The Companies Act has plenty of rules about keeping company records, including the minimum times you should store old ones. So if you toss out meeting minutes, you may be in trouble! Here's how long you need to keep different company records for....
The Companies Act says you need to keep your company records in an accurate and complete form...
If you don't keep these records in perfect order for as long as you need to, you'll violate the Companies Act. This is a serious offence, as it means that the directors 'traded recklessly' - making them personally responsible for any of the company's debt!
The Practical Tax Loose Leaf service lays out these rules for how long you need to keep company records...
Keep these company records forever
1. Registration Certificate
2. Memorandum of Incorporation
3. Securities Register
4. Register and records of auditors and company secretary
5. Founding Statement
6. Amended Founding Statement
7. Minutes and resolution passed at important meetings
Keep these company records for 15 years
1. Accounting records including support schedules
2. Annual financial statements
3. The accounting officer's report
Keep these company records for 7 years
1. Any documents, accounts, books, writings, notices and agendas
2. Copies of financial statements
3. Copies of accounting records
4. The director's records.
It's amazing how much stuff you have to keep lying around if you want your company to be above board. Remember to also make notes of the records you destroy. If you ever go looking for them again, you'll know where they went!
By following these rules, you'll never fall foul of the Companies Act – and your business will stay organised for years to come!