clear markdown help donate comments/suggestions/bugs a leap of faith?
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CREATE TABLE customers ( id int NOT NULL, company varchar(255), first_name varchar(255) default NULL, last_name varchar(255) default NULL, PRIMARY KEY (id) ); CREATE TABLE transactions ( id int NOT NULL, form_type varchar(255) default NULL, customer_id int default NULL, due decimal default NULL, PRIMARY KEY (id) ); INSERT INTO customers (id, company, first_name, last_name) VALUES (1, 'MDD', 'T', 'H'), (2, 'Aliance Magnet A LLP', 'A', 'Wilkinson'), (3, 'MAF', 'C', 'G'), (4, 'QL', 'F', 'B'), (5, 'ARL', 'S', 'P'), (6, 'Q Corp.', 'H', 'H'), (7, 'VQDA', 'L', 'W'), (8, 'AESC', 'E', 'W'), (9, 'Placement Incorporated', 'C', 'Mendez'), (10, 'Numpties United', 'Y', 'Cunningham'); INSERT INTO transactions (id, form_type, customer_id, due) VALUES (1, 'invoice', 9, 1.08), (2, 'payment', 1, 6.32), (3, 'invoice', 7, 9.42), (4, 'payment', 9, 3.58), (5, 'invoice', 7, 5.35), (6, 'payment', 3, 5.42), (7, 'invoice', 9, 5.32), (8, 'invoice', 9, 9.62), (9, 'invoice', 10, 1.40), (10, 'invoice', 2, 3.72);
10 rows affected
10 rows affected

SELECT t.id AS trans_id, c.id AS customer_id, c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name, t.due FROM ( SELECT DISTINCT c.* FROM customers AS c JOIN transactions AS t ON t.customer_id = c.id WHERE t.due > 0 AND t.form_type = 'invoice' ORDER BY c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name LIMIT 3 ) AS c JOIN transactions AS t ON t.customer_id = c.id WHERE t.due > 0 AND t.form_type = 'invoice' ORDER BY c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name;
trans_id customer_id company first_name last_name due
10 2 Aliance Magnet A LLP A Wilkinson 3.72
9 10 Numpties United Y Cunningham 1.40
1 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 1.08
7 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 5.32
8 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 9.62

SELECT t.id AS trans_id, c.id AS customer_id, c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name, t.due FROM ( SELECT DISTINCT c.* FROM customers AS c JOIN transactions AS t ON t.customer_id = c.id WHERE t.due > 0 AND t.form_type = 'invoice' ORDER BY c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name LIMIT 3 ) AS c JOIN transactions AS t ON t.customer_id = c.id -- WHERE t.due > 0 AND t.form_type = 'invoice' ORDER BY c.company, c.first_name, c.last_name;
trans_id customer_id company first_name last_name due
10 2 Aliance Magnet A LLP A Wilkinson 3.72
9 10 Numpties United Y Cunningham 1.40
1 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 1.08
4 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 3.58
7 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 5.32
8 9 Placement Incorporated C Mendez 9.62