Record Keeping 101: Information Your Small Business Needs to Maintain

One of the most important administrative responsibilities small business owners face is keeping accurate and current records. Not only is it critical for assessing opportunities and risks that can affect your company’s profitability and potential for growth, it’s also necessary for ensuring legal and regulatory compliance.

Here’s a list of some commonly required records businesses need to maintain. While this list is not all-inclusive, it will give you a good idea of the basic items you need to track and keep in your possession.

  • Accounting records
    • Expenses
    • Income
    • Invoices
    • Customer payments and transaction records
    • Tax filings (annual, quarterly, and monthly if applicable)
    • Bank and credit card statements
  • Contracts (with clients, vendors, partners, etc.)
  • Purchase orders
  • Licenses and permits
  • Employment applications
  • Vehicle mileage logs
  • Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Organization (depending on legal structure)
  • Operating Agreement
  • Annual Meeting minutes
  • Trademark, service mark, and patent registrations
  • Inventory logs

Without a doubt, there’s a lot to stay on top of as a small business owner. To help prevent important details from slipping through the cracks, you need to stay organized and educate yourself about what information and documentation you need to keep.

Consulting with professionals who specialize in taxes, accounting, and business law can also help ensure you meet regulations and requirements.

SCORE mentors, with their breadth of experience, can be a great resource when evaluating other providers to assist with your record keeping. Request a FREE Mentor Here

Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses through mentoring and workshops. For more information about SCORE call (513) 684-2812 or visit