There is a legal requirement that affects every business and that is the need to store the original records of business such as accounts and bank statements, for a period of up to seven years. These have to be available to be inspected by any authority, for example HM Revenue Service, or even for a member of staff who may need information for future planning.
Although these documents can be stored electronically, the legal requirement is that the original document is also stored. These mounds of paperwork that are generated by businesses every year need to be stored not only where they can be accessed, but also in an environment where they are safe from damage or destruction by water or pests.
Our self-storage units at Stop & Store self storage Grimsby are an ideal option if you decide to store your documents off-site from your office, because amongst other reasons, you may not have enough space for this paperwork. A large cross-section of companies such as building surveyors, solicitors and accountants who are legally required to store their paperwork for several years, make use of our facilities.
Our self-storage units are proving a popular choice for companies such as these who tend to generate many records of business that have to be kept safely. Office space is expensive so there is not always any extra space to use for storage and using self-storage units has proved to be a cost effective alternative.
Below are some of the requirements for the storage of archived documents.
Storing Archived Documents storage Grimsby
After an annual audit, the records of a business can be archived. The process of archiving should be put in place by following procedures that make this as straightforward as possible.
Here are some ways to simplify this process:
- After identifying the records of business that need to be archived, put in place a timeline of when it should happen.
- Establish an easily followed system for these records to be stored.
- If they ever need to be retrieved, there needs to be a procedure to follow. Put in place a system for their ultimate destruction after the set number of years they need to be stored.
- If you have decided to use a self-storage facility, equip the unit with shelving and pack the documents in appropriate packaging to protect them.
At Stop & Store self storage Grimsby our self-storage units are a safe and cost-effective solution to the storage of your inactive business records.
Because it is a legal requirement that these archived records be kept accessible and safely, a self-storage unit could be your best option.
There are other factors that can harm your documents while they are in storage which need to be guarded against.
Any source of light will damage your documents by causing them to fade and weakening the paper. This light damage is irreparable, so any storage space must have no sunlight or any UV light coming in. Our storage units have no light except for the fluorescent lights which you control. These units offer a dark environment for storage of documents.
Packing them in boxes will further ensure that they are protected against any light and will remain in good condition for a long time.
Moisture of any kind will destroy archived documents, so a cool, dry environment is essential for them to survive what could be years of storage. Our storage units are cool and dry which will help preserve them. Air circulation around the boxes or shelves where they are kept will also help.
Moisture encourages the formation of mould which is a fungus that will destroy your paperwork by causing it to disintegrate. Check for any signs of moisture in the area where you are intending to store your archives.
Pests will damage your archived records, so a storage facility, whether it is in your office or at a self-storage unit, has to be pest free. The most destructive pests are mice and fish moths, and we check regularly for any pests at our storage facility and have a pest control programme in place.
Legal Requirements for Storing Archived Documents
These are some of the legal requirements to follow when storing archived documents.
- The location where documents are stored needs to be secured by an alarm system.
- A controlled access system needs to be in place that will only allow authorized personnel in.
- If the storage location is on the ground floor, windows need to be secured against possible break-ins.
- These archived files should be clearly labelled and logically filed.
- Ensure that these documents are stored away from any activities that may cause impairment, for example, away from any building activity where they may be damaged by dust.
- Anyone who requires access to these archives should have their details recorded, and if they physically have to remove any papers, this should also be recorded.
Because these documents are important in case they are needed by the tax authorities or by company management they should be looked after in the correct manner as any missing documents could cause problems for the business. So foolproof methods need to be in place for their safekeeping.
Old records from businesses need to be kept safely and still be easily accessible in case tax officials or company management need them. These records take up valuable office space so a cost-effective solution may be to store them off site at a facility that offers the secure, clean environment that is required for their storage.
Our units are clean, dry, and secure, and vary in size from 12 sq ft to 200 sq ft. If you are unsure of the size unit you will need, our handy space calculator will assist you with choosing the perfect sized unit for your purpose. You can hire the space from 1 month to as long as you require, and with controlled 24-hour access, they are ideal for the purpose of storing your archived records.
Contact us on 01472 563120
Stop & Store: Self Storage in Grimsby