stamp Proforma Invoices and Purchase Orders, allowing them to go paperless and work remotely.

What information is included on Purchase Order and Proforma Invoice documents?

  • Seller’s company name, address and contact details
  • Buyer’s company name, address and contact details
  • Method of Dispatch – Road, Rail, Air or Seafreight
  • Type of shipment – FCL, LCL, Breakbulk or other
  • Port of Loading and Port of Discharge (seaport or airport)
  • Reference Number and Date
  • Product Descriptions – including item codes, product descriptions, Unit Quantity, Unit Type, Price
  • Incoterm® – The selling term agreed
  • Any additional information (usually payment terms, lead times or estimated vessel details)
  • Bank Details – the Proforma Invoice can include bank details requesting the buyer to make a payment
  • Name, date and signature of authorized company representative


See below examples of Proforma Invoice and Purchase Order templates for global trade:

A seller’s Proforma Invoice and a buyer’s Purchase Order document made using IncoDocs
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