Legally required retention times of your documents

Retention times of the different types of archives and documents.

For how many years do you have to keep invoices, account statements, personnel register and more? In the tables below you will find the legal retention period for your accounting, tax and social, company law and legal archives.

Accounting documents


Type of documentRetention periodStart of the retention period

Original accounting books: non-split diary, central book and inventory book

7 yearsFrom 1 January of the year following closing

Supporting documents (original or copy): documents that serve as the basis for all accounting processes. They can serve as proof to third parties.

7 yearsFrom 1 January of the year following closing
Documents which are not used as proof for third parties: these are documents which do not show the existence of direct relations with third parties7 yearsFrom 1 January of the year following closing

Tax documents

Type of documentRetention periodStart of retention period

For tax income: all books and documents that are necessary for determining the taxable income.
E.g. documents justifying the bills, documents relating to cadastral income, documents prepared for professional purposes such as wage documents, social security, contracts, vouchers of order and delivery, receipt books, supporting documents of any kind, any other document that can used to determine taxable income.

These documents must be kept in the original format.

7 yearsFrom the taxable period (tax year) to which the documents refer

For VAT: books, invoices (incoming and outgoing) and other documents required by VAT (supporting documents, investment table).

Documents must be kept in their original format. So if these are electronic invoices, the technology used must guarantee the authenticity of the origin and the integrity of the content of the invoices.

7 yearsFrom 1 January of the year following closing

Automated systems: information media and programs for viewing the documents above

7 yearsFrom 1 January following the date the documents were drafted or issued

Original invoices or documents relating to intra-Community acquisitions of goods or purchases abroad.

7 yearsFrom 1 January following the date the documents were drafted or issued

Original extracts from accounts of financial institutions, tax statements and receipts, quotations, inventory, detailed invoices and delivery notes to which the invoice refers.

7 yearsFrom 1 January following the date the documents were drafted or issued

Social contribution and insurance documents

Type of documentRetention periodStart of retention period

Staff register and dedicated personnel registers

5 year

From the day of the start of the first registered employee

Student contracts, professional contracts, contracts for working from home.

5 year

From the employee's starting date

Copy of the accounting framework for each quarterly declaration to the RSZ.

5 year

From the deadline for sending the declaration

ONSS documents: DIMONA notification from the ONSS, documents for work assistance.

5 year

From the receipt of the DIMONA announcement

Individual account + appendices (individual identification sheets, payslips, ...)

5 year

From the day the financial statements are closed

Medical file (in original format).

15 year 

From the employee's starting date

Documents related to early retirement: statements of deductions due in case of early retirement, statement of contributions due by the employer + supporting documents.

3 year

From sending the statement to the ONP

Working hours and deviations from the normal working hours of part-time workers.

5 year

From the day the person starts working part-time in the company

Work regulations

As long as employees are employed

Data sheets on accidents at work

10 year or more

From the date of the accident and 10 years after the employee's departure

Company law documents

Type of documentRetention timeStart of retention time

Company archives, notes of ordinary or extraordinary general meetings, reports of managers or statutory auditors, attendance lists during meetings, etc.

5 year

During the lifetime of the company and 5 years after the closing date of the liquidation

Share registers, bonds, profit shares, ...

5 year

During the lifetime of the company and 5 years after the closing date of the liquidation

Legal documents


Type of documentRetention timeStart retention time

Documents related to legal actions: movable and real estate actions..

30 year

As long as the promotion is not prescribed and 30 years later

Documents related to personal promotions.

30 year

As long as the promotion is not prescribed and 30 years later

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