Records Retention Schedule

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Records Retention Schedule

Business records should be kept for the period of time determined by a retention schedule based on their useful value to your company and the governing legal requirements. The table below lists typical records for a small business and the recommended storage times.

Document Type

Retention Period

Accounts payable and receivable ledgers 7 years
Audit records 7 years
Bank statements 1 year
Cancelled checks (general) 7 years
Cancelled checks (important payments) Permanently
Capital stock records Permanently
Contracts and leases (after expiration) 7 years
Contracts and leases (still in effect) Permanently
Correspondence (routine) 1 year
Correspondence (general business) 3 years
Correspondence (legal) Permanently
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale Permanently
Depreciation schedules Permanently
Employee personnel records (after termination) 3 years
Employment applications 3 years
Expense analyses and distribution schedules 7 years
Financial statements Permanently
Insurance policies (expired) 3 years
Insurance records Permanently
Invoices to customers 7 years
Invoices from vendors 7 years
IRA and Keogh plan records Permanently
Minute records of directors and stockholders Permanently
Notes receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Option records (expired) 7 years
Payroll records and summaries 7 years
Property appraisals Permanently
Purchase orders (not purchasing department) 1 year
Purchase orders (purchasing department copies) 3 years
Safety records 7 years
Sales records 7 years
Stenographer’s notebooks 1 year
Stock and bond certificates (cancelled) 7 years
Tax returns (relating to income liability) Permanently
Trade mark registrations Permanently

Consult with Your CPA or Financial Advisor

This records retention schedule provides only general quidelines. Consult with your CPA or financial advisor to create a retention and document destruction schedule for your company.



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