The entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter GDPR) in 2018 has given many entrepreneurs sleepless nights. These European regulations lay out the rules for the processing of personal data by both private companies and government bodies. But what about invoicing? Which rules do you have to take into account? We’ll break it down for you.
According to the GDPR legislation, personal data is any data that can be traced back to a specific and identifiable person. A lot of personal data is stated on an invoice. For example, you can find specific names or account numbers on it. Consequently, the GDPR also applies to invoicing.
What data can I process?
According to the GDPR, you may only process personal data if you have valid justification for doing so. This justification is easy to provide for the processing of personal data on an invoice. You process the personal data to comply with a legal obligation. The law not only determines when you must draw up an invoice, but also what information you must state on an invoice.
In addition, according to these regulations, you may not keep the personal data longer than necessary. Here too, the law come to your aid. Accounting documents, including your invoices, must be kept for seven years (Economic Law Code).
A slight mishap can happen quickly!
Quickly adding a list of email addresses to the recipients of you newsletter. It seems very innocent, but you also violate the GDPR regulations. You may not use the data you have collected for drawing up invoices for other purposes, including your newsletter. You may only use the personal data for invoicing and payment follow-up. To send a newsletter you need a separate specific ‘opt-in’.
A prepared man is worth two
As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for demonstrating that you comply with all privacy rules. You must register this information in a processing register. If a person concerned asks you why and for what purpose you have processed his or her personal data or how long you keep the data, you will quickly find the answers.