What Is an Order Form?


Published: | By POWR

Online forms are vital to businesses because they help save time, reduce errors, and improve productivity. The good news is that there are free order form templates from POWR that can help you design the perfect one for your operation.

Any vendor or business involved in the procurement of goods or supplier management must understand the ins and outs of how an order form works. 

Explaining the Order Form

An order form or business order form contains details about transactions between a buyer and a seller. Usually, order forms involve a buyer filling out a request for goods or services from the seller–these are also called ‘purchase order forms.’

An order form acts as a binding agreement after both parties accept the terms to ensure a seamless purchasing process between a client company and a supplier. Order forms are always filled in by the customer, and in most cases, are used to prepay for products and services. An order form should not be mistaken for an invoice, which is issued by the seller after an order is filled as a way to secure payment. 

Types of Order Forms

There are several types of order forms and choosing which to use should depend on your business and goals. The major types of order forms used by businesses are:

1. Single Item Order Form

Buyers use this order form when the vendor has just one product or service available; they are used by vendors selling unique items and businesses built on a single product. When filling out this type of order form, you may only be required to input your name, contact information, and payment method, as the seller, product, and number of items are already known. 

2. Single Item Order Form with Variation

This type of order form is the same as the previous one, but is used when the vendor offers a single product or service but with different variations. For example, a glue company might offer different variations of its glue.

3. Single Item Order Form with Recurring Subscriptions

This is largely the same as the others, but the vendor uses this order form to allow buyers to subscribe to their products or services. Professionals often use this type of order form for online courses and training sessions until a program ends.

4. Multiple Choice Order Form

This is a more complex order form used by larger vendors offering a variety of different products. This is similar to a store-and-shopping-cart experience, where different products are displayed for purchase. Often, buyers need to choose from multiple variations of each product available for all products offered by the vendor.

5. Multiple Choice with Recurring Subscriptions

This is the same as the previous type of order form but is offered on a subscription basis.

Key Components of an Order Form

There is no single format for creating an order form, as they need to be customized to suit the type of business and purchases made on the website. However, what is necessary is that the form captures the relevant details of an order and customer while clearly outlining the agreed-upon price. 

The most important components of an order form are the names of the buyer and seller, purchase order number, description of the item(s), number of items requested, unit price(s), shipping method, fulfillment address, payment information, signatures of buyers and sellers, and the order date.

If this sounds like a lot of data, you may be wondering if an order form is a contract. An order form only becomes a contractual agreement between the buyer and the seller after it is accepted by the seller.

Creating an Order Form

Creating an order form shouldn’t be overwhelmingly complicated if you focus on the details. Every order form should contain what the buyer wants to purchase, the quantity, where they want the items to be delivered, and how the buyer will pay for the product or services. There are also several online templates available on POWR that businesses can use to create their own order forms. 

In Summary

Order forms are a necessity for businesses involved in procurement, sales, and other operations, especially high-value transactions. However, they are only as good as the accuracy and completeness of the information they contain. 

They should be kept simple and contain only information necessary for the purchase. Order forms outline the key information of the order, and payment terms, and are important tools for record-keeping and auditing. They standardize an organization’s purchase procedure and can reduce remediation costs, and are also necessary for resolving errors and mistakes in purchases.

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