Records Retention in Tampa: Understanding the Basics
If you’re confused as to how long records should be stored for, not to worry as you are not alone! Unfortunately, it seems that records retention policies are often applied incorrectly, and as a result, Tampa companies are put at risk, while spending more than necessary. At BRM, we want to help clarify this misleading information, and explain to you the general details of records retention.
Retention Periods Differ
Records retention periods are based on company needs and legal requirements. There are numerous factors that play a role in the duration your records must be stored for:
- State and federal legislation
- The category and type of record
- Whether it is considered public or private business ownership status
Knowing and understanding your retention responsibilities as a Tampa business owner, will significantly help in reducing the risk of legal exposure and/or data breach to your company.
Certain Records Are Permanent
Many companies implement a seven-year, default retention period as a timeframe for their collection of records. While this is considered an appropriate guideline for certain records like your bank statements and accounts payable/receivable documents, there are other documents that must be stored permanently. These include:
- Annual financial statements
- Audit reports
- Benefit plans
- Business licenses
- Employee W-2 forms
- Real estate purchase records
These permanent records need a safe, secure, and dependable solution for long-term storage. A professional records storage provider such as Business Records Management Inc. in Tampa will conveniently store and protect your sensitive records for as long as the required time period.
Our state-of-the-art records storage facility features industry leading security systems to enhance overall protection. In fact, your records will remain secure in a fire-resistant, alarmed, and monitored vicinity, at all times. While access is strictly controlled for your safety, this does not affect your ability to obtain records. You’ll have regular, ongoing access to your records whenever desired, should you need to review, or retrieve a particular document.
Not all Records Require Saving Forever
While some documents are permanent, not every record requires permanent storage. In fact, your Tampa business could be faced with legal consequences just by storing information longer than necessary. To prevent this potential issue, it’s highly recommended you securely shred all records once they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle. BRM will provide your Tampa business with document shredding solutions following the end of the storage period.
Remember that a written records retention policy is essential for any company. Before finalizing your retention policy, it’s best to consult with your attorney. To ensure your records retention policy is in line with legislation and meets compliance standards, have your legal counsel review your records retention policy at least twice a year.
BRM provides records storage and management solutions for organizations in Tampa. For additional information, please get in touch with us today; we are happy to help!
Contact us at 1-888-896-6222