File storage – but for how long?
No room in the office, but you still have to store all the bills, contracts and files on paper? As a matter of fact, all accounting documents and records are subject to a statutory (obligatory) storage period of 7 years. This period begins with the end of the calendar year in which the transaction takes place or the documents are received. This means that bills and records from 2017 can only be disposed of on January 1st, 2025. Some properties are even subject to a statutory storage requirement of up to 12 or 23 years. More information on this is available Federal Ministry of Finance.
You can read more about the retention periods of private and other important documents chamber of labour. After a few years of standard business activities, an office can quickly fill up with documents and files end up all over the place. In order to prevent this, we recommend putting all the documents and files you no longer need into storage. After all, your office isn’t a storeroom – but what do you need to consider when placing your documents in storage? Here are some useful tips on file storage.
Storing documents properly
As a business owner, not only are you legally required to store your accounting records for a long period of time, but you also have to ensure that this is done in an orderly and systematic way to ensure quick and easy access. It is therefore not enough to have a cardboard box where all records for the business year are jumbled up together. It is advisable to sort out records using ring binders and folders at least once every quarter. Likewise, individual documents must be structured in chronological order where possible, i.e. according to their timing. A filing system and clear labelling of files is also recommended.
Once sorted, the files have to be packed into boxes. Standard moving boxes are only partly suited to correct document storage, as they let in humidity: this soon turns the paper yellow while signatures and stamps may lose their colour or even become illegible. To prevent this, we recommend investing in airtight storage boxes.
The proper indoor climate is crucial when storing documents. While storing files in a cellar or loft may sound practical, the storage conditions in these places, such as high humidity, direct sunlight and high temperature fluctuations may severely affect the documents. As a result, the paper shrinks and curls up. A consistent room temperature of around 18-20°C, relative humidity of 45-55% and no direct sunlight are highly recommended to ensure that your files remain in excellent condition even after years.
Records, files, documents – where to put them?
Though some providers handle file storage digitally, digitalisation and electronic storage of files is often associated with high investment costs and only really pays off with large document volumes. On the other hand, so-called self-storage providers exist, such as Storebox. We offers secure and convenient storage for all kinds of documents. Its central locations and smart access system means that the Storebox can be accessed at any time, guaranteeing immediate access when the documents are needed at short notice. What’s more, by eliminating the lengthy archiving procedure, you benefit from our reasonable prices.
Place your documents in storage and decide for yourself how you want to sort or arrange them. Our eco-friendly storage boxes and extremely stable heavy-duty shelves help you to make the most of the space available. What’s more, should you require your documents to be picked up, you can take advantage of our reliable transport service. Simply create a non-binding request when booking or through Facebook-Chat or via App (iOS or Android).
Storebox offers optimal storage conditions for your documents and files – all locations are dry, heated and under video surveillance. The documents stored are covered by our insurance policy. In addition, all our Storeboxes are equipped with smart sensor technology, which provides you with real-time information on the current room temperature and humidity.
We hope our tips have been of use to you. Tell us what you think and share this article on social media! If you would like to visit and view a Storebox, give us a call on +4313865858 or send us an email to email@example.com.
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