Plastic deformation of sheet metals during forming induces complex residual stresses in the component owing to its geometry and material anisotropy. The residual stresses affect the durability of the components. Fatigue life estimation incorporating the forming-induced residual stresses is limited. In the present work, the state-of-the-art in modelling sheet metal forming, residual stress estimation and fatigue life prediction are reviewed. The challenges in integrating the residual stress owing to forming and fatigue life prediction are brought out. The parameters influencing the sheet metal forming, residual stresses and fatigue are discussed to emphasize the complexity of the present problem. © IMechE 2012.