All types of businesses use self storage for extra storage needs. Self storage is a great storage option for offices, contractors, and sales representatives. If papers, business documents and files are stacked up on desks and workspaces, leaving less space for your employees to actually work, then it is a sign that you are running out of storage space in your office. It is time to gather your documents and find a document storage solution at an off-site storage facility. Self storage and business storage work hand-in-hand. Storing documents in self storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity!
When choosing a self storage facility to store your documents, make sure to pick one that is close to you. If you need to access the stored files, you do not want to drive across town. If you store employee and business records, it is very important to pick a storage facility with very good security measures including video surveillance, computerized gate access and strong locks!
How Long Should A Business Keep Documents in Storage?
Federal and state laws require the retention of certain types of business documents either on-site or in a storage unit. Accounting records such as financial statements, income tax returns, payroll tax returns, general ledgers, expense reports, bank deposits and income tax withholding should be stored permanently at the office, business or a storage unit. Corporate records such as fixed asset reports, plans and blueprints, property appraisals and internal audits should also be stored permanently at the office or in a storage unit. Human Resources and Payroll Records including W-2 forms, worker’s compensation benefits, payroll records, attendance records, medical benefits, payroll checks and personnel records should be stored for at least seven years.
Business Document Storage Tips
After you have decided to store your business documents in a self storage unit, there are a few things to keep in mind as you are preparing your boxes and storage units.
- Make sure that you have the proper moving and packing supplies when you are packing your business document. When packing the business documents in boxes, fill the boxes up to the top and then add filler material. Do not over stuff the boxes. Also, do not use newspaper as filler as the print can rub off on the documents. Plain newsprint paper or bubble wrap are good filler materials.
- Raise the document boxes off of the ground on pallets, wood, plastic sheeting or cardboard. Using shelving units and filing cabinets will also help reduce the mess and clutter of business documents.
- If you plan on archiving the business documents in storage for a long period of time, add shelving units and possibly filing cabinets for archival storage. For extra security, store the documents in locked file cabinets or fire safes.
- Place the boxes with the oldest business documents and files towards the back of the storage unit. Place the boxes with files that you might need to access more frequently towards the front of your storage unit.
- Label every box with the contents. Create a numbering system for your stored boxes that you can put into a spreadsheet for cross-checking. This will also make it easier to find the documents that you need to access.
- Follow the proper guidelines for how long business documents should be stored. The IRS has a great site with tips on how long you should keep certain documents and files.