The Important Records You Need To Keep In Business
One of the most important things you need to do as a business owner is to make sure that you are keeping all the relevant records that you need to. There are many of these to focus on, some of which are legal requirements and some of which you might just choose to have for your own reasons, or for the sake of making running your business easier. In this article, we are going to take a look at the most important records you should think about keeping in your business, to satisfy both of those ends.
Although it might not be technically a legal requirement to keep information about your clients, it is advisable. You should ideally keep information on who the client was, what work you did for them, what you charged and what necessary expenses there were. It’s also handy to include their contact details here, for ease of finding them again in future. You might even be able to get more work with them this way.
We mentioned expenses briefly there as part of client files, but really they are their own category too, and hugely important to keep on top of. This is a tax concern, so in order to remain HMRC compliant you will need to keep a log of all of your business expenses, right down to the smallest thing. It’s in your interest, anyway, as most expenses are something you can claim as tax relief. Good expenses management is often the difference between being in the black or the red at the end of the fiscal year, so make sure you stay on top of these records.
If you hire at least one employee, you need to keep records in their HR file. There are a few vital pieces of information you need to keep here in particular: their applications, their right to work information, including visas as necessary, their contracts, and contact details to name but a few. Having this makes dealing with them easier, and keeps you legal when it comes to employment law.
There are a few business items that you should keep. When you first incorporate your business, Companies House will send you a certificate of incorporation – you should keep that, along with any other Companies House filings and trademarks that you may have. You should also include here any minutes for meetings that you may hold.
Dissolution & Long-Term Records
Even after you dissolve and strike off a company, you still need to keep all the necessary company records listed above for seven years. This is a legal requirement, so you should make sure not to overlook it. Doing so could land you in trouble should you need to produce it further down the line, and it generally makes life easier for you anyway just to have it on hand.
As you can see, there are many records you should aim to keep. Be sure not to get caught out with any of these.
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