What Is a Delivery Note and Importance of Delivery Notes

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Since the beginning of history, man has needed to develop a series of commercial acts to acquire the goods and services that he has needed for his day to day. Then, other measures were needed to establish this change in commercial transactions, such as, for example, the sales note, to track and quantify what he had exchanged.

Over time, too, the use of business documents has been required to facilitate better control of business transactions. For example, invoices that are vital documents, especially for the self-employed and companies.

What is a delivery note

However, these invoices are more important than you think. We all know that they must be presented to the main collection agency of the state, with the main purpose of contrasting that the information we give is correct.

Apart from the invoices we find other tax documents, which are no less important. You can find yourself with receipts, vouchers, checks, letters and the delivery note, which we have mentioned before. You have to be careful not to confuse it with an invoice, both play a similar role, they complement each other, but they are not the same.

Next, in Cyzotech, we are going to show you what a word really is for, its concept, the types that exist and, above all, because you should not confuse it with an invoice.

What really is a delivery note?

Surely you wonder what the delivery note, and what this has to do with sales. Well, the truth is that the delivery note is a commercial document by which the delivery and reception of the product or service is demonstrated. 

The term delivery note comes from the Arabic word Albán and is translated as “supporting document”. To know what a sales note is, we must know that it is a document whose main objective is to obtain the signature of the person who receives the merchandise, thus confirming that the delivery has been satisfactory.

It is a commercial tool that has enough utility to ensure that, first, on the one hand, that the product has been delivered, and on the other, that it has been received.

How Useful Is the Delivery Note? Importance of Delivery Note

The usefulness of a delivery note is quite simple, but it is not symbolic and facing the gallery either. This document can save your skin on many occasions. 

In your working life you will carry out a hundred thousand commercial transactions in which, you will be the issuer of the merchandise and the receiver of it. This is nothing other than showing agreement between both parties that the transaction has been successful. 

Therefore, its usefulness is to corroborate the delivery in the terms that have been agreed and thus, to be able to free from all guilt the person in question who has made the distribution of the merchandise in the event of a possible claim. 

So, if you are the person in charge of sending the merchandise, it is important that you know that it is the delivery note , so that they review it over and over again so that everything is under control and there are no possible claims. 

Are there different types of delivery notes?

Naturally, there are different types of delivery notes that you will find when carrying out commercial transactions. You can find these types:

  • Delivery note valued : contains data such as the value of each product that has the order, the amount of everything and sometimes, it is usually accompanied by the invoice.
  • Delivery note without valuation : how sometimes it is usually accompanied by the invoice, it will only show information about the product such as the description.

What should a delivery note have?

The Spanish Tax Agency does not clearly establish what a true delivery note must contain. Although they do not offer it to you, we will offer you what a delivery note must contain:

  • Delivery note number
  • Place and date of issue.
  • Personal information
  • Invoice number
  • Type of product you deliver
  • Previously fixed price
  • Receiver’s signature with stamp

As you can see, all these are the data that a delivery note must contain so that it is correctly written and you do not have any problem when sending it along with your merchandise.

Does the delivery note have legal powers?

If you do not know what a sales note is, you will surely believe that being a type of document that is not mandatory, it lacks a legal entity and the truth is that this is not entirely true.

Therefore, it is necessary that you know these legal powers so that you do not have any problem when issuing your delivery note:

  • Acceptance of delivery : by signing the delivery note, you show compliance with the delivery of the product and with the state that has reached the recipient. If a pre-check is not done before signing and there is a malfunction, either in transport or during delivery, the seller will not be able to claim the carrier nor will the buyer have the option to claim the seller.
  • Payment terms : surely you have never taken into account that the payment period for an invoice begins with the receipt of the merchandise. This will serve to take it into account in case the recipient does not pay within the agreed deadlines. Also note that the term begins to run at that time and not with the issuance of the product. 
  • Proof of operation : it is the definitive document, which proves the delivery of the product, on the agreed date and most importantly, which has been received by a real staff. If you do not know in depth what a sales note is, you decide to commit the awkwardness of putting data that does not correspond to reality, you can commit a crime of documentary falsehood, so be careful!

Who can sign the delivery note?

The delivery note can be signed by anyone who belongs to the company that issues the merchandise. For this, you have to collect on the delivery note your name and ID, or the relationship that this has with the person who receives the merchandise.

On some occasions, you may find that the sender is not going to sign the delivery note, either because what you have sent him is not what he asked for or simply because he is not willing to pay the amount on the agreed date. 

If this person does not sign the delivery note, it does not mean that the invoice is being contested. In case of not paying the invoice, when the time comes a court can order the debtor to pay the invoice.

However, the delivery note can also be signed even when there is no agreement by both parties, noting the differences that have existed at the time of delivery and returning the product.

Invoice and delivery note are the same?

No, they are not the same, not even close. If you do not know what a sales note is, it may confuse your format, very similar to that of a normal and current invoice.

 The great difference that exists is that the delivery note is not valid for tax purposes, since as we have seen, it is a document that reports that the delivery of the merchandise has been successfully completed.

Therefore, the delivery note does not replace the invoice, but is a complement to it. As you already know, the invoice is the document that justifies the payment of the operation and that does have effects regarding taxation. 

For this reason, the invoice must contain completely different information from the delivery note, such as the tax data of the buyer and seller, the quantity of products that exist or the VAT that will be applied.

How can a delivery note be posted?

As a general rule, transactions that are recorded have to be accounted for when they occur. The delivery note, being proof that you have made that transaction, must be included in your accounting.

However, in many cases, this detail is not taken into account and is not included in the accounting. Therefore, if you know what a sales note is, do not forget to include it so that you do not have problems and incur in tax crimes.

But don’t worry, don’t be nervous. The delivery note must be included when the accounting program and the warehouse management you direct are linked. With this, it is possible to have a more exhaustive control of what enters and leaves. 

Therefore, if this is not your case, you are not obliged to attach the delivery note, since the document that is valid at the tax level is the invoice. 

Am I obliged to keep the delivery notes?

It is a question that at some point has been around your head. Did you save the delivery notes or better, bah, total, for what? The truth is that there are times when the invoice that we issue does not reflect the contents of the delivery note, but only the list of delivery notes delivered appears.

Therefore, by way of advice, I tell you to save the delivery notes, not only to have a control of the merchandise you deliver and then not go crazy looking for data on that package you sent a month ago, but it can also be used to cover your backs against possible claims with the delivery note.


As we have seen, the delivery note is a document that often goes unnoticed within commercial transactions. The truth is that it is a very useful document, both for the purposes of inventory of the merchandise you are selling, and for tax purposes.

It is important that the delivery note is very useful for you and makes things easier for you when generating your inventory and accounting. At a fiscal level it is important that you keep all the delivery notes that you make of your sales so that you do not make any mistake when creating your invoices.

It is also advisable that you make the delivery notes to ensure you do not have problems when sending your goods. Although, as we have already said, it is not a mandatory document, if it allows you to keep your back in case of last-minute setbacks or delays in paying for the shipment. In short, having your sales note provides you with control over the merchandise you sell, having a pass in the event of loss, deterioration or lack of payment by the recipient. It is not something tedious or that it will take up a lot of time providing benefits when managing your goods.

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