Ways to store corporate documentation


It is the responsibility of every entrepreneur to keep company documentation in its original form for a statutory period. It is important that it is located at the company's headquarters or branch. This mainly applies to the adopted accounting principles, accounting or tax books, accounting and inventory evidence and financial statements. The entrepreneur must also protect the documents against damage or destruction, unauthorized changes or unauthorized dissemination.

Storage of documentation in electronic form

National law provides for the electronic storage of company records. However, it is worth remembering about regular backups. It is also important that the computer where the documents will be stored is protected against viruses. It is also advisable to have a device that allows you to reproduce the data in the form of a printout at any time. In electronic form, the entrepreneur may archive:

  • accounting or tax books,
  • accounting vouchers,
  • copies of cash documents,
  • inventory documents,
  • Financial Statements,
  • payroll.

Electronic storage is also possible for all copies of documents originally created in this form, e.g. bank statements, posting orders and tax returns.

Storage of corporate records for tax purposes

The category of tax documents includes invoices and bills, documentation related to tax collection and collection, as well as tax books. The entrepreneur is obliged to store them for 5 years from the end of the year in which the tax liability became statute-barred. A person who does not comply with this obligation may be punished with a fine, which in extreme cases may amount to even several dozen thousand zlotys.

Storing company documentation - ZUS documentation

When running a business, an entrepreneur is required to register as a contribution payer with the Social Insurance Institution. The regulations do not specify the time for which, inter alia, documents confirming registration and confirming the right to settle contributions for employed persons. Due to the fact that the indicated documents should be presented during the inspection, it has been assumed that they should be archived throughout the entire period of running the business.

However, for the period of 10 years from the date of sending to ZUS, the following should be stored:

  • settlement declarations,
  • personal monthly reports,
  • corrections.

This also applies to copies of documents sent in paper and electronic form. On the other hand, proofs of payment confirming costs incurred and entitlement to a pension should be kept until tax liabilities are time-barred or until pension rights are certified by ZUS.

Employee documentation - storage

From 2019, the storage time for employee files will be reduced from 50 to 10 years. This is guaranteed by the Act of January 10, 2018 on the amendment of certain acts in connection with the shortening of the storage period for employee files and their electronicisation.

Regulations valid until 2019

According to the provisions on pensions from the Social Insurance Fund, employee documentation, along with documents relating to employment and remuneration, should be kept for a period of 50 years from the date of termination of work by the insured person with a given payer.

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Regulations in force from 2019

The main changes introduced by the Act of 10/01/2018 (amending certain acts) are

  • replacing the phrase "documentation in matters related to the employment relationship and employees' personal files" with the phrase "employee documentation",
  • adding a penalty for non-compliance with the required documentation retention time,
  • giving equivalence, the same legal value of electronic and employee documentation - both forms of storage are equally important,
  • shortening the storage time for employee files from 50 to 10.

The period of storage of employee files is:

    • for employees employed from 01/01/2019 - 10 years, and the information on employment of employees, needed to determine benefits from ZUS, should be sent to ZUS in the monthly report,

    • for employees employed between 1999 and 2019 - 10 years, if the employer sends an information report to ZUS,

    • for employees employed before 1999 - 50 years.

The shortening of the period of keeping the documentation will be possible thanks to the transfer to the Social Insurance Institution of all the necessary data on the basis of which the entitlement to the selected benefit and its amount will be determined. This data will be sent via a new information report and saved on the insured person's account.

Employee documentation can be kept both on paper and in electronic form (e-files). In the case of e-files, the documentation should be kept in a manner that guarantees its confidentiality, integrity, completeness and availability, in conditions that do not threaten to damage or destroy during the period of employment, as well as for a period of 10 years after its termination.

The change of the form of employee documentation from paper to electronic takes place by making a digital representation, e.g. a scan, and affixing it with a qualified electronic signature or a qualified electronic seal of the employer or a qualified electronic signature of a person authorized by the employer, confirming the compliance of the digital representation with the paper document.

The change in the form of employee documentation from electronic to paper takes place by making a printout and affixing it with the signature of the employer or a person authorized by him, confirming the compliance of the printout with the electronic document.