11 Examples Of Small Business Documents to Keep in Printed Form



10 Business Documents You Should Always Print and Have on Hand

Thanks to modern technology, plenty of offices are now almost completely paperless. Important documents are created, signed and sent exclusively online, and stored for easy access by all parties. While it’s convenient to have all your business paperwork in digital form, you might not want to get rid of your printer just yet. We asked a panel of experts from Young Entrepreneur Council the following:

“Plenty of business gets done online now, and many documents are never printed out at all. Still, there are some situations where a hard copy is necessary. What’s one document you should always have a physical copy of, and why?”



Business Documents You Should Always Print

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Your Company Values

“Having items printed on paper always make them a bit more real. The ability to touch and feel, comment on or even throw away makes them all more real. I personally like having your company values printed and sitting on your desk or hung on a wall, to serve as a constant reminder of what you are (and aren’t).” ~ Corey EulasFactorial Digital

2. Contracts

“The one type of document that I think you should always have printed out and stored online is any contract. These are important negotiations and legal documents, and you never know when you have to go back and refer to it.” ~ Jacqueline Marrano, Marrano Solutions, LLC.

3. Licenses, Permits and ‘Raised Seal’ Documents

“You should keep paper copies of business licenses and permits, because often regulations require you to do so. Also, physical documents of anything with an original signature or a raised seal should be kept and placed somewhere safe. The reproduction of items with seals will not properly display in digital form and would not be considered original documents by many entities.” ~ Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker





4. Emergency Plans

“It’s important to maintain a physical copy of any information or procedure that will be needed if an emergency renders computer access impossible. This could include emergency contact information, fire safety procedures, office evacuation procedures and business continuity plans.” ~ Roger LeeHuman Interest

5. Your Goals

“I don’t use pen and paper anymore. Everything is stored on my computer or my mobile device. I also believe in being green and cutting back on paper. But if I were to print out any piece of paper, it would be my goals. I have a list of quarterly, yearly, three-year and 10-year goals that I review every month to make sure I am on track.” ~ Jean Ginzburg, Ginball Digital Marketing

6. Your Resume

“The one document you should always have a physical copy of is your resume. It’s always good to have your resume with you as a reference in an interview. It also shows you are prepared and take the opportunity seriously.” ~ Vladimir GendelmanCompany Folders, Inc

7. Passwords

“Keep a physical copy of all relevant passwords that you use throughout the day. That information probably shouldn’t be stored anywhere online at all, to prevent the chance of hacking or identity theft.” ~ Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

8. Stock Certificates

“When issuing out stock to business partners or employees, it’s important to keep a hard copy as well as a digital copy, in case the hard copy gets lost. Typically employees will get a hard copy once they have exercised their option to purchase the stock.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner





9. Any Files Crucial to Your Operations

“There are several types of documents we find handy keeping in print. These include signed client contracts, staff HR files and semi-annual reviews, our company policy handbooks (one per employee), our company core values (hung with pride), visual dashboards for sales, key quarterly goal progress, and the required corporate, insurance and state-mandated HR postings.” ~ Joe BeccaloriInteract Marketing

10. Payment Receipts

“While digital receipts are great, it’s still good to have the ability to print receipts when necessary for tax reasons or for other documentation.” ~ Serenity GibbonsNAACP

11. Your Business Card

“I always keep business cards handy. You never know where or when you’ll meet someone while out and about who will want to connect with you later. I keep 10 or so in various locations, such as my bag, jacket, car, wallet, passport holder, desk and home. Also, ensure your cards are as memorable as you. It’s easy to lose them, so do what you can to design something that reflects your uniqueness.” ~ Karlo TanjuakioGoLeanSixSigma.com



Photo via Shutterstock



4 Comments ▼

The Young Entrepreneur Council


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

4 Reactions

  1. Have all your passwords written down/printed on a sheet of paper? Not sure I can support that because it would be a huge security issue if you lost it or had it stolen (the same reasons cited for not storing digitally). If you do write them down then they’d better be coded somehow so it’s not easy for just anyone to figure out.

  2. Aira Bongco

    But since they are printed, you should also ensure that you have a digital form that you can protect. Those with stamps and signatures should always be in printed form.

  3. This is right. You may think that you will no longer need forms because of the digital nature of the world. But you still need to keep some in printed form.

  4. I agree. But more than knowing what to keep, you should also have a process for keeping it.

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