How long do you have to keep (old) accounting records in Belgium?


In Belgium, every company is obligated to keep its accounts for 7 years. Those 7 years start as soon as the taxable period for the documents in question has ended. Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or a company, the rules are the same for everyone.


Which documents do you have to keep? 

We could include a list of all mandatory documents to be kept here, but that makes little sense for an SME. The best option is to keep track of everything. If you still want a detailed overview, you can take a look at the resources below.


You keep your actual accounts in its original form, either electronically or on paper. For the linked supporting documents in your accounts, the documents on which each entry is based, it is also permitted to keep copies and statements. For example, think of a duplicate of a purchase invoice.

When can you throw away or delete your old accounting documents?

In principle, you can throw away your old accounts after 7 years, but even then it is not smart to just do that. Unless you have a very good reason to throw everything away, it is advisable not to. Even after the closure or bankruptcy of your business, it is better to keep all documents, for as long as you can.

Why should you keep your accounts and documents for longer?

The main reason to keep your accounting for longer is to keep an insight into the complete evolution of your company. By keeping the data of all your financial years, you can see the complete statistics of your accounting at any time.


Of course, the figures from 7 years ago are often not essential for the continuation of your company. Still, it is useful to be able to retrieve such figures and comparisons. For example, you celebrate an anniversary year and plan to give a presentation on the evolution of the company; the perfect time to show those old figures again.


In AXITO you can keep your accounts for as long as you want, at no extra cost. There is no limit on the number of financial years to be kept. There are even customers who have 20 years (!) of accounts in their file.