12 December 2023

10 Documents Every Business Leader Should Havephysic Physical Copies of

By Ronald Smith

As a business leader, it’s crucial to keep important documents on hand. I’ve compiled a list of 10 essential documents that you should always have physical copies of. These documents are vital to your business’s smooth operation and can help you navigate any challenges that may arise.

1. Business License: This document shows that you have the legal authority to operate your business. Keep a physical copy in case you need to provide proof to clients, partners, or government agencies.

2. Incorporation Documents: If your business is incorporated, keep a physical copy of the articles of incorporation and any other relevant documents. These papers establish your business’s legal structure and are necessary for important transactions.

3. Tax Returns: It’s crucial to keep physical copies of your business’s tax returns. These documents provide a record of your financial history and are essential for audits or disputes with tax authorities.

4. Contracts: Physical copies of contracts are essential for reference and dispute resolution. Whether it’s a client agreement, vendor contract, or partnership agreement, having a physical copy ensures you have all the details at your fingertips.

5. Insurance Policies: Keep hard copies of your business’s insurance policies. These documents outline the coverage you have and are vital in the event of a claim or dispute with your insurer.

6. Employee Records: Physical copies of employee records are necessary for various purposes, such as verifying employment, addressing legal issues, or providing documentation for government requirements.

7. Permits and Licenses: If your business requires permits or licenses to operate, keep physical copies of these documents. They serve as proof that you are in compliance with local regulations and can be essential in dealing with authorities.

8. Bank Statements: Physical copies of bank statements provide a record of your business’s financial transactions. They are useful for budgeting, tax preparation, and tracking expenses.

9. Intellectual Property Documents: If your business has registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents, keep physical copies of these documents. They prove your ownership and can protect your intellectual property rights.

10. Business Plan: Your business plan is a roadmap for success. Keeping a physical copy allows you to revisit your goals, track progress, and make necessary adjustments as you grow.

Remember, having physical copies of these documents ensures that you have quick and easy access to vital information when you need it most. Take the time to organize and maintain these records, as they are the backbone of your business’s success.

10 Documents Every Business Leader Should Havephysic Physical Copies of

In today’s business world, everything seems to be going digital. From receipts to bank statements, it’s all stored online. It’s natural to wonder if physical copies of documents are even necessary anymore. However, there are still some important documents that should exist in both physical and digital form.

So, I asked a group of successful entrepreneurs about this, and they shared their thoughts on the matter. I wanted to know what document they believe should always have a physical copy, even in this digital age. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Articles of Incorporation

I think it’s really important to have a physical copy of the articles of incorporation for my business. Even though the state technically has it on file, having it in my hands is the only way I can prove that I actually own the business. This is crucial in case there’s ever a question about ownership or if I need to access important information for banks or government agencies. – Richard Fong, ABCDreamUSA.com

2. Business Certifications

You should definitely make sure you have physical copies of the certifications and licenses that your business needs to operate. Some places, like food preparation or manufacturing facilities, require specific certifications. If these documents disappear in the digital world, you could potentially violate regulations. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

3. Tax Documents

I believe it’s really important to have access to your tax documents in various formats. You never know when you might need a physical copy of your tax return, especially in an emergency situation. – Daisy Jing, Banish

4. Keeping Passwords Safe

I think the best approach is to keep your master passwords offline and store them in secure or hidden places. If you keep a digital copy, there’s a risk of your password list ending up ‘out in the wild.’ It’s better to take a more traditional approach and keep them securely locked away in the physical world. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

5. Importance of Contracts and Permits

Have you heard about cloud computing? Instead of keeping important documents in your office, they’re stored on servers all around the world. It’s pretty cool, right? But even with all the benefits, there’s something I want to talk to you about. You see, there are some documents that you just can’t rely on the cloud for. Contracts and permits, for example, need to have physical backups.

6. Your Business License

Nowadays, a lot of companies only have their business license and other important documents in digital format. It’s convenient, but it can be risky. You never know when electronic systems might fail. Plus, some regulations actually require you to keep physical copies on hand. And here’s a neat little bonus: having your business license displayed shows your customers and employees that you mean business.

7. Your Business Plan

When you move your business files, it’s important to have a physical copy of your business plan close by. Your business plan is like a map that shows how your brand will grow and how to move forward step by step. It’s crucial to keep it safe and have a backup copy just in case something happens during the file transfer.

8. Awards and Diplomas

Not only should you keep hard copies of tax documents, employee contracts, and other agreements, but don’t forget to keep hard copies of any awards or diplomas you’ve received! Having a framed diploma as a visual reminder of your achievements is a great way to impress your clients and remind yourself of how amazing you are. You can even choose certificate frames that match your office colors for an extra special touch.

9. Insurance Documents

When you decide to move your information and documents to the cloud, it’s important to make sure you have backups of your most important financial records and insurance documents. These are the kinds of things that could cause serious damage if they were to fall into the wrong hands in the event of a security breach or data loss. While other aspects of your business plan can be recreated easily in multiple places, it’s crucial to store your finances and insurance as hard copies in a secure location.

10. Business Operating Agreements

It’s always a smart move to have physical copies of important business documents. For example, in many states, it’s a legal requirement to keep a physical copy of your operating agreement if your business is set up as an LLC. Additionally, it’s a good idea to hold physical copies of your business licenses and permits to ensure that you are in compliance with applicable regulations.