What records need to be maintained?

There is a responsibility when owning a company to ensure that you keep a meticulous record of how your company is managed. This may sound daunting, but with a little organisation, it can be a seamless and automatic process.

Should you find yourself in any kind of legal confrontation, it will be expected of you to produce certain documentation. Various government agencies from time to time also request reports on your business's activities. If you cannot produce what is required, you will be held liable as a director who has not fulfilled their legal responsibilities for the role.

As a general rule of thumb, most records need to be kept for at least 7 years and in some cases, such as records and details of shareholders and their shares, 10 years.

Financial records

All financial records need to be compliant with generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP).

The following list is not exhaustive, but provide you with a general idea of what financial records you will need to keep:

  • accounting records
  • bank/financial statements
  • invoices for all the goods and services that you provide
  • and invoices for the goods and services you’ve received
  • a record of the assets and liabilities

Minutes, certificates and your company constitution

In addition to all financial records, it is imperative that you have good minutes of all committee and board meetings. These need to be kept on file for 7 years.

Any certificates that the director has issued should be copied and kept and resolutions from shareholders should also be filed away.

The constitution must be kept at the registered office of your company. Any changes that have been discussed need to be recorded and amendments made with notification to the Companies Office within 10 days of this action.

The share register A share register must be maintained by a company and this details information such as:

  • An alphabetical list of all shareholder’s names and details
  • The shares issued
  • How many shares each shareholder owns
  • Any restrictions regarding the transfer of shares

If an existing shareholder ceases to be a part of the company and sells their shares, you still need to keep a record of them for the next 10 years. Make sure that your share register acknowledges all details and dates regarding the purchase, sale, repurchase, resale or transfer of shares.

If in doubt, keep it. There’s little harm in filing away documentation, especially when it has the potential to protect and serve in your company’s best interests.

Information provided on this website is of a general nature only and not legal advice. Please visit our disclaimer for further information.