How to correctly send an electronic invoice to the Spanish public administration

Step by step survival guide:

¿How does e-invoicing work?

Terms such as electronic invoicing or e-invoicing are increasingly becoming common procedures for SMEs, freelancers and big corporations.

An invoice, including electronic, is a business critical document as it has several implications: it acts as the confirmation of the delivery of goods and services, as an accounting voucher and/or as a credit.

According to the Spanish Treasury Department “The delivery of an electronic invoice must have the recipient’s prior consent, which combined with other technical and regulatory guarantees, turns e-invoicing into a great and valid alternative to paper invoicing, not just for trading and commercial purposes but also for combating tax fraud.”


Step by Step:

When talking about e-invoicing, there are two main recipients groups when sending vendor invoices: Public Administrations (or Government) and Private Clients. Specially in the case of sending electronic invoices to the Spanish public administration, in order to comply and fulfill all the requirements for a correct and valid electronic invoice, you should follow these steps:

  1. Verify your obligations with electronic invoicing upon the current legislation. It is very important to consider posible local regulations too.
  2. Once you have identified what are your legal, technical and commercial requirements, gather all the information that you will need to include within the invoice, specially data regarding tax related information. At least you will need to know in advance the following mandatory fields: Name of the entity, VAT Number, Legal or tax Address and DIR 3 codes (government accounting codes required for internal processing).
  3. Prepare and complete the invoice. Do not forget to fill all in the mandatory fields required by your customer.
  4. Identify which public EP (Entry Point) for invoice reception you need to connect with in order to correctly deliver the invoice.
  5. Once you’ve prepared all data, you will need to create an XML file fully complying with Facturae specifications regarding content, syntax rules and electronic signature. The XML format should also meet the requirements and specifications potentially declared for each entry point.
  6. Prior to issuing the invoices to the access point, each e-invoice must be digitally signed. Electronic invoicing for public administrations in Spain differentiates itself from regular PDF documents because its security and legitimacy upfront regulations, which comes in part from the digital signature stamped on each document. You can either sign a document using your own electronic certificate or using a delegated digital signature.
  7. Sign in into the public entry point you have previously found out and follow the platform indications.

Alternatively you can use an electronic invoicing platform like Docuten to help you unify and simplify the previous steps.

Docuten is a complete e-procurement platform which offers digital signature and electronic invoicing services to help you achieve great productivity and efficiency standards while digitizing the administrative and commercial processes of your company.

You can particularly use Docuten as a Entre Point Gateway, to deliver your transactions invoices, use delegated signature, and get direct status feedback from the main general entry points with public administrations in Spain.