Records Management Guidelines Under Colombian Law

Colombian legal entities have the duty to preserve their records for at least ten (10) years.

Colombian legal entities have the duty to preserve their records for at least ten years

Books and commercial documentation must be kept for such period which is counted from the date of the last record, document or receipt issued. Recording can be in paper or in any technical or technological tool capable of guarantying the exact reproduction of said books and commercial documentation.

Article 60 of the Colombian Commercial Code, which is applicable to corporate, accounting, and financial matters, set forth:

“Commercial documentation and accounting records preservation: The books and papers referred to in this chapter, must be kept for at least ten (10) years, counted from the closing of such books and papers or the date of the last entry, document or receipt. Once this period has elapsed, they may be destroyed by the company, assuring that by any adequate technical tool the company guarantees their exact reproduction”.

There are special provisions related to this matter:

  • Legal entities in liquidation: liquidator of a legal entity must keep the liquidation documents for a period of five (5) years, counted from the approval of the final liquidation account.
  • Labor and human resources documentation: labor documents containing (i) medical and health data of employees; (ii) results of monitoring and control programs for occupational safety and health risks; (iii) records of activities for training in education and occupational safety and health matters, and (iv) records of the supply of personal protection elements and equipment, must be kept for at least twenty (20) years counted from the end of the work relationship.
  • Sales and production documentation: when goods, products or services are traded through non-traditional communication channels (such as web pages and electronic platforms), laws and regulations require the producer, distributor and/or seller to maintain adequate support mechanisms for the records, that includes the entire commercial relationship with consumers or end-users for at least ten (10) years.

This guide is for illustrative purposes, does not entail a legal opinion, and no reliance should be placed on its content.

For further information please contact César Barrero Berardinelli (Partner) and Martín Escobar (Director)