What is the difference between a ticket and an invoice?

Many people do not recognize the difference between a ticket and an invoice. However, both companies and freelancers must record their commercial transactions in one of these documents. In this article we show you their conceptual and technical differences as well as in which cases you could use one or the other. Let’s take a look.

Let’s understand the concepts: Ticket VS invoice

What is a ticket?

The purchase receipt is a proof of payment, which is issued in purchase transactions made with consumers or end users.

This can only be issued in local currency and contains only the issuer’s data, in this case, who offers the service(s) and product(s). In other words, it is issued by the person or establishment when you purchase any of its products or services, and must indicate the price, quantity and total amount of the purchase, as well as the issuer’s data such as name, location and date of issuance.

In the document we only see the purchase data in a simplified form and serves to make an exchange or return of the purchased product.

What is an invoice?

The invoice is a commercial document with mercantile character in which the purchase and sale of a product or service is indicated. That is to say, it is a document with legal validity, which proves a transaction between self-employed, companies or individuals, and in which the object of the sale is detailed as well as the data of the issuer and the receiver.

In order to invoice correctly, it is necessary to express the mandatory data that the invoice must contain, such as the VAT number, address, product or service information, recipient’s data, date and invoice number.

Are the ticket and the simplified invoice the same thing?

The ticket is also called purchase receipt. Since the entry into force of the invoicing regulation in 2013, the “ticket” was renamed “simplified invoice”, i.e. they are the same.


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Differences between invoices and electronic invoices

The electronic invoice differs from the traditional invoice, since it is a document issued digitally or electronically. This type of invoice contains the same data and the same validity as a physical (paper) invoice.

With the digital transformation, companies benefit from this invoice due to its speed and security when carrying out the operation. It also saves costs in printing, paper and ink, as well as shipping and archiving costs.

By 2023, Spanish organizations will have the obligation to implement it. So get ready for this moment and implement your electronic invoice right now.

Differences and similarities between the ticket and the invoice

Similarities between the ticket and the invoice

  • Both reflect a commercial transaction, whether a good or a service rendered.
  • They serve as a means of proof of a transaction.
  • Both the ticket and the invoice include a guarantee of the product or service purchased.
  • Both must be kept for four years in case of a future inspection by the Tax Agency.
  • Both specify number or series, date of issue, seller’s data, characteristics of the product or service, price, taxable base, tax rates applied and total amount.

Differences between the ticket and the invoice

  • In the ticket, the receiver’s data are not found, but in the invoice they appear and the issuer’s data appear as well.
  • The simplified invoice or ticket is issued as proof of payment, always after payment, while the invoice can be issued even if payment has not been made.
  • Tickets are issued when the amount does not exceed 400 euros to companies or customers, with a few exceptions; the invoice is issued in any B2B transaction and also, if a customer requests it, regardless of the amount.
  • The retail sector can benefit from the use of the ticket, but others are obliged to issue a complete invoice.
  • A ticket has no legal or fiscal validity, while a complete invoice is a document that you can include in your accounting and has deductible VAT.

Comparative table

Comparative table

Example ticket

Example ticket

Invoice example

Invoice example

How do I know if an invoice ticket is valid?

The tickets are issued by devices that need to be audited for a control of the operations performed, thus keeping a record of all sales transactions and their corresponding taxes.

There are companies that, depending on their activity, may be eligible to invoice with the ticket modality, currently known as the simplified invoice, which, with the latest approved invoicing regulation, will be the one that replaces the ticket.

However, the ticket as it is known is only valid between customers or organizations that accept it, but not for those legal operations or between companies that must present fiscal obligations before the Tax Agency.

With the electronic invoice you also have the possibility to sign electronically in a valid and authenticated way.


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When can a ticket or invoice be used?

Organizations, whether for profit or not-for-profit, and freelancers must use the invoice in any purchase or sale of goods or services. In transactions with companies, freelancers or the Public Administration, invoicing is mandatory. Also if a customer demands it for tax purposes, for distance sales, if we export goods exempt from VAT, in intra-community operations and in case of advance payment.

There are only certain cases in which a ticket or a simplified invoice can be issued. European Union regulations establish that Member States must authorize the issuance of simplified invoices when:

  • The amount does not exceed 100 euros (or its equivalent in national currency). In some cases, it can be extended up to a contribution of less than or equal to 400 euros.
  • When the invoice issued is a rectifying invoice of a previous one.
  • In the commercial or administrative practices of a sector of activity, where it is difficult to comply with the obligations inherent to invoices.

In addition, the ticket can be used when the amount does not exceed 3,000 euros (VAT included), in operations of:

  • Retail sales, ambulance sales or services and sales to the consumer’s home.
  • Transportation of persons and their luggage, hairdressing and beauty salon services, use of sports facilities and photo development, as well as photographic studio services.
  • Hotel and food services provided by restaurants, bars, cafeterias, and similar establishments, supply of beverages or meals for consumption on the spot, and dance halls and discotheques services.
  • Telephone services provided through the use of public telephone booths, as well as through cards that do not allow the identification of the bearer.
  • Car parking and valet parking, movie rentals, dry cleaning and laundry services, and use of toll roads.


As you already know the difference between ticket and invoice, you may be interested in acquiring the electronic invoice that will be mandatory in Spain for all companies in 2023. Gestion Direct offers you the easiest solution to automate your invoicing process. Write to us at gestiodirect@gd.eu or call us now at +34 937 37 75 75 25 and request your electronic invoice.

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