Saudi Arabia Restaurant POS ZATCA E-Invoicing Requirements

restaurant pos zatca requirements saudi arabia

Saudi Arabia has implemented a comprehensive electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) system as part of its broader digitization efforts, driven by the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA). The system is designed to streamline tax processes, reduce tax evasion, and enhance transparency. This move aligns with the global trend towards digital economies and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to modernize the country’s economic infrastructure. Here is a detailed overview of the requirements for restaurants and other businesses in Saudi Arabia under the ZATCA e-invoicing mandate.

Overview of ZATCA E-Invoicing

The e-invoicing mandate, known as FATOORAH, was introduced by ZATCA and implemented in two main phases:

  1. Phase One: Generation Phase (Started December 4, 2021)
    • This phase required businesses to generate and store electronic invoices and associated notes using compliant e-invoicing systems.
    • The generated invoices must contain all necessary elements to be considered valid under the VAT regulations.
  2. Phase Two: Integration Phase (Starting January 1, 2023)
    • This phase involves integrating the e-invoicing systems with ZATCA’s systems to enable real-time reporting and validation.
    • The integration phase ensures that e-invoices are transmitted to ZATCA, allowing for better monitoring and compliance enforcement.

Key Requirements for Restaurant POS Systems

Restaurants, like other businesses, must comply with specific requirements to adhere to the ZATCA e-invoicing regulations. These requirements ensure that all invoices are standardized, authenticated, and properly stored.

1. Compliant E-Invoicing Software

Restaurants must use e-invoicing software that is compliant with ZATCA regulations. This software should be capable of:

  • Generating electronic invoices and notes (both standard and simplified).
  • Storing invoices and notes in a readable and accessible format.
  • Ensuring the integrity and authenticity of the generated invoices.
  • Being able to integrate with ZATCA’s systems for real-time reporting.
2. Mandatory Invoice Elements

Each electronic invoice must include specific mandatory elements to be considered valid. These elements include:

  • Seller’s name, address, and VAT registration number.
  • Buyer’s name and address (for standard invoices).
  • A unique invoice number.
  • Invoice issuance date.
  • Description of goods or services provided.
  • Quantity and unit price of each item.
  • Total amount payable, including VAT.
  • VAT amount.
  • QR Code (for simplified invoices).
3. QR Code Requirement

For simplified invoices (typically issued to end consumers), a QR code must be included. The QR code must contain the following information:

  • Seller’s name.
  • Seller’s VAT registration number.
  • Time stamp of the invoice.
  • Total amount with VAT.
  • VAT amount.

The QR code allows consumers and ZATCA to verify the authenticity of the invoice easily.

4. Integration and Reporting

During the Integration Phase, restaurants must ensure their e-invoicing systems can:

  • Send electronic invoices to ZATCA’s platform in real-time or near real-time.
  • Receive notifications and validation responses from ZATCA.
  • Store transmitted invoices and validation results for audit purposes.
5. Data Security and Storage

Restaurants must implement robust data security measures to protect the integrity and confidentiality of electronic invoices. This includes:

  • Using secure servers and encrypted communication channels.
  • Implementing access controls and regular audits.
  • Ensuring that invoices are stored in a tamper-proof format for the required retention period (typically six years).
6. Training and Compliance

Staff must be adequately trained to use the e-invoicing system and understand the compliance requirements. Regular training sessions and updates on regulatory changes are essential to maintain compliance.

7. Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with the ZATCA e-invoicing requirements can result in penalties, including fines and other legal actions. It is crucial for restaurants to stay informed about the regulations and ensure their systems are always up to date.

Implementation Steps for Restaurants

Implementing an e-invoicing system in a restaurant involves several steps:

  1. Assessment and Planning:
    • Evaluate the current restaurant POS and invoicing systems.
    • Identify gaps and requirements based on ZATCA’s regulations.
    • Develop a detailed implementation plan.
  2. Selecting a Compliant E-Invoicing Solution:
    • Choose an e-invoicing solution that meets ZATCA’s requirements.
    • Ensure the solution can integrate with the existing POS system.
  3. System Integration:
    • Integrate the e-invoicing solution with the POS system.
    • Test the integration to ensure seamless operation.
  4. Staff Training:
    • Train staff on using the new system.
    • Provide ongoing support and updates as needed.
  5. Go-Live and Monitoring:
    • Deploy the e-invoicing system.
    • Monitor its performance and ensure compliance with ZATCA’s regulations.
  6. Regular Audits and Updates:
    • Conduct regular audits to ensure continued compliance.
    • Stay updated with any regulatory changes and update the system accordingly.

Benefits of E-Invoicing for Restaurants

Adopting the ZATCA e-invoicing system offers several benefits for restaurants:

  • Improved Efficiency:
    • Streamlined invoicing processes reduce manual errors and save time.
    • Faster invoice processing and payment cycles.
  • Enhanced Compliance:
    • Automated compliance with VAT regulations.
    • Reduced risk of penalties and legal issues.
  • Better Record Keeping:
    • Secure storage of electronic invoices for easy retrieval and auditing.
    • Improved accuracy and reliability of financial records.
  • Transparency and Trust:
    • Enhanced transparency in transactions builds trust with customers and regulatory authorities.
    • The QR code on simplified invoices allows customers to verify the authenticity of their receipts.
  • Environmental Impact:
    • Reduction in paper usage contributes to environmental sustainability.

Challenges and Considerations

While the transition to e-invoicing offers many benefits, it also presents challenges that restaurants must consider:

  • Initial Implementation Costs:
    • The cost of acquiring and integrating compliant e-invoicing software.
    • Potential need for hardware upgrades or replacements.
  • Staff Training:
    • Time and resources required to train staff on the new system.
    • Ongoing training to keep up with regulatory changes.
  • Data Security:
    • Ensuring robust data security measures are in place.
    • Regular audits and updates to maintain data integrity.
  • System Downtime:
    • Potential disruptions during the transition period.
    • Ensuring contingency plans are in place to minimize downtime.


The ZATCA e-invoicing mandate represents a significant shift towards digital transformation in Saudi Arabia. For restaurants, this shift requires careful planning, investment, and ongoing compliance efforts. However, the long-term benefits of improved efficiency, enhanced compliance, and better customer trust make it a worthwhile investment. For a list of Saudi Arabia’s ZATCA approved POS systems, click here.

By adhering to the ZATCA e-invoicing requirements, restaurants can contribute to the broader goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, fostering a more transparent, efficient, and sustainable economic environment. Regular updates and training, coupled with robust security measures, will ensure that restaurants remain compliant and leverage the full benefits of the e-invoicing system.

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