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What Is a Delivery Note?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 16, 2024
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A delivery note is a type of document used in business; it often comes with shipments of goods, and details what is included in the shipment. The delivery note may also include information about what is not included in the shipment, if items were ordered together, yet some have not arrived. This document is often used as proof for both the client accepting the delivery, as well as the business providing the goods; it documents that that the goods were delivered, and also that the client accepted them. It is important for businesses to keep good records of these types of documents in case there are any discrepancies.

Though the specific template for each delivery note may be different, most businesses include similar information on each. This includes the name and address of the company delivering the goods, as well as the name and address of the company accepting them. It may also include line item descriptions for each item included in the shipment, the quantity of the items, and occasionally price information. The date of order as well as the date of delivery is typically included as well. The person receiving the shipment may then have the opportunity to inspect the shipment and check the delivery note to make sure they match, then sign the document; each person will then get a copy for his or her records.

In these cases, a delivery note helps to protect both parties involved in the transaction. If the note is signed, no one can come back and say they didn't receive the delivery, or that the shipment didn't match. This is important in business, and is an easy way to prevent disputes which could otherwise become quite costly. If certain products were ordered, but were not included in the shipment, this is typically mentioned on the delivery note as well, possibly with an expected future date of delivery.

For some businesses, a delivery note is synonymous with an invoice, and the customer receiving this document will be expected to pay. Some will require immediate payment, while others will allow future payment and billing. This is less common, however, and most companies will send invoices or bills separately for goods and services. For businesses looking to create their own delivery notes to send with shipments, there are numerous templates available for free online that can be customized in many different computer programs, and then simply printed and copied for ongoing use.

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Discussion Comments
By lighth0se33 — On Feb 07, 2013

I order items online a lot, and if I choose to tell them to bill me later instead of paying right then with my credit card, I always get a delivery note taped to the outside of the package when it arrives. I have to remember not to throw this away, because it contains information on how to pay for the items.

Sometimes, I have to mail part of the note back in with my payment. This is usually the part with the order number on it so that they can verify my identity.

However, if the note gives me an option to pay online, I take it. This saves me money on stamps and envelopes.

By kylee07drg — On Feb 07, 2013

I would hope that the recipient would be given the chance to check the box to see that all items are there! It would be awful to make the person sign a delivery note without letting them check first, especially if the person will be unable to go back and say that he didn't get everything he ordered.

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