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Management Plans and Procedures Retention

Management plans, procedures, and other administrative documents can become vital resources for consulting many countless years into the future. Even if major elements of your business have changed, you may need to keep a record of how processes, policy, and procedure were dealt with in the past in order to perform a comparative analysis.

Additionally, management and administrative documentation can become relevant evidence in legal cases. Lawsuits regarding discrimination, non-disclosure, wrongful termination and other cause-of-actions can often be examined by closely scrutinizing documented work policies.

As such, most managerial and administrative documents are considered irreplaceable, and the general recommendation is to hold onto them forever, whether in digital or paper form.

Suggested Retention Duration for Select Managerial/Admin Documents

Document Type Suggested Minimum Retention
Corporate charter and bylaws Permanently
Strategic plans Permanently
Organizational charts Permanently
Mission/vision statements Permanently
Patents and related papers Permanently
Copyrights, trademarks Permanently
Administrative Correspondence* 3 years
*(Important memos, emails and other correspondence regarding strategy, services, programs, policies, procedures, planning and other such materials)
General/Routine Correspondence 1 year
Legal Correspondence Permanently
Asset appraisals Permanently
Property records including cost reports, depreciation schedules Permanently
Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale 7 years after property sale or transfer
Internal audit reports 3 years
Employee evaluations 3 years following termination
Training Manuals Permanently
Sales records 7 years
Year-end statements Permanently

Other Documents

For retention schedules for other types of documents, consult the similar tables provided in the corresponding sections:

Important note: These lists were written to serve as general guidelines and not as a replacement for expert opinion. Consult your CPA or a New York business attorney for specific advice on best practices and legal compliance requirements.

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