Important considerations when storing business documents

Important considerations when storing business documents

For businesses, document storage is a common reason for using self storage and although those documents are not necessarily valuable in their own right, it is important that they are stored correctly.  Using offsite storage for business documents can be far more cost effective than using space within your business premises, it may also be more secure!  For those thinking about using off-site storage for documents - here are some important considerations.

 

GDPR

 

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month or so, you can’t have escaped the news around GDPR – the new General Data Protection Regulations, which came into force on 25thMay 2018.  The regulations relate to data protection and security, and, for the most part this has been keeping businesses (including ours) busy in relation to online data – however the regulations are also relevant to those who retain and process information held in physical documents.   Fines for non compliance with GDPR can be up to an eye watering 20 million Euro’s or 4% of worldwide turnover so it is essential to take the time to get things right.

 

Access

 

If you find you need access to your documents, looking proximity to the storage site is important, especially in terms of how quickly you can access the information if you need it.  Also making sure you can get access to the facility when you need it.  Another important consideration here would have to be how well you have catalogued and recorded the documents you are storing. Make sure that you have a robust system for this so that you can quickly and efficiently locate what you are looking for.  Another reasons for recording information properly is that GDPR allows individuals to request to know of the information you hold about them – if that happens, you had better know where to find it!

 

Privacy and security

 

As we touched on above, keeping records secure is a critical consideration when storing documents.  Make sure any storage facility you choose has good security. Things to consider are outside access, security cameras, security patrols and the security of individual rooms or containers.  For more information on security of storage units see our recent blog post

 

Preventing damage

 

For paper documents, you should definitely look at internal storage which is temperature controlled to avoid dampness or humidity causing damage. It is also important to choose your archiving materials carefully.  Sturdy, double walled archive boxes which are designed for storing documents are best. They are suitable for stacking and can be clearly labelled to make it easy to find what you are looking for. 

 

Insurance

 

Generally speaking, storage insurance is taken out for the full replacement value of whatever you are storing.  As we have mentioned above, business documents are not inherently valuable in their own right but the potential cost to a business resulting from the loss or misuse of the information contained in the documents could be massively expensive to your business.   Before purchasing insurance for stored documents online, Speak to us about what kind of insurance is suitable to cover you against the risks of storing documents.