Please update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now
Summary dated 1 September 2021 of the essential legal provisions regarding the retention periods of your archives.
|Documents||Minimum retention period (2)||Format||Start date of retention period||Act|
|7 years||Original (paper or electronic copy)(3) or copy(4)||As from January 1st of the year following the end of the financial year||Article III.88 of the Code of Economic Law and article 8 of the Royal Decree implementing articles III.82 to III.95 of the Code of Economic Law|
these are the documents serving as evidence towards third parties. It concerns the documents on which the entries are based (1)
|7 years||original or copy||As from January 1st of the year following the end of the financial year||Article III.86 of the Code of Economic Law|
Documents not serving as evidence towards third parties
these are documents not demonstrating a direct relationship with third parties (1)
|3 years||original or copy||As from January 1st of the year following the end of the financial year||Article III.86 of the Code of Economic Law|
Although we have composed this list with much care, Merak N.V. cannot be held responsible for any errors or any changes made to legislation.
(1) NPOs must also fulfil this obligation (article III.88 Code of Economic Law applies to “enterprises” which comprises NPOs pursuant to article I.1, 1° Code of Economic Law)..
(2) The Committee for Accounting Standards set out in its advice no. 6/1 (Bulletin CBN April 1981, no. 8) that all companies must adhere to a suitable archiving policy and that some situations, such as a pending legal procedure, the importance of the documents, etc., may mean that documents must be retained longer.
(3) Article 4 of the Royal Decree of 21 October 2018 implementing articles III.82 to III.95 of the Code of Economic Law provides that the used carrier has to guarantee the invariability and accessibility of the data that are registered on it during the entire imposed retention period. The (solely) electronic accounts must as such adhere to the same conditions with regard to completeness, timeliness, continuity, regularity and invariance as paper accounts. For the storage of electronic accounts it is required that the programs and systems with which these files are read must also be kept for the minimum retention period. Companies not keeping accounts electronically are still allowed to use paper accounts.
(4) Article 4 of the Royal Decree of 21 October 2018 implementing articles III.82 to III.95 of the Code of Economic Law provides that the original must be kept of (i) the single ledger, (ii) the general ledger within the meaning of article III.83 of the Code of Economic Law, (iii) the three ledgers within the meaning of article III.85, §1 of this Code, (iv) the single ledger within the meaning of article III.85, §2 of this Code, and (v) the inventory ledger within the meaning of article III.89, §1 of this Code. Of the other books either the original or a copy must be kept.