How Long Should You Retain Business Records


This schedule provides only a rough guideline to how long certain records should be retained. Your company's particular needs and storage space should be evaluated to determine what is appropriate for your business.


Articles of Incorporation Permanently
Bank Statements 7 Years
Deeds Permanently
Depreciation Schedules 7 Years AD
Dividend Register Permanently
Financial Statements Permanently
Fixed Asset Records 7 Years AD
Insurance Policies 3 Years AT
Inventory Records 7 Years AD
Labor Records See Below
Leases 7 Years AT
Ledgers & Journals See Below
Stock Ledger Permanently
Licenses 1 Year AT
Minute Book Permanently
Mortgages 7 Years AT
Notes (Cancelled) 7 Years
Pension Records Permanently
Petty Cash Records 3 Years
Plant Acquisition Records 7 Years AD
Securities (Brokerage slips) 7 Years AD
Stockholders Records Permanently
Tax Records 10 Years
Tax Returns See Below
W-2 Forms 7 Years

Labor Records

Applications (Employees) 7 Years AT
Daily Time Reports 5 Years
Disability Claims 7 Years AT
Earnings Records 7 Years
Personnel Records 7 Years AT
Time Cards 5 Years
Unemployment Claims 7 Years AT
Withholding Certificates 7 Years AT
Workers' Compensation Reports 10 Years

Ledgers & Journals

Accounts Payable 7 Years
Accounts Receivable 7 Years
Cash Journal 10 Years
General Journal 10 Years
General Ledger Permanently
Journal Entries FYE Permanently
Payroll Journal 10 Years
Fixed Asset Ledger Permanently
Purchases Journal 10 Years
Sales Journal 10 Years

Tax Returns (copies)

Estate Permanently
Gift Permanently
Income Permanently
Payroll 7 Years
Personal Property 10 Years
Sales & Use 10 Years
Social Security 10 Years