Sample Record Retention Policy

This policy pertains to all records, including those stored electronically or physically.   

If you believe, or if the Company informs you, that Company records are relevant to litigation or potential litigation, you must preserve those records until the Company has determined that the records no longer need to be preserved, and you have been notified accordingly. This exception supersedes any previously or subsequently established destruction schedule for those records. If you believe that an exception may apply or have any questions regarding the possible applicability of this exception, please contact [CONTACT NAME(S)].  


ACCOUNTING 

Account applications Permanent 
Accounts payable invoices, ledgers, payment records 7 years 
Accounts receivable invoices, ledgers, deposit records  7 years 
Accountant’s audit reports Permanent 
Bank statement and reconciliations 7 years 
Bank loans 7 years after payoff 
Capital assets ledger 7 years after-sale or disposal of an asset 
Charts of accounts Permanent 
Checks – canceled (original AR deposit checks)    30 days 
Checks – canceled (payroll, unimportant purchases) 7 years 
Checks – canceled (for important purchases such as fixed assets, major items)  Permanent 
Depreciation schedules 3 years afterlife of asset 
Financial statements and reports – annual (includes balance sheets, profit & loss statements) Permanent 
Financial statements and reports – periodic 7 years 
General ledger and journals 7 years 
IRS audit reports, tax bills, statements Permanent 
Petty cash vouchers and receipts 4 years 
Sales commissions reports 3 years 
Vendor agreements and contracts 6 years after termination 

CLIENT/VENDOR RELATED 

Client/Vendor agreements  Permanent (as long as client remains active) or  6 years after no activity 
Client/Vendor information Permanent (as long as client remains active) or 6 years after no activity 

CORPORATE

Board of directors and shareholder meeting minute books and by-laws  Permanent 
Bonds – surety 3 years after expiration 
Capital stock ledgers Permanent 
Capital stock, bond records, and other records dealing with capital structure – authority to issue securities Permanent 
Certificates of incorporation and all incorporation records Permanent 
Charters, constitutions and bylaws Permanent 
Contracts – major Permanent 
Contracts – expired leases 7 years after expiration or superseded 
Insurance policies Permanent 
Internal audit reports 10 years 
Legal files (disputes, litigation, advisory) Permanent 
Policies – operational, compliance, administrative 10 years 
Licenses and certifications – federal, state, local, etc. Permanent 
Tax Returns – corporate (federal and state) Permanent 
Tax Returns – payroll  Permanent 
Tax Returns – sales Permanent 
Trademark and copyright registrations Permanent 
Trade secrets and intellectual property (development detail, process, procedure codes, etc. that (i) derives independent economic value from secrecy of information; and (ii) company has taken affirmative steps to keep confidential) Permanent 

PAYROLL & TIMEKEEPING 

Payroll registers, records and related documents 7 years 
Tax Returns – quarterly payroll reports 7 years 
Timecard and attendance records 7 years 

PERSONNEL

Applications, resumes, (including non-hires), changes and terminations 5 years 
Employee agreements and contracts 6 years after employment termination 
Files – individual employee (including evaluations and performance reviews) 6 years after employment termination 
Garnishments 6 years after employment termination 
Insurance policies – health Permanent 
Insurance policies – other non-health benefits Permanent 
Job descriptions and position descriptions 3 years after superseded 
I-9 Forms and supporting documents 3 years after hiring or 1 year after termination whichever is longer 
Employee medical files, insurance records, accident reports, injury claims and reports, settlements 7 years 
Employee handbook (including appendices)  3 years after superseded 

E-MAIL 

Administrative (policy and operations-related, including training bulletins, workplace behavior, etc.) 4 years 
Ephemeral (personal content, updates, meeting announcements, general suggestions, etc.) 2 years 
Fiscal (revenue, expenses, etc.) 4 years 
General (client interaction, miscellaneous correspondence) 2 years