What Documents Should Be Placed in Archival Storage

Business files and documents can take up a large amount of valuable space in an office. In today’s electronic world, you wouldn’t think that keeping and storing paper documents would be needed, but that is not the case! There are many electronic storage options for business documents, but it is still required by federal and state laws to keep paper for an allotted period or length of time. These documents could clutter up the filing cabinets, storage closets, and desktops over time in an office. Renting a self storage unit is a great business storage solution for companies that are running out of storage room in their offices.

Where to Store Important Business Documents

Placing furniture in self-storage is especially helpful for catering storage, though restaurants can benefit from it too. While caters may need to bring a variety of tables and chairs to each event, restaurant owners may need somewhere to keep excess furniture throughout the year. Owners may find that different times of the year necessitate more tables, and using storage for restaurants provides a simple place to keep extra furniture when not needed.

Inventory and Supplies

It is recommended to store business documents in a climate controlled storage unit to provide an added layer of protection. Also, since you may be storing sensitive employee and business records, you need to choose a storage facility that offers security measures including computerized gate and building access and video surveillance. Once you decide to place your overflowing business documents into storage, you will need to make sure that you have the proper supplies for storing the files. It is important to have sturdy boxes for storing. If you do not fill up the entire box with your files, add filler material to the box. If you plan on archiving the documents in storage for a longer period of time, it would be a good idea to add shelving units and possibly filing cabinets for archival storage.

What Important Business Papers Should You Keep

Federal and state laws require the retention of specific business documents ranging from accounting records to personnel records. Companies should be saving these types of documents either on-site or in off-site storage:

Accounting Records: Financial statements, income tax returns, payroll tax returns, general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable records, expense reports, charge and cash slips, bank deposits and income tax withholdings.

Corporate Records: Fixed Asset Reports, plans and blueprints, property appraisals and internal audit records.

Human Resources and Payroll: Employee W-2 Forms, Worker’s Compensation benefits, payroll records, attendance records, medical benefits, payroll checks, and personnel records.

How Long Should a Business Save Documents?

Every business should have the types of documents listed above, but how long should these documents be stored? According to federal and state laws, certain business documents need to be stored permanently and some can be retained for as little as two years. Business files for the past two years should be kept within the office and then stored outside the office after that time. All corporate and fixed asset records need to be retained permanently. Accounting records such as financial statements, check registers, general ledgers and income tax returns should be kept permanently as well. Other accounting documents such as accounts payable or receivables, bank statements, expense reports or charge and cash slips can be deposed of (shredding is recommended) after seven years.

Using a self storage unit is a great solution for document storage. Keeping archived business files stored in a self storage unit will keep your office space un-cluttered and reduce stress levels.