Small businesses get more complicated with time. As a business owner, you may face some questions: what documents must be protected, what must be safely discarded, and what needs to be maintained? When it comes to keeping business records, small business record keeping protects your legal rights. However, it can be more than just a legal requirement. It informs planning and promotes operational efficiency. To be secure and boost operations, you need the right document management system, such as PDF DRM.
What is PDF DRM?
Digital rights management [DRM] is a series of technologies that empowers you to control what users can do with content. PDF DRM software enables you to prevent the unintended spread of sensitive content and protect it from misuse. Unfortunately, several instances where proprietary content has been pilfered, resulting in substantial losses, have rendered many small businesses bust. That’s why it’s essential to protect your PDF documents with DRM that bolsters your sensitive documents from people looking to take your information and pass it on without your knowledge. PDF DRM is the right way to safeguard sensitive and confidential PDFs containing intellectual property that require stringent protection.
Let’s look at critical business records in your small business that PDF DRM can help keep safe.
If your small business is a sole proprietorship, you need more than just copy security or a password protection application. That’s because your founding documentation that includes corporate credentials needs uncompromising security. Some of these documents could include:
- Partnership Details
- Incorporation of formation agreements
- Company registration and proof of publication
- Authoritative certificates
- Director information
These documents and more that are the basis of your small business become permanent company records. So, you need to maintain for the life of your organization.
According to federal law, every large and small business must keep employee documents for specific periods. For instance, if a complaint is filed against a company. The record-keeping requirements are typically extended until the issue is settled. For example, there are minimum periods for employee documents that must be maintained, which include:
- Recruitment information includes job descriptions, advertisements, resumes, applications, screening documents, credit reports, test results, interview notes, etc. These documents must be maintained at least for one year from the employee’s date of hiring or termination.
- Contractual obligations such as nondisclosure agreements, contract forms, employee handbooks, policies, policy changes. And other similar employee agreements must be safeguarded for at least one year.
- Businesses need to independently secure disability documentation such as a request for accommodation for at least one year.
- Medical records from personnel files such as enrolment documents, offers, benefit plans, etc., must be protected for at least a year.
- Employee details such as appraisals, compensation documentation, promotion notes, disciplinary records, references, timecards, etc., must be maintained for at least 2 to 3 years.
- Payroll information and supporting documents must be maintained for at least 2 to 3 years, while some documents such as pay discrimination complaints that may include long-standing issues must be kept on file indefinitely.
While the above documents are some of the many business paperwork enforced by federal authorities, other legal and financial information may require you to retain them for a more extended period.
Every small business must maintain tax records according to the governing authority. For instance, tax records such as:
- Business tax returns
- Sales tax returns and registrations
- Financial details
- Remuneration tax records
- Small business asset documentation
- Small business loans
- Other financial information such as journals, ledgers, bonds, and financial statements.
Tax records, in particular, may need to be maintained indefinitely as the Internal Revenue Code service can explore as far back as six years if it notices irregularities. Hence, you may want to hold your tax records for longer than six years as a business owner.
Every small business generates a decent amount of administrative and legal paperwork. For instance, you may need to secure the following:
- Real estate records
- Insurance policies
- Board minute meetings
- Indemnity agreements
- Certificates of authority
- Annual reports
- Certifications, permits, and licenses
- Business agreements with suppliers, independent contractors, and other legal documentation
As a small business owner, you ought to maintain legal documents as long as the statute of limitations exists for potential liabilities and challenges. Depending on your company’s state, the statute of limitations may vary depending upon the legal deadlines for filing specific kinds of legal claims.
The need for PDF DRM for small businesses
In the digital age, it’s easier to defend, maintain, arrange and secure your business paperwork. With a suitable PDF DRM application, you can progress your business knowing that you have an implementation on board for every possibility if you hit an unexpected snag in the future. On the other hand, focusing on the wrong or poor document protection software may cost you thousands of dollars, not to mention hours of headache. That’s why you need PDF DRM as a critical application to safeguard your small business paperwork and help you run your business operations smoothly.