Characteristics of the electronic invoice in Colombia

In Colombia, the origin of electronic invoicing dates to 1995 when it was equated to a paper invoice as a sales document. In 2013, the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN) began working on a mass adoption of electronic invoicing, inspired by the models of countries such as Chile, Brazil, and Mexico, with the aim of facilitating interoperability among taxpayers and reducing tax evasion.

Since 2019, electronic invoicing has become mandatory for all companies with a presence in the country. Since then, DIAN has introduced various changes to the electronic invoicing system, including the introduction of new mandatory documents or the evolution of existing ones. For example, the registration of the electronic invoice as a Title Value with new types of events, or more recently, with an implementation date in 2023, the issuance of the electronic equivalent document for the electronic invoice for certain sectors of the Colombian economy.

To offer complete solutions with guarantees of data integrity and authenticity, EDICOM is accredited as a Digital Certification Entity in Colombia by ONAC to issue digital certificates.

Tax Authority

Tax Authority

DIAN - Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales



Since 2019, all companies and taxpayers have been required to issue electronic sales invoices with prior validation before issuance.

Required Administrative Transactions

Required Administrative Transactions

All companies must enable themselves as electronic issuers through the web portal assigned by DIAN. Suppliers must also certify as Technology Services Providers (PST). In this certification, a unique software identifier is assigned. Using this parameter, the "software security code" must be generated, which is mandatory on the invoice.



The standard format used is XML, which follows UBL V2.1 (Universal Business Language) adopted by DIAN.

Digital Signature

Digital Signature

The digital signature is mandatory as an element to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the electronic invoice from issuance to storage. The digital signature is generated from a digital certificate issued by a certification authority accredited by the National Accreditation Body of Colombia ONAC, as is the case with EDICOM.

Fiscal Control

Fiscal Control

A consecutive numbering system must be used, which must be requested from DIAN after being authorized as an issuer of electronic invoices. DIAN assigns the ranges and the technical control key required to generate the Unique Electronic Invoice Code (CUFE). This code allows for unique identification of the invoice and ensures data integrity. The CUFE is encrypted using an SHA384 algorithm and is composed of concatenated invoice data plus the technical key.

Print format

Print format

Issuers must create a graphic representation of the invoice in PDF format including the QR code.



It is mandatory for issuers and recipients for the period established by the tax statute.

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Optimize the management of 100% of your received electronic invoices

In Colombia, according to the electronic invoicing model defined by DIAN, electronic invoicers automatically become electronic recipients. Therefore, it is essential for companies that have a significant number of transactions involving the purchase and sale of goods and services to have an electronic invoicing solution that allows for efficient and electronic management of accounts receivable and payable systems.


Interoperability of our solution with the DIAN system to check the status of the document.



Almost in real time, we integrate received electronic documents with any internal management system or accounting system.


Management of Acknowledgments

In accordance with Law 2155, we generate and send acknowledgments of receipt to both the invoice issuer and DIAN to establish the supporting documents for tax deductions.


Electronic Archiving

We store received invoices and their corresponding acknowledgments in a single electronic file with legal value.

Common questions about electronic eInvoicing in Colombia

These questions are extracted from inquiries made by our own clients.

This code enables the unequivocal identification of the invoice, and it also guarantees its integrity. The CUFE is encrypted through a SHA384 algorithm and is made up of data from the invoice and the technical key.

The digital signature is generated through a digital certificate issued by a certification authority accredited by the national accreditation organism (ONAC). EDICOM is authorized by the ONAC as a certification authority for the issuance of electronic certificates like the digital signature.

The RADIAN system was created by the DIAN to commercialize electronic invoices in Colombia. The RADIAN gives them value as a financial asset as long as they are registered and validated through the RADIAN platform. The government expects to facilitate the search and traceability of these documents through its platform.

It is the process applied to electronic invoices, debit notes, and credit notes generated and transmitted to DIAN to verify that they comply with the rules defined by the entity in the technical annex. This process takes place in a matter of seconds, after which the document, along with the validation certificate, is delivered to the buyer, making it a legally valid supporting document.

Resolutions 00020 and 00030 do not mention the reception of invoices; however, an electronic issuer must be capable of receiving electronic invoices.

If there is a communication problem with the DIAN Web Service, it will publish a 500-error message, indicating a service outage. At that point, the option to send the invoice to the acquirer without prior validation is automatically enabled.

The supported legal document is the XML, and all information contained in it must exactly reflect the information published in the graphical representation, the PDF of the invoice.

According to what is established in resolutions 00020 and 00030, the prior validation model will handle approximately 264 validations, including mandatory or optional fields (depending on the nature of the business). When new fields are introduced in the XML, these changes must be reflected in the graphical representation. An example is the NIT verification digit, which is mandatory in the new model for both the issuer and recipient of the electronic invoice.

With the new prior validation model, there is no mention of maximum times. DIAN must respond in real time (synchronous model).

According to the file published by DIAN: "In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 616-1 of the Tax Statute, as amended by Law 1943 of 2018, '...When prior validation of the electronic invoice cannot be carried out due to technological reasons attributable to the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs - DIAN or an authorized provider, the obligated to issue invoices is authorized to deliver the electronic invoice to the acquirer without prior validation. In these cases, the invoice is considered issued upon delivery to the recipient and must be sent to the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs - DIAN or an authorized provider for validation within 48 hours, counted from the moment when the technological problems are resolved. In all cases, the responsibility for delivering the electronic invoice for validation and delivering it to the recipient once validated belongs to the issuer of the invoice.'

The contingency invoice will continue to exist and will be used in cases of technological reasons attributable to the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs - DIAN or an authorized provider.

Electronic invoicing can be carried out:

  • Directly, using software provided by the electronic invoice issuer.
  • Using the free solution provided by DIAN.
  • Through a technology provider authorized by DIAN.

In these cases, the obligated to issue electronic invoices may issue invoices and/or equivalent documents using, among others:

  • Handwritten or paper invoices.
  • Computer-generated invoices.
  • POS machine tickets.

It is necessary to have a valid numbering authorization for the system(s) to be used. Once the issue is resolved, electronic invoicing should be initiated, and the invoices and/or equivalent documents issued during the contingency should be transmitted to DIAN in a generation format (Resolutions 0019, 0055 of 2016, and 000002 of January 3, 2019).

Regarding commercial issues, those obligated to issue electronic invoices must inform DIAN of the commercial reason preventing the issuance of electronic invoices using the petition, complaint, and claim system through the website of the said entity.

Yes, it is necessary to request numbering.

In cases of contingency where electronic invoices cannot be issued due to technological and/or commercial issues of the invoice issuer, they must also have numbering authorization to issue paper or handwritten invoices, computer-generated invoices, and POS machine tickets.

Once the operation is no longer in contingency mode, the electronic invoicer must transmit the electronic invoices issued in a generation format within 48 hours after the end of the contingency.

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