A devis (or quote) is a legal requirement in the building sector and for breakdown/ repair/ maintenance work in the electrical goods sector where the cost of the work is to exceed €150 (including taxes). 

Generally speaking, a devis will be free, but the law does allow for it to be billed. If this is the case, the professional must inform the client of this cost beforehand. 

The devis must legally carry a certain number of components: 

• The date on which the devis was made. 

• The name and address of the professional. 

• The name and address of the client. 

• The location where the work will be carried out. 

• A detailed breakdown of the work to be carried out and the products necessary to do this work. 

• The amount due with taxes included (prix TTC - Toutes Taxes Comprises), as well as the pre-tax price (prix HT – Hors Taxes) and VAT (TVA) charged. 

A devis is only valid for certain period of time, meaning that the offer (for both the work covered and the price) is no longer valid after this date. If the deadline has expired, you must ask for a new devis. 

When a client signs a devis, it becomes a binding document. It represents an agreement between the two parties to perform the work specified at the agreed price. As a result, a client who subsequently refuses to have the work carried out runs the risk of being asked for compensation by the professional. If the professional, on the other hand, asks for more money and does not have a signed devis to that effect, he runs the risk of the client refusing to pay. 

If, during the process of the work, the professional realises that the nature of the work or the overall price may vary (for example, in a building project when walls hidden beneath panelling are found to be in a worse state than anticipated), he must inform the client and get their agreement before carrying out any extra work. Similarly, if a client asks for further work not specified on the original devis, it is again preferable to sign a second devis to that effect.