11 Important Business Documents You Should Always Keep
There are certain business documents that are required by law for you to keep on hand for your business and others that are just best practice to hang on to. Making sure you have efficient document management methods and tools can help ensure you have them in place when you need them.
What Are Business Documents?
Reference.com defines business documents as the files a company has related to transactions that are both internal and external and they may be either electronic or physical. Business documents can serve many purposes such as keeping you compliant, providing governance, protecting your organization’s integrity, and other reasons.
However, it can be difficult to figure out which documents you should keep and which you can discard. As a guideline, we’ve compiled this list of some of the most important business documents you should keep on hand at your organization.
Important Business Documents You Should Keep
Document #1 Invoices
Make sure all client invoices are placed among your business documents so you have them all in one place for reference if there are any questions about billing for services.
Document #2 Confidentiality Agreements
All of the confidentiality agreements that were signed by any employees or contractors that may have access to sensitive information should be kept as well.
Document #3 Employment Agreements
Any employees you hire will also provide documentation that shows the terms of their position and employment, including a job description, salary, conditions, etc. This should be kept with your important business documents.
Document #4 Contractor Agreements
Independent contractors will also sign similar documentation as employees that should be kept for your business. Documents for contractors will include who owns the work that is completed as well as the other conditions set forth.
Document #5 Partnership Agreements
Make sure you have your partnership agreements on hand that spell out who owns what percentage of the business and the profit and loss division.
Document #6 Company Bylaws
You’ll want to make sure you keep a copy of your company bylaws or operating agreement, depending on your business structure.
Document #7 Vendor Agreement
Your vendor agreements should be part of your collection of business documents so that you have access to the terms and conditions of all of your vendor relationships.
Document #8 Business Registration
You’ll also want to make sure you have your business registration documents that specify what kind of business you are registered as, such as LLC, Partnership, C Corporation, or Sole Proprietorship.
Document #9 Privacy Policies
Document #10 Project Contracts
Make sure all of your project contracts are also part of your collection of business documents so you don’t have to worry about whether your clients will question the scope and parameters of the project.
Document #11 Business License
Wherever your business is located, it is possible that you need a business license or permit to operate. So, whether you’re starting a new business or already have an existing business, best sure you keep all the above-mentioned documents.
Now that you have an idea of some of the major business documents you should keep on hand, let’s explore the best way to store and manage them. Document management, according to The Balance Small Business, is defined as having all of your business documents handled in a way that they can be shared, stored, organized, and even created in an efficient manner. There are dedicated document management systems that can help you with such tasks. Some can digitize your physical documents if that’s how you plan to handle them as well.
Another solution to document management is to employ an all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) tool that includes enhanced document management capabilities to store all of your business documents.
Agile CRM is one such solution that could help you organize these documents so you could access them in one location or, for documents related to your employees or vendors, you could access from the contact data. It can allow you to easily attach relevant documents to deals, contacts, companies, and emails in the CRM itself, making everything accessible right with your sales and marketing tool.
Collecting and storing these business documents in a central location for easy access and upload is going to help you protect the interests of your business. This list will help you collect the most relevant documents that you should have on hand. Implementing an effective document management system such as a CRM solution will help keep them organized.
If you would like to see if Agile CRM is a good fit to store your business documents, give it a try for free for your first 10 users.