An outstanding invoice can expire. This means that after a certain time you can no longer enforce through the courts that your debtor pays the claim. The limitation period differs per country. Do you conduct business abroad? Then keep an eye on the international limitation periods. This way you prevent your claim from expiring.

Limitation and interruption abroad

In the table below, you will find the limitation period for invoices and court judgments for a number of European countries. You can also see whether it is possible to stop the limitation period and whether this can then be done extrajudicially or even legally. In some countries you can only stop the limitation period by starting legal proceedings.

CountryInvoice limitation periodLimitation period for the judgement*Interruption possibility**
Netherlands5 years20 yearsYes, pre-legal
Belgium5 years10 yearsYes, pre-legal
Germany3 years30 yearsYes, only judicial
UK6 years6 yearsNo
France5 years10 yearsYes, only judicial
Italy10 years10 yearsYes, pre-legal
Poland2 years10 yearsYes, only judicial
Spain15 years5 yearsYes, pre-legal
Portugal20 years20 yearsYes, pre-legal
Turkey5 years10 yearsYes, only judicial

* These are general limitation periods.

** These interrupt options are open or not, depending on the agreement concluded between parties.

Read also:

Advice on the limitation and interruption of a limitation period

Do you have an outstanding invoice? Do you want to prevent your invoice from expiring? Or do you have questions about the limitation and / or interruption of a claim? Then please contact us. Our specialists are happy to help you ensure that your invoice is still paid.