The Naughty and Nice of Business Records Retention

The Naughty and Nice of Business Records Retention
Organizations store business records to meet regulatory requirements, to refer to for business
purposes, and, in very rare cases, for their historical value.

In keeping with the theme of the current holiday, we’ll call these the “nice” reasons.

Why are they the nice reasons? The short answer is because they are legitimate and justified,
and the only reasons business records should be retained. They are also nice because they
provide a basis upon which unnecessary records can be destroyed.

The fact is that there are a lot of good reasons to be routinely destroying unnecessarily stored
business records, including:


  • Saving money on storage fees
  • Avoiding high legal discovery costs in the event of lawsuits
  • Minimizing the security risk of storing records
  • Preventing suspicious, sporadic disposal events that lead courts to make unfavorable judgments
  • Complying with new privacy laws that limit the time personal information can be retained.

    And yet, despite the benefits of sound records retention practices, most organizations don’t
    follow them due to one or more of the following excuses.

  • We don’t have a records retention schedule.
  • We have a records retention schedule, but no one pays any attention to it.
  • We have plenty of cheap space to store records so there’s no reason to get rid of them.

The records storage company we use charges too much for final removal so it’s cheaper
to let them ride.

These risky excuses are so common that more than half of the estimated 3 billion boxes of
stored records in the U.S. are being retained long past any legal or legitimate retention period.
Think of all that wasted money, all that unnecessary risk, and all that personal information being
kept far longer than can be legally justified.
At the end of the day, however, keeping business records too long is simply a bad habit. And,
like any bad habit, the toughest part of changing it is taking that first step.

That’s where Shred America steps in to help. We can destroy years or even decades of old
business records, no matter where they are, and, equally important, our team of professionals
can help you manage the process in a way that minimizes the risks associated with a sudden
destruction event and provides an affordable, manageable plan for continued compliance.

Contact Shred America today to learn how easy it is to be nice.