Non Commercial Invoice

A Non Commercial Invoice, also known as a proforma invoice, is a document issued by a seller to a buyer in a business transaction that does not involve the exchange of goods or services for monetary compensation. Unlike a commercial invoice, which is used in a traditional sale, a non commercial invoice serves as a preliminary bill or an agreement of the terms of a transaction before any actual exchange takes place.


Non commercial invoices are commonly used in various situations where goods or services are provided without immediate payment. These invoices are primarily utilized in sample shipments, donations, gifts, or when products are sent for testing or evaluation purposes. By outlining the terms and conditions of the transaction in advance, the non commercial invoice ensures transparency and facilitates a smooth exchange between the seller and the buyer.


  1. Clarity and Transparency: Non commercial invoices provide a clear breakdown of the items or services being provided, along with their associated costs. This ensures that both parties have a comprehensive understanding of the transaction terms, including any additional charges, taxes, or shipping fees.
  2. Preparing for Future Transactions: In some cases, non commercial invoices are used as a stepping stone for future business interactions. By creating a well-documented and professional document, sellers can establish a sense of trust and reliability, increasing the likelihood of future purchases from the buyer.
  3. Compliance with Customs Regulations: When shipping goods across international borders, non commercial invoices are often required by customs authorities. These invoices help verify the nature and value of the goods being transported, ensuring compliance with import/export regulations.


Non commercial invoices find utility in a range of industries and scenarios. Some common applications include:

  1. Sample Shipments: Companies often send samples of their products to potential buyers or distributors for evaluation purposes. A non commercial invoice is used to outline the details of the sample shipment, including the quantity, description, and value of the samples, along with any relevant shipping costs.
  2. Donations and Gifts: Non commercial invoices are frequently used when individuals or organizations make donations or send gifts to charitable entities or individuals. These invoices help establish the value of the donated goods and provide documentation for tax or customs purposes.
  3. Evaluation and Testing: In industries such as technology, where hardware or software products undergo evaluation or testing phases, non commercial invoices are crucial. These invoices document the terms of testing, including any fees, return policies, or confidentiality agreements involved.


Non commercial invoices play a vital role in facilitating business transactions that involve goods or services without immediate monetary exchange. By providing a comprehensive overview of the transaction terms, these invoices ensure transparency and clarity for both sellers and buyers. Whether utilized for sample shipments, donations, or evaluation purposes, non commercial invoices serve as a valuable documentation tool in the world of business.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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